Happy Sunday! I know the feeling of Monday approaching can sometimes be overwhelming, especially with all these long weekends we have been having. I should be studying but I decided to have a lazy Sunday. It’s not every day you get a break, so why not indulge once in a while?
I am sure by now you have heard of the “new” series on Netflix “13 reasons why.” It has been all over Buzzfeed articles, Facebook, Twitter, everywhere. If you maybe live under a rock, summarized it is about a teenage girl that commits suicide and leaves 13 tapes, one for each person she holds responsible for her decision to eventually end her life.
Now if you haven’t watched it and plan to, you should probably stop reading right here. This post will contain spoilers unfortunately there’s nothing I could do to prevent that. Keep the tissues and chocolate near, this is a a tear-jerker.
Okay, back to the previous paragraph “her life.”
Let that sink in a for a minute..
- Hannah Baker (teenager who commited suicide, why are you reading if you haven’t watched it? stop!) had made a decision on her own to end her life. It was her life, her choice and her own decision. I am not condoning suicide, I believe there are much better ways to handle whatever it is life throws at you. But I just want to highlight that at the end of the day, it was her life, hers to own or disown (she is a fictional character and its based the book 13 reasons why by Jay Asher).
- I googled the statistics of suicide, 1 in 65,000 children ages 10 to 14 commit suicide each year, this is what I found. These children could be someone you know or your own, we need to acknowledge this occurs in reality. A show that targets this is creating awareness about suicide, something we barely speak about (I speak for myself and my social group/family).
- At some point in your life you or your friends were bullied or you were a bully. Am I right to say that most of us have experienced some sort of bullying in our lives? During high school I had a miserable time due to others trying to mock me, while I was not suicidal, we can all relate to Hannah in this regard.
- While there are scenes of sexual assault and graphic content, it does warn you before those episodes start. When I read other articles about how these scenes were “too real” or too graphic, have you ever watched Law & Order: Special Victims Unit? Every episode depicts this in much more gruesome manners and it’s on its 18th season. So spare me the graphic content criticism.
- Look we all know Hannah was completely selfish to leave these tapes behind, but the series does not paint her as a martyr. I specifically remember Marcus saying “she’s an a**hole for leaving all those tapes behind” which she is. Remember if someone had actually done this, they wouldn’t be able to see everyone listen to the tapes or become famous for it. Here again, this is a TV series, it is fiction, the show needed something to keep us hooked.
- The show also depicts substance abuse. Let us not forget what causes most accidents, awareness about this is another important factor. Young people also abuse substances and well we should look for these as signs.
- I know for a fact mental illness was not really showcased in this show, yes Hannah and other characters probably has some psychological issues, which leaves you to think for yourself if you have noticed these signs from people you know or how depression can lead to suicidal thoughts. It makes you go dig up and research more into it.
- Clay the innocent bystander who didn’t notice the signs Hannah had may feel the worst and it is completely understandable although it was not his fault. He just didn’t know. If this doesn’t teach you to speak to someone or ask for help then I am not sure you got the message here. Nobody can hear silence. On another note, Jessica Davis and Courtney Crimsen, who were meant to be Hannah’s friends really did her an injustice. Girls and women should have each others backs especially but instead we are catty and malicious, please, stop, and think for a moment how one kind word has a ripple effect tenfold and vice versa.
- Wait, what did Hannah leave for her parents? All these people she blamed at least had the tapes, what did the parents get? This points out what a selfish character she is, this teaches you to revere your parents much more. They deserve some answers.
- This one is for parents, I am sure there are times teenagers or kids are silent or you sense that something is wrong but they won’t tell you. If they won’t speak to you, take them to someone they will speak to like a psychologist or maybe even a close family member they are more open with. Maybe just be there for them, maybe support and comfort is all they need unless you suspect they are being bullied or bullying others then you have to get to the root of it.
- While not everyone deserved to be on the tapes like Clay, Alex maybe Zach, this shows us how seemingly small things can escalate quickly and also hurt others more than we know. Try to be kind to one another, you really have no idea what they are going through. Also, stop seeking revenge, if you have nothing good to say or do, rather not do or say anything. With cruel intentions comes cruel actions.
- This series is not just a great story but a well produced and directed series. I am no film critic, but I am an avid series watcher and I know a good cast when I watch one. Cinematography plays a huge part of why this show got such high ratings, the music and camera angles as well as lighting made the scenes come alive. If it didn’t get you feeling some type of way, you are probably not human.
- Lastly, this show really depicts modern day high school, now most of us that are a long way from high school can really see what is like with technology in this day and age. It makes you want to help younger people you think may be experiencing it, it teaches you to be more aware, to be less harsh and mostly importantly observe and empathize others feelings, this is what makes us human, isn’t it?
The executive producer of the show is Selena Gomez, she actually loved the book when it was released 10 years ago. She even wanted to play Hannah Baker back then. I saw an article on the business insider and this was her response to the critics.
“We stayed very true to the book,” she explained to the reporter. “That’s initially what Jay Asher created, was a beautifully tragic, complicated, suspenseful story, and I think that’s what we wanted to do; we wanted to do it justice.”
As for the negative feedback, she says, “Yeah, it’s gonna come no matter what; it’s not an easy subject to talk about, but I’m very fortunate with how [the show] is doing. I’m overwhelmed. I’m very proud of it.”
13 reasons was the second Netflix series I binged watched in two days. I usually watch an episode of each show of different days of the week as they are released. It was thrilling, mysterious and captivating. It also really got me thinking(not as if I am not always thinking too much) this made me feel on a much deeper level.
On my ending note, if you have history of mental illness, depression or suicide, I would not advise you to watch this show. Purely because it may affect you differently that if affected me.
If you have watched 13 reasons why, what did you think of it?
P.S. Selena Gomez just confirmed season 2 is coming, what do you anticipate to happen? I cannot wait! All pictures are taken from the internet.
Be good, do good, see good,