13 Reasons Why

In my spare time much like many of us I do enjoy a good show on Netflix here and there. just last weekend my roommates and I sat down and watched this new show on Netflix which had 5 stars at the time that was starting to get a buzz on a bunch of our social media outlets. and after binge watch to see what this is about. The series is 13 episodes long and is for those who have not seen it is about a girl who commits suicide and leaves tapes behind for people to listen to in which she explains why she killed herself.

I found this so interesting because of how people responded to the show. Many people were saying the show had gone to far in many respects. Some arguing that the show was insensitive because some of the big talking points in the show were rape suicide, and mental health. While these things are alright to talk about behind closed doors they did not find it appropriate. Others argued the show talked much about these issues without working out a resolution in the end to have people take things away so I served to purpose to teach young people how to react to these situations if they were presented in their lives.

On the contrary I found this to be a phenomenal show and would encourage anyone who has not seen it already to spend the 13 hours of their life and experience this. The shooting of these issues that many young people and young women especially go through in high schools across the world gave a great view point of what these children struggle through many times alone. The show did not even take any short cuts when it came to the difficult scenes of filming the rape and or the suicide. These issues I feel need to be spoken about and I am frustrated that a show that did such a great job to start these conversations was receiving such push back.

I feel as if every time there is one of these shows that get too real that some viewers want them taken down and replaced by more entertainment that will keep everyone happy. but regardless how hard some of these conversations are to have I believe that if one person who sees a show like this and reaches out to get assistance or someone learns how to be a better ally to a struggling friend then the millions of dollars that were spent in production were not a waste.

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21 thoughts on “13 Reasons Why

  1. I also find it interesting how it is okay to talk about major issues behind closed doors, but when it becomes mainstream it’s too much to handle. This reminds me of an important point brought up in an event at the Women’s Center that discussed the private sphere vs the public sphere and when is it appropriate to have private issues become public ones. Yes, rape, suicide and mental health issues are unfortunate, but they are a part of some people’s lives. It may be empowering for the people who battle with those issues to watch a show with someone who is dealing with the same problems as them and at the same time be a teachable moment for those who don’t deal with those issue first hand. Although it might be a shock to some, the entertainment realm would be the best platform to use, in order to get such serious issues to come to the forefront and raise discussion.

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  2. We definitely need to talk more about this kind of stuff. We need to keep talking about it until these terrifying things stop happening. On of the criticism I had heard about the show was that there was nothing at the end of the series to kind of show people who are dealing with issues of suicidal thoughts what to do or where to go. I cannot personally make this claim as fact as I have not watched the show, but if this is true, I would argue that’s a valid criticism.

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  3. I started watching the show, and it definitely does not sugarcoat any of the events that occur. I think the premise of the show is important for viewers to see because a lot of times people see rape and sexual assault in television that makes it seem as if it is unreal, but the rawness of this show just reveals how these acts are very common in the high school setting. When someone ends their life it has a long-lasting effect on their entire community, and it is important to not let their life and mental state fade into a common news story.

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    • In my opinion, it is really good for shows like this to be available for people to watch but there needs to be more than the media on board. Schools need to be giving better education on these issues as well. People are not going to stop raping until the culture turns around.

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  4. I just started watching this series a couple days ago and so far, so good. I think it’s really important that more shows talk about “controversial” issues like rape, suicide, mental health, etc. because it would slowly get rid of the stigma behind them. Putting these strong messages behind binge-worthy shows educates the masses and shines the light on issues that everyone knows is there but nobody wants to talk about.

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  5. Imma preface this by saying I have not seen 13 Reasons Why, both because I don’t have Netflix and because of the criticism I have seen. As far as I can tell, the main problems with the show are not THAT they portray suicide but rather HOW they portray suicide. From what I’ve read, the show gives a message that the main character’s suicide caused those around to realize how horrible they had been. This gives the message that committing suicide solves problems. The show also has the character commit suicide on screen, which is NEVER A GOOD IDEA. The last thing a suicidal person needs is ideas. Based on everything I’ve read, I’m pretty sure a suicidal person watching this show wouldn’t get help. They’d probably kill themselves.

    Here’s some things I found on the subject.

