The new Netflix show 13 Reasons Why is a lot of things — confusing, suspenseful, engaging, and well-produced. It is not, however, universally adored. Since its March 31 debut, the show has inspired a flurry of think pieces and internet opinions. (As, it should be said, the best television does.) The latest to weigh in on the show is Car Seat Headrest, a band featured on the show's soundtrack. As Marie Claire reports, the group begged fans on Twitter not to let kids watch the show.
"As someone who contributed to the soundtrack for "13 Reasons Why," I am obliged to tell you all that it's kind of fucked....Please don't tell kids how to turn their miserable and hopeless lives into a thrilling and cathartic suicide mission," the official account for Car Seat Headrest said in a series of tweets Saturday.
13 Reasons Why, for those who haven't seen the show, details the events leading up to and immediately following the death by suicide of a teenage girl named Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford.) Hannah numerates the "13 reasons" why she decided to end her life on a series of tapes, which are passed around after her suicide among the people she lists as contributing to it. The narrative is unavoidably fascinating: A girl dies, then names her "murderers" from the grave. (In this case, the named parties are guilty of inflicting varying degrees of emotional harm.) But many seem to think the show glamorizes the act of taking one's own life.
"Kids: this is not a narrative you need to subscribe to. go watch 'spring breakers' instead," the band suggested.
(In the last tweet, the band asked politely that reporters ignore these missives. Our apologies to the band for this defiant piece of reporting.)
Car Seat Headrest isn't alone in thinking 13 Reasons Why mishandles its serious subject matter. The New Zealand government created an entirely new rating for the show, adding in a statement that "suicide should not be presented to anyone as being the result of clear headed thinking." A school in Michigan sent home a letter cautioning parents against the show. Pop culture influencers such as Zara Larsson and Paris Jackson also shared negative opinions on the show.
Car Seat Headrest's point of view is unique because the band is involved in the show, at least tangentially. Their song "Oh! Starving" appears in the 12th episode when Hannah leaves her parents' bank deposit atop her car. As of yet, those involved with the show have only come out in defense of it. Kate Walsh, who plays Hannah's mom, defended it to USA Today, and Selena Gomez herself, who produced the show, seems at peace with criticism of the show.
It's enough to make us curious — are there others involved in 13 Reasons Why who aren't too keen on the concept?
If you are thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433.