This show is all over the place. Every time I look on Twitter, the news, or any other media platform, I’m bombarded with differing opinions on the show. I felt like I had to add my own perspective. Beware, this post contains spoilers.
No matter what kind of show it is, some people will hate it and some people will love it. That’s just how the entertainment industry goes. However, 13 Reasons Why is loaded with controversial topics, so the argument on whether it is good or bad dives deeper than just taste. There are a couple points opponents to the show comment on. The first one is that some believe the show romanticizes suicide.
I completely disagree. Seeing Hannah slit her wrist is horrifying. Watching her parents find her is devastating. Knowing that everyone who loved Hannah can never be with her again is tragic. The series shows how suicide is NOT an option. It shows the misery it causes in everyone surrounding the perpetrator, and it shows how gruesome and painful the act actually is. I believe the show creates conversation. Now, parents and administrators can’t hide away from uncomfortable topics. The show does not inspire copycats, it inspires much-needed conversation.
Another argument is that Hannah just passes blame to others. She was the one who decided to commit suicide, and only she is the cause of it. I disagree. I think all of the things that piled up that led to Hannah’s depression had as big of a part in her death as Hannah herself did. If someone is raped and commits suicide because of it, you can definitely blame the rapist for her death. I also think that Hannah did take a moment to blame herself. Clay’s entire tape is her confessing that she did something wrong. Also, the one purpose of the show is to reveal the consequences of bullying. The show could not effectively do so if Hannah did not uncover all of the bullying in her life through the tapes.
I also want to point out that the writers, directors, and producers went about the show very well. The cast is diverse. The dialogue is realistic. Therapists were on set and in the writer’s room, advising the team so that everything was done respectfully. Cast members communicated with rape survivors to learn how to portray their roles. I believe 13 Reasons Why is an amazing show. It ignited a necessary discussion, one that exposed the vice in high school and American culture.