    Article from ‘Psychology Today’ : https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/promoting-hope-preventing-suicide/201704/13-reasons-why-13-reasons-why-isn-t-getting-it-right

    Article written by someone who works at a crisis text line: http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/1133658/13-reasons-why-problems

    Website that talks about how NOT to portray suicide: http://www.suicide.org/media-guidelines-for-suicide.html

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  6. I am going to add onto what the person above commented on this …what I have heard also are not criticisms about the subject matter itself but how it is presented. If someone knows better you are free to confirm or deny this but I heard that in the production of the show they talked to experts on these subjects and were like “okay, so we are going to do a show on these things how should we go or NOT go about it?” and then with supposedly some of the things that are portrayed in the show (like mentioned above portraying suicide as a solution therefore potentially validating a suicidals person’s desire to commit suicide) it is obvious they turned around and basically did what they we encouraged NOT to do. I will add I have not watched the show because i am quite wary about it taking these things into account. So from all that thats what ive seen about what is wrong with it.

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  7. I have not seen this show yet, and I do not know if I will watch it frankly. I can see where both sides are coming from in the above discussions. I do think it is great to get these sensitive subjects out in the open because it gives many people insights into what people may be going through and thinking in these tough situations. This being said I can also see how this could trigger things in people dealing with depression or thoughts of suicide. I don’t know if there is a best answer to this problem or a common ground. My suggestion would be to put more visible warnings. That way someone dealing with these illnesses can have a warning of what the content is and perhaps give a doctors opinion in the warning. While these topics are definitely more sensitive and hidden than what I am about to mention I still feel they relate in many ways. I would compare this issue to movies or shows with high violence or especially war movies. While most look at these more hidden dirty parts of war and get insight on what people go through; to those dealing with PTSD these may cause serious impacts. While I realize the subjects aren’t quite the same I can see the same impacts occur. In these scenarios I believe better warning would be good as well. I kind of started rambling but basically I feel better warnings strictly addressing the material (not just saying this contains graphic content) is needed and could help with both sides to this issue.

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  8. I have so many thoughts on this show that I don’t even know where to start. First of all, I’m really glad that the violence and rape was show in all it’s realness because I agree with Gia that many shows make these crimes almost unreal. If nothing is actually shown and is just insinuated, then the effect is almost taken away because it doesn’t feel like it is actually occurring. This show really she’d light on these issues because I believe they need to be topics that aren’t taboo to talk about. I also think this show should be shown to younger kids because it would be a great way to lower the amount of bullying. People don’t understand that smaller acts of aggression can add up and lead to a regrettable decision of an individual.

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  9. First off, I’m at a point in my life where I think television is a waste of time for me so I’m probably not going to be watching this show. I have not read the book, either. Yes, these issues need to be talked about in a multitude of ways on a variety of platforms. School, Netflix, wherever, there needs to be active discourse.
    However, I know that this show has been described as “glorifying suicide.” It allows the main character to literally get the last word through her death– not a great idea to spread. Additionally I’ve heard that much of her struggle with mental illness is kept off-screen and her interactions with other people are highlighted more. Maybe that also isn’t the best idea, I don’t know.
    Well, no matter what, this show is working. We’re talking about these issues.

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    • I’ve also heard about how the main character “gets the last word” through her death. This can be really bad because it could be teaching people that it’s alright to do this kind of thing- it essentially manipulates others to feel guilty after they find out about your death. (disclaimer: I’m not one of those people who says suicide is selfish, but this act in particular shouldn’t be encouraged.)
      I also recall seeing a statistic which I sadly don’t have a source for that states that suicide rates may rise when suicidal people see suicide depicted in fiction. This reminds me of a similar correlation of when transgender people see news that another transgender person has committed suicide, trans suicide rates also go up.
      I haven’t seen the show for myself, but if the show does not offer resources at the end for suicidal people or those with suicidal loved ones, it’s problematic to present the show’s events on their own.

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  10. Haven’t seen the series – but it’s true that society polices itself on inappropriate actions all the time. Sad.

    Hopefully we can get to a point where no subject is too taboo to depict.

