Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why (Th1rteen R3asons Why) is a drama-mystery based on the 2007 novel ’13 Reasons Why’ by Jay Asher.
The series is about a teenager Hannah Baker who commits suicide and leaves a set of tapes behind, one for every reason why she did what she did.
Not only is the entire series extremely harsh on a child’s mind, there are several concepts left unclear or portrays it absolutely wrong. For those who have seen the first season, you know how it made you feel, all those hours of binge watching about someone who committed suicide tends to take its toll on you. For those who have not seen it, trust me when I say, you should keep it that way.
Unfortunately for me, I am one of the ones who did watch it. This is why it is important for you to know the 13 reasons why you shouldