First things first: this article is totally spoiler-free, so you can read on even if you haven't made it to the end of 13 Reasons Why yet. (If you haven't, drop everything, call in sick, and get binging already!)
#13ReasonsWhy — the Netflix drama about how the shockwaves from a teen's suicide ripple through her school and hometown when the victim leaves her friends a series of cassettes explaining her decision — has taken the entire internet by storm in the two weeks since it premiered.
Everybody has an opinion on this show. It's been praised for its unflinching depiction of teenage life and its unusually dark themes, criticized for depicting the act of suicide explicitly, and scrutinized by obsessive fans who've noticed seemingly small, but potentially game-changing details hidden within its layered storytelling (spoilers in those links, obviously).
But while the overall takeaway is that this is one of the best TV mysteries in a long time, not everybody shares the opinion that it's essential viewing — take Stranger Things and Riverdale star Shannon Purser, for example.
Purser, who's not shy about speaking her mind on Twitter (she also came out to her fans as bisexual this week), praised 13 Reasons Why but warned that those who are suffering from depression might want to give it a miss:
The actress obviously means well — she goes on to state that "there are lots of really good things about the show, and it could be helpful to some." That said, the trailer alone makes it pretty obvious that 13 Reasons Why goes to some dark places so anybody who still elects to watch has obviously taken that into account and wants to be there for the ride anyway.
More 13 Reasons Why:
- Should [Spoiler] Have Survived 13 Reasons Why?
- This One Hidden Detail In 13 Reasons Why Literally Changes Everything
- 5 Major Unanswered Questions You May Have After 13 Reasons Why
- The Author Of 13 Reasons Why Is Totally Down For A Season 2
And 13 Reasons Why never romanticizes suicide or makes light of sexual assault, in fact it takes all of its darker plot turns incredibly seriously. Sure, some might prefer not to watch, but those who do could find a form of therapy in the show — it's all down to individual perspective, right?
What did you think of 13 Reasons Why's portrayal of suicide — was it too much, or did they get it just right?