Wow I still have a blog. Who knew?? Apparently not be considering, as I clearly predicted in my last blog post three months ago, I’ve been drowning in college work. I’ve also not really had anything I’ve wanted to write about considering I spend my life eating sleeping or at college or work. But this week I found something so important that I wanted to write my views on.
13 Reasons Why.
Netflix’s latest phenomenon that has the entire world talking, and in good reason and for ONCE for something that beyond needs addressing. In case anyone’s been living under a rock however, I’ll bring you up to speed. WARNING SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT PEOPLE.
Thirteen Reasons Why is a 13 episode long TV series based on the book by Jay Asher, about a girl named Hannah Baker, who commits suicide and leaves behind 13 tapes. Each tape focuses on one character who impacted Hannah’s life, and each episode focuses on one tape, however it is all listened to from the perspective of Clay Jenson, ideally the one character not guilty of negatively impacting Hannah’s life completely. Focusing on various tough topics alongside suicide, 13 reasons why really focuses on the tough reality of high school today, although definitely from the harsh negative not a variable in between, even though it does show some good parts its predominantly negative which is probably one of the only bad things about the show. But let’s not skip ahead, here are my 13 reasons why it is so important and should be watched by everyone;
- It doesn’t shy away from the hardest topics and scenes. This might sound like a terrible thing to be good, but no. In TV today, harsh topics often go unmentioned, and when they are it definitely comes in euphemistic fashion. Although they are awful scenes to watch, and I know many people skipped them, the scenes of suicide and also rape in the show are not shied away from. The fact that they are hard to watch identifies just how awful these things are, that actually happen, if you weren’t already horrified or aware that is.
- It also shows how everyone is affected by suicide, especially the families. It doesn’t hide from the idea that you’re leaving something behind (and no not the tapes), you’re entire life. And things could get so much better, you have a whole life to lead to give up even if things are beyond awful and you feel alone, there’s always someone who is still stood by you.
- God forbid we needed a blunt a lesson as words hurt, but that is made very clear. Even if you think you’re making a joke or not bothering someone, just be very careful what you say because you cannot rely on someones opinion. At first I thought this was such a 5-year-old me lesson, but in reflection I decided it’s probably more important now than then. I can definitely say I’m more prone now to speaking without thinking, and also at 18 years old some people may think oh they’ll be fine don’t be childish. But words hurt. It’s something to remember.
- It also addresses the ever important, controversial and realistic topic of rape which again is a hard one to display at time it is more common than ever before. And it again sheds light on sides of the situation many people do not understand and how a survivor would come to terms and live with what’s happened to them, and also the effects it has on the people closest to them.
- It also shows the side of victim blaming which is ever-present in today’s society and honestly makes me so sick to even think about. I see at least one comment a day on social media about victim blaming or protecting a white male who committed such a crime, and honestly it just makes me so angry. But it’s this type of topical issue the show was not afraid of, stepped up to and portrayed well and realistically.
- In continuation of point two, this programme says that there is always someone who cares about you. To never forget that you are loved, especially if you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
- Also in light of number 5 they show how rapists can be protected in our society and not made out to be a criminal. All you have to do is look at a news headline or go on social media and you’ll see it. Rape culture is such a rising problem that obviously was not the key topic of the programme but was probably addressed more in 13 episodes than I have ever seen televised in my entire life.
- Now for this one I am in no way neglecting the horrible things each character did, but there are also references made to horrible things that can go on in a teenagers life people may be unaware of that they hide or act out because of, eg. Justin’s mother and Courtney’s sexuality struggle. This enlightens more the idea to be nice to people because no one truly knows what goes on behind closed doors.
- Post Hannah’s death her school puts up suicide prevention posters which are soon teared down by Alex referencing the fact that you can’t prevent something that’s already happened. Which is definitely the biggest problem with this topic overall. We talk about it more when the statistics are high, barely acknowledging that people are still dying when they’re low. It’s a topic that needs constant attention, mental health is so important 365 days a year, not just mental health awareness week.
- Following on from this the idea that schools aren’t doing enough, letting students watch and discuss the programme would probably be more than we’re doing now. It’s! Important! Show! It! Fix! It!
- It’s amazing in general that it’s got everybody talking all at once about controversial topics that, as you’ve probably gathered but I’m going to keep saying it, need more attention until prevention is important and actually working. It’s helping more people see that suicide and rape are common in our society for all the wrong reasons. Hannah Baker has left a lasting effect on your life and so she flipping should.
- I have read a few things since watching the programme debating whether their should be a season two until I saw one that really struck out and basically said that it shouldn’t because we should be left wondering. The cliffhangers should play on our mind as though it was our real life, and we can see how easily we possibly missed Alex’s signs (if he committed suicide that is) and how we should continue to talk about it. A lasting effect.
- Now I did have a point thirteen until I realised it was basically repeating three things I already said, which many of these points probably are let’s be honest. But another thing – if you didn’t watch ‘Beyond the Reasons’ when you finished the show go back and do it because it’s the characters and some experts discussing all the problems I’ve highlighted SO much better than I just have, and again for all the right reasons.
If you’ve read all this and haven’t already seen the show you definitely should, it’s something I personally think everyone should watch, especially those who don’t know much about the topics (and those of you who can watch after I basically spoiled half of it). But like I said I am so glad someone has created something speaking about things people are so afraid to talk about, even though they’re so common. And we need to get to a stage where we can talk about these things for the right reasons not an endless amount of wrong ones.
Hopefully I’ll be back with a blog post soon but I can’t promise anything. (See you in 3 months blog it’s been fun.)
Thanks for reading. Until next time.
*side note* If anyone has been affected by any of the topics I have linked two online help sources here and here. If you want a non-professional just to have a chat with my social medias are linked above. 🙂