You may have heard abou the new Netflix original series 13 Reasons why, since it’s been the talk of all social media outlets since it’s premier on March 31st. I have many points to this topic, so I’m going to try and make it as organized as possible, just bare with me.
First, a summary of the show’s first season.. we kick off with the suicide of a high school sophomore named Hannah Baker, who, upon her death, made 13 cassette tapes, referring to the 13 people who helped “aid” in her suicidal death, whether it was by bullying, raping, or not doing enough to save her from her depression. Each episode focuses on a cassette; 13 suspects, 13 cassettes, 13 episodes.
I will say that this show is very intense, so if you can’t handle watching explicit scenes or rape and suicide, then this show probably isn’t for you.
The description of the story are spot on, if I do say so myself. It understands and defines the levels of tearing someone a part, starting with the breaking of ones heart, to destroying ones reputation, onto breaking of ones spirit, ending with breaking ones soul, which results in ending ones life.
There has been so much negative speculation on the show, by people saying that it’s over dramatized and highly inaccurate. Speculation has also been made saying that it highly fantasizes the outcome of someone committing suicide. Well, here is why I call absolute bullshit on that:
- Many shows often have at least ONE episode that fantasizes suicide where a character will “die” to see the outcome of how the lives of others are effected, and yet everyone on this planet doesn’t bat an eye.
- How in the hell can one overly dramatize something as real life as this?
- Suicide: can someone explain to me how one is supposed to react when suicidal? I mean I just don’t think people really pay attention to real life anymore. Robin Williams is a perfect example. He gave off the persona that he was as happy as anyone could possibly be, yet fought depression so bad that he couldn’t deal with it anymore and took his own life.
- Rape: please, don’t even start with me. The first rape victim became an alcoholic and drug user because of it. Which, if you look at real life statistics, I’d say that’s pretty spot on. As for the other rape victim? Well, that was the tipping point for her suicide.
- Name calling and fabrication: 1 in 3 people are called something derogatory, and fabricated upon, ESPECIALLY while in grade school. I know that better than anyone else. I was the gay queer that had a crush on every single guy in the neighborhood, just because I was openly gay. Shit talking is the number one thing that lives in those adolescent years. Even adults do it, the workplace is full of it. Hence the saying “this is so high school”.
- Being sexualized: seriously? This was over dramatized? Our entire nation is based upon men and women being attractive and sexually appealing. That’s why blonde hair and blue eyes are a thing, because that’s what America wants. It’s all over our magazines, newspapers and even our televisions.
I have never seen something focus on the very structure of suicide, and get it so nearly spot on. I say nearly, for the fact that depression comes in many different shapes and sizes. Someone can be depressed by life changing circumstances, while the other could be depressed due to grief or medical conditions. So, depression in this series is loosely explored and defined, but it gives us a better idea and understanding: you really don’t know what someone is going through.
Now, I will not lie, this show did piss me off, very much. In the show, everyone wanted to keep it a secret, per Hannah’s request. But this grew more and more unbearable for her lover, Clay Jensen. He wanted so bad to just out everybody, and grew the courage to try do to so, very often, but every time, someone would tell him no, and he would basically be like “ok”, which is stupid, because in real life, anyone would turn in the evidence to get the story out there, or at least I would.
I was also perturbed when all of the suspects, who were undoubtedly guilty, would constantly blame the dead girl. Yeah, it’s so easy to blame someone who is no longer breathing right? This more or less bothered me because it reminds of the real world. On the news today you can hear people say “well, if she wasn’t wearing a skirt or wearing a tank top then she wouldn’t have been raped,” or something along the line of “boys will be boys.” But don’t let it fool you, this even happens in the show! At the end, the counselor tells Hannah to “just move on” when she’s opening up about being raped. I know it’s just a show, but I literally wanted to jump through my television and beat his face myself.
Which leads me to my next point.
This show covers so much real life in today’s perspective that it’s not even funny. You have two gay fathers raising an adopted daughter, you have a meth head mother who chooses her abusive boyfriend over her son, you have the perfect rich kid who can buy his way out of everything, you have the kid who has a cop for a parent and therefore is untouched, you have lesbian as well as gay couples. You have the family owned business being overtaken by the big corporation. There is even a point in the show where they point out the hatred battles going on in the world. It graphs out what really goes on the the world today, and it’s so realistic, and I think that’s what really gets under people’s skin.
What really want to know is how they got the “suicide” wrong? So many speculators say it’s not accurate. But how? Because she cut her wrists the right way? Or was it because her reasonings don’t add up to their standards? Or maybe it was the fact that people believe they’re (suicidals) going to do what they want so why bother trying? These are questions that I will probably never get the answer to. But I think this show is a great view, and I feel that it can be very educational. I know we are imperfect beings, but at some point, somewhere, we gotta see a change. Parents rather raise their kids being mean, vicious, murderers, instead of raising them with love, compassion and understanding.
I’m not asking you to agree with me. But I’m asking you to take a look for yourself. I’d rather do my best to help someone, than to go on while they continue to suffer. Don’t be like the kids
I will advise another warning though, if you do watch the show. The rape and suicide scenes are very real-like, and very intense. Proceed with caution.