Controversial series 13 Reasons Why continues to dominate Kiwis' screen time
A controversial US drama series that centres around suicide has captured the attention of Kiwi audiences, with it named the most sought after digital show in the past month.
Netflix series 13 Reasons Why topped a newly released Parrot Analytics list revealing the top 10 shows people are seeking out online, either legitimately and through online piracy.
The online-only series, which was released in its entirety at the end of March, drew both praise and condemnation for its depiction of teenage suicide and rape.
Mental health professionals in New Zealand and overseas have accused the first season of glorifying sensitive topics and have urged people to avoid watching it if possible.
* New season of 13 Reasons Why will have a new narrator
* Netflix responds to 13 Reasons critics with more warnings
* 13 Reasons Why prompts warnings and new classification request
* 13 Reasons Why: A reality check
* Censors make new RP18 rating for controversial Netflix show
Mental Health Foundation New Zealand chief executive Shaun Robinson expressed his concern over the show depicting suicide in a way that was irresponsible and dangerous.
"It is important to discuss suicide but what is not appropriate is to raise these issues in a context of a lack of hope and to present the notion of someone taking their own life as inevitable or heroic or something to be emulated," he said.
Last month, the New Zealand Classifications Office created a new category of censorship for the controversial drama, following the outcry over its content and the risk of it prompting copycats.
The RP18 classification states that anyone under 18 years old must view the series with the supervision of a parent or guardian.
In a blog post explaining its reasoning for issuing the new rating, the Classification Office stated that the series did not follow "international guidelines for responsible representations of suicide."
"New Zealand consistently registers one of the highest youth suicide rates in the OECD and it is vital that this issue is taken seriously at all levels.
"The scene depicting Hannah's suicide is graphic, and explicit about the method of suicide she uses, to the point where it could be considered instructional."
Despite the outcry against the series, demand for the show has yet to subside and a second season has been announced for 2018.
Industry data scientist Kayla Hegedus from Hollywood-based Parrot Analytics believed the popularity of the show, as well as others on its top 10 list, would encourage local media to harness and distribute the content people want.
"This provides a huge opportunity to bring similar shows to New Zealand via the right platform, at the right time, reaching the right Kiwi audiences who truly love this type of content,"
WHERE TO GET HELP
Lifeline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 354
Depression Helpline (open 24/7) - 0800 111 757
Healthline (open 24/7) - 0800 611 116
Samaritans (open 24/7) - 0800 726 666
Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.
Youthline (open 24/7) - 0800 376 633. You can also text 234 for free between 8am and midnight, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
0800 WHATSUP children's helpline - 0800 9428 787, Open between 1pm and 10pm on weekdays and from 3pm to 10pm on weekends. Online chat is available from 7pm to 10pm every day at www.whatsup.co.nz.
Kidsline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 754. This service is for children aged 5 to 18. Those who ring between 4pm and 9pm on weekdays will speak to a Kidsline buddy, who are specially trained teenage telephone counsellors.
Your local Rural Support Trust - 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)
Alcohol Drug Helpline (open 24/7) - 0800 787 797. You can also text 8691 for free.
For more information, contact the Mental Health Foundation's free Resource and Information Service on 09 623 4812.
THE TOP 10
* 13 Reasons Why, Netflix
* The Handmaid's Tale, Hulu
* The Grand Tour, Amazon Video
* Orange Is The New Black, Netflix
* The Last Kingdom, Netflix
* Marvel's Iron Fist, Netflix
* Sense8, Netflix
* House of Cards, Netflix
* Harlots, Hulu
* Trailer Park Boys, Netflix