I really thought long and hard before recommending Baby Reindeer to anyone. The 7-episode series, which just dropped on Netflix on April 11, is one of the most intense watches imaginable, and you can’t go anywhere on social media without people talking about it. But Baby Reindeer is no Game of Thrones, which was also intense and popular on the socials. Baby Reindeer is intense in a whole different way than dragons and swords. It cuts deep, and it stays with you. It is not a fun time, but I could not stop watching and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

Baby Reindeer is an autobiographical drama created by, written by and starring Richard Gadd as Donny, a struggling stand-up comic who is stalked by a lonely woman, Martha, played by Jessica Gunning. That’s the whole premise, but Gadd uses the stalking as an entryway into Donny’s psyche and soul, and the series becomes an intense and painful journey of self-reflection. Not only is the stalking intense, but so are Donny’s demons.

I don’t want to speak too much about specifics of the show, but I do need to warn anyone who watches that the word “triggering” has come up often in descriptions of the series, particularly regarding sexual assault. It is difficult to watch, but what kept me watching was the amazing bravery that Gadd shows, putting his whole painful story out there for the world to see. I was reminded of Hannah Gadsby’s brilliant Nanette, which also is available on Netflix, where she used a stand-up routine as a therapy of sorts, to embark on a personal exploration of the human condition and was one of the most viscerally moving humanistic experiences I’ve ever had. While Baby Reindeer isn’t nearly as moving, it is just as visceral and thought-provoking—and brave.

Not only is the subject matter and Gadd’s approach to very difficult subjects done well, but the whole production is also excellent, especially Gadd and Gunning’s performances, which are fierce and emotional gut punches. Both actors inhabit their characters with a casual intensity that never goes over the top. Gunning in particular has a difficult job, being hateful and pathetic all at once, never spilling over into the melodramatic. Gadd’s performance is absolutely devastating, and to realize he’s actually acting out something he really lived through makes it even more impossibly arresting.

Again, this is not a series I recommend lightly, nor do I recommend it for everyone. But, in a world of television shows where there is so much to choose from, and so many shows all feel the same and are just checking off boxes, I value shows like Baby Reindeer, which are bold, different, intense and have something to say. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.