Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why is nearly a month old, but you wouldn’t know it from the buzz. The teen drama triggered more than 11 million tweets during its first three weeks of release, making it 2017’s most tweeted-about show. But while 13 Reasons has been pretty popular with the 18-and-under set, don’t count everyone as fans. Indeed, because of the show’s graphic depictions of rape and suicide, some health professionals have called it irresponsible and even dangerous.
“Netflix isn’t going to pull it and kids are watching it, and they’re binge watching it without anyone helping them process it,” Phyllis Alongi, clinical director of the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide, told NBC News. “We feel it was done irresponsibly and we don’t agree with many portrayals including of Hannah’s death, memorialization, and placing blame on others.” Many schools are sending out warnings to parents about the show. Even Shannon Purser, who played the wildly popular character Barb on Netflix’s Stranger Things, issued a series of tweets that told folks struggling with suicidal thoughts not to watch 13 Reasons. “There are some very graphic scenes in there that could easily trigger painful memories and feelings,” she wrote. “Please protect yourselves.”
Still, shows like Stranger Things and 13 Reasons Why certainly aren’t hurting Netflix’s bottom line … and may have the folks at one-time ubiquitous Blockbuster Video franchise kicking themselves. In the year 2000, when the video rental business was still booming, Blockbuster had the chance to buy upstart Netflix for a mere $50 million. Today, according to CBS News, Netflix is worth about $60 billion.
Entertainment lovers may rely on old entertainment in their Netflix cues more than ever, Unless the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers don’t patch things up soon. The writers voted overwhelmingly to strike unless progress is made during current contract talks. The strike could begin as early as May 2.
Speaking of television, Bella Thorne—perhaps most famous for her work on the Disney Channel’s sitcom Shake It Up—says she never wanted to be a Disney princess. “Do you think that I wanted to be a Disney girl?” she told MTV’s podcast Happy Sad Confused. Did you think I wanted to do that? We were about to live physically on the street if I didn’t have that role.” And while she’s starring in a new television show now (Freeform’s Famous in Love), she says that social media is actually bringing home her bacon. “I bought a house this year from social media work, only from social media work,” she says. “My social media to me is how I pay my bills.”
Ah, if only all Millennials were so lucky to have 15.3 million Instagram followers. Others are finding it difficult to make a living and transition into adulthood, according to a new study. And the U.S. Census Bureau says that more 18 to 34-year-olds are living with their parents than with a spouse.
In other news that may or may-not-be related (we make no judgments), the majority of Americans today—57%—are in favor of legalizing marijuana, an all-time (ahem) high. But doctors continue to caution that weed is no harmless substance. Doctors say that daily use promotes a “chronic loss of attention, focus and concentration,” decreasing effectiveness at work or school. And Dr. Joseph Garbely told USA Today that 15% of users will develop a full-blown addiction.
Hard to believe, but Prince has already been gone from this earth for more than a year now. Ironically, his musical career is still quite healthy. The Purple One outsold every other recording artist in 2016, including Adele, moving 2.23 million albums. And famed rock critic Alan Light now says that Prince was “the greatest performer of his generation.” Pretty high praise, considering that generation includes the likes of Michael Jackson, Madonna and Bruce Springsteen, all of whom were known for putting on some pretty eye-popping spectacles of their own.
Finally, let’s turn our attention to Chris Pratt, star of the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The comic-actor-turned-action-star got his very own star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame recently, and he got pretty choked up during the unveiling ceremony talking about his family and faith. “I’m a man of faith and I believe that God works in mysterious ways and gives us signs and gifts in life—and those gifts oftentimes come in the form of people,” he said, before calling out his mother, his wife (actress Anna Faris) and his son. And days earlier, when his special star was still being constructed, he posted a picture of the progress on Instagram, along with a Bible verse. “Psalm 126:3 ‘The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.’ Thank you to the many, many people who empowered me to follow my dreams.”