The fourth and final season of “13 Reasons Why” dropped on Netflix earlier this month, but some viewers are just discovering the teen drama known for confronting the most difficult aspects of adolescent life.
And one of those new viewers is none other than actress Kirstie Alley, who followed up her small-screen binge with a recommendation that the show’s target teen audience should never actually tune in to it at all.
“Don’t let your kids watch 13 Reasons Why...DARK so DARK and such an onslaught of the most non-stop f---ed upness to come down the high school pike since Caligula was 16,” Alley tweeted to her 1.3 million followers Monday night.
In fact, she’s not even sure some parents should watch it.
When one fan told her that, although the themes portrayed in the high school setting are “intense,” the show keeps “getting better” as it progresses, Alley seemed to agree, stating, “I think it’s a good show…”
But she added, “…for people over 40 or 70.”
The 69-year-old’s hot take on the series may make her one of the most recent voices to criticize the subject matter aimed at young people, but she’s far from alone in her opinion.
Shortly after the freshman season of “13 Reasons Why” debuted on the streaming network in 2017, experts were calling for the show to be pulled from Netflix over concerns that its portrayal of teen suicide could have a dangerous effect on adolescent viewers.
“This show should be pulled off the air immediately,” Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, president of the Child Mind Institute, told TODAY at the time. “Teenage suicide is contagious. We know for over three decades that when kids watch television where they depict a suicide, they’re more likely to attempt and they’re more likely to actually (die).”
And some claimed it wasn't long before they saw a connection to the show with their patients.
In 2018, Dr. Brian P. Kurtz, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, told TODAY Parents, "For those of us who see many young people in crisis — coming to the emergency department with suicidal ideation, for example — the fact that the show was on the mind of these patients and their families really jumped out at us. And this was across the country."
Just last year, Netflix announced that it edited out the most controversial scene in the series — the graphic suicide from that first season — “on the advice of medical experts."