‘You’ Producer Admits He Stole 1 Idea From ‘Dexter’ — ‘We Completely Ripped That Off’

Anyone who loves spooky serial killer shows has probably noticed a few similarities between Dexter and You. Dexter Morgan and Joe Goldberg are killers, and both shows give fans inside access to their murderous minds. They feature voiceovers of exactly what the serial killer protagonists are thinking. Marcos Siega has worked on both shows, and he admits that one aspect of You was a bit of a ripoff from Dexter.

Joe Goldberg walks through a party in You. The voiceover for You was inspired by the series Dexter.
Joe Goldberg in ‘You’ | Netflix

‘Dexter’ and ‘You’ implement voiceovers

When Dexter premiered in 2006, fans were invited into the mind of a serial killer. Dexter is a blood splatter analysis by day and serial killer by night. He targets only other serial killers as his victims. Interestingly, Dexter’s inner monologues were a big hit with fans. They made the character surprisingly funny and likable, despite the fact that he is a killer.

The Netflix series You uses similar tactics. Joe Goldberg is a stalker and serial killer who obsesses over a new woman each season. Joe is not at all a good guy, yet his voiceover sometimes had fans accidentally siding with him. The voiceovers for these two characters humanize them, making them surprisingly relatable to audiences.

Is ‘You’ a ripoff of ‘Dexter’?

Of course, Dexter and You each feature their own very different storylines. However, Dexter director Siega admits on the New Blood Wrap-Up podcast that when it comes to the voiceover, You is a ripoff of Dexter. “To be honest, we completely ripped that off when I did You,” said Siega, who served as executive producer for season 1 of You. “It’s a straight 101 Dexter ripoff in terms of the voiceover.”

Of course, in terms of plot, the shows are different in many ways. “The writing of that show [You] is amazing and fun but in terms of that [the voiceover] I approached it the exact same way when we were shooting.”

Siega also noted that filming the voiceover scenes took some getting used to. He mused, “Do I need to do anything special camera-wise?” for these scenes. “The answer was no because what you as writers write is projected onto Dexter’s face when you hear his voiceover,” he explained in the podcast.

Michael C. Hall who plays Dexter has even said that on one occasion he was simply filmed while eating a sandwich. Then the voiceover for that scene was added later. Siega described Hall’s face during the voiceovers as a “neutral expression” which allowed for the voiceover to bring to life his character’s thoughts.

The voiceover adds comedy to both shows

It might seem strange, but the voiceover for these two serial killers actually makes them more funny and likable. Dexter writer Lauren Gussis explained that fans could relate to Dexter’s thoughts of feeling like an outsider. “It wouldn’t have been funny if it weren’t relatable,” she said on the podcast. “For me, my understanding of like a comedic premise generally is like you laugh because you relate.”

This is another factor that carried on to You. Although Joe’s stalking and murdering habits are horrible, it’s hard not to relate to his exasperation with the kooky characters surrounding him. Even some of the thoughts he has while trying to woo the apple of his eye are relatable.

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