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Should We Be Worried That Penn Badgley Has Noticed You, Cardi B?

The continuation of "You" that we didn't know we needed to see.

Joe watching Cardi B?!

With the third season of my personal problematic fave You streaming on Netflix, fans have been able to catch up with Joe (Penn Badgley) as he attempts to navigate suburban fatherhood while keeping his wife, Love (Victoria Pedretti) happy. This time, however, Joe vows to keep his urges in check and-… yeah, you know I’m full of shit right now, especially when he’s got his sights set on another woman he can mentally monologue about.

This one, however, is a much more visible target.

In the video, Badgley talks about how “pathetic” it is when he attempts to use social media. To him, he lacks the authenticity that people like his costar, Shay Mitchell (season 1’s Peach) have. There is definitely an art to using social media in a way that feels genuinely engaging versus posting for clicks, and Badgley has great respect for people who can use social media so naturally.

Like Cardi B.

“Cardi B is a great example of that! She has such an authentic relationship, you know?” Badgley says. “To me, it’s this incredibly nuanced place to be. Despite what many might judge as antics, I feel like she has an incredibly authentic relationship to that, and that’s why people like her so much.”

While I’m sure fandom would’ve eventually taken hold of this exchange and turned it into some “Cardi B for season 4 of You” campaign, Cardi beat us all to the punch.

Badgley noticed her noticing him.

And Twitter did what you’d expect Twitter to do.

Is it bad that when I saw the Twitter exchange between Badgley and Cardi B I immediately envisioned the “Beck walking through the bookstore in slow motion” scene from the very beginning of the first season? I can just picture Joe watching Cardi, breaking down her personality based on the fact that she wears vivid colors (you want to be seen) and maybe paid for her purchase with a credit card (you want me to know your name).

“I see you have a lot of followers on social media. Your header image, ah, your latest single. Nice. Smart.  You’re a business-savvy woman, working to break records. Admirable. Now, your social media… yes, you update often, engage with fans, even. But is that the real… you? What is it you aren’t posting? That’s the you I’d like to get to know.”

Of course, we all know that Joe getting close to any woman is the red flag of all red flag memes.

Unfortunately, it may already be too late, as the two are using each other’s pictures as Twitter avatars. It’s the 2021 version of couple’s sweaters, I think? Or, at the very least, the 2021 version of knowing exactly who your social media audience is and brilliantly playing into it.

Penn Twitter account

Cardi B Twitter

That image Cardi’s using? The one with Joe clearly watching someone? Yeah, she knows what she’s getting herself into, especially if she’s finished season 3 (in which case, girl RUN).

Or maybe she and Joe will just be friends. That’s a possibility, right?


Real talk, though, I do at least hope there’s a Cardi B mention in the next season.

(Image: Netflix/Cardi B)

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Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)