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  11. I watched this entire series in one day. I have a lot of opinions about the series and I’m really glad you brought it up. It definitely brings a lot of issues to light such as slut shaming, depression, how rumors can affect people, manipulation, how little school counselors can help sometimes,and heavier things like rape and suicide and how painful these things can be to the individuals involved and to those who know the individuals involved. There were some points within the show where I don’t think they accurately portrayed what the common person with depression would react in certain situations. As someone with major depressive disorder and someone with many friends who suffer from assorted mental illnesses I can say that for the most part we lay in bed when were sad and we don’t overtly yell at others and struggle to have normal communication. I think it’s important that they has such intense scenes though because it really magnified the intensity of these events and that it’s totally possible that any of these situations can happen. Although, it is most definitely triggering and there should’ve been a bit more of a warning beforehand, I had to fast forward through them because it’s a bit much for me to see happen, but I’m glad they put the gruesome realistic scenes.

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    • Just wanted to point out that the comment before me was number 13. I have heard all of the buzz about the show and I plan on watching it at some point. But I agree that people don’t take too kindly with shows that are raw and speak to things most people don’t want to talk about. I like shows that are used as an educational or a way of shining light of a taboo subject like teen suicide. Shows like this are a great way of showing the people that have friends that have unfortunately gone through this shows them what that person might have been feeling or felt. I do hope there will be more shows like this one because in the long run it can be very useful for children or teens who are possibly going through the same thing. Thank you for speaking on this show and subject I never thought much about the show but it is a show I will learn to appreciate it once I watch it.

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  12. I’ve heard a lot about this show and haven’t seen it so I can’t make any claims about this but I do think that raw, controversial topics should be voiced, as they are real-life issues people are facing. I don’t know what depth the show goes into when discussing solutions and issues, but at least they’re acknowledging people who go through this. When I went to the survivors of sexual-violence workshop at the Women’s Center, we discussed how you can help victims of sexual violence, and maybe this show can support what we learned regarding how to act, what actions to take, etc.

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  13. I have not seen this show, but it seems like it’s an interesting one to watch. Just going off of your depiction of the show I would say that these issues need to be brought out into the open. Rape, unfortunately happens and sadly so does suicide. Without seeing the show though, I would say that I may be a bit concerned about them showing someone committing suicide. I would hope that it wouldn’t glorify it but instead provide a solution or help for the person in trouble. But it does sound interesting and I will have to put that on my watch list. Thanks for sharing.

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  14. Although I have not actually watched this new series, I have heard a lot of things about it from my friends. Based on what they have told me, there are very graphic scenes that are created by the directors so that people become more conscious and aware that these issues do occur and they are real. For example, one of the scenes show the main character cutting herself and killing herself. By the end of the show I feel as though viewers need to be taking the extra step and start talking about it to continue serving what the directors wanted, which is raising suicide and mental health awareness.

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  15. I really like shows and movies like this that aren’t afraid to accurately portray sensitive issues like rape and suicide. When it comes to something like rape, I prefer it be portrayed accurately than not at all. The rape that happens in this show isn’t committed in a dark back alley by a faceless perpetrator but rather in the victim’s own house, in her own room, on the night of her party by one of her classmates, similar to how the majority of real-life rapes occur. I feel like when it comes to horrible things that happen in real life, it’s better to talk about them accurately than to not talk about them at all. After all, it’s when you keep these sorts of terrible things in the dark that they are allowed to continue unchecked.

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  16. Considering netflix productions, they are typically well made, but they sometimes do not take on the subjects that they are covering in the most tactful ways. For a example, I would point to a recent show bill nye saves the world where the host of the show legitimately wants to do some good and teach science to adults, but comes out as outright condescending. Much like bill nye saves the world, I would assume that most of the controversy comes from not the subject matter, but the particular way that the show handled the subject matter and is probably what we should direct our attention to when discussing this particular series.

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  17. One of my initial reactions to this show is how well it was carried out. Aside from the camera work, they did an incredibly good job of it being an organic interaction between high school students and their endeavors. Without saying too much of the show, I feel as though it really does shine light on how people’s action affect others.

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  18. Like you, I’ve heard lots of mixed reviews about 13 Reasons Why, and I’ve actually had people tell me I shouldn’t watch it because it is very triggering for anyone who has gone through suicidal thoughts and who has high anxiety or has gone through those traumatizing experiences before. While I think it’s great to talk more about these “invisible” illnesses (especially since I struggle with a few myself and feel like people assume I’m functional because outwardly they can’t see anything wrong), from what I’ve been told, there is still ways to go with promoting healthy ways of approaching these sensitive topics as well as educating the public who doesn’t deal with these illnesses on just how harmful they can be.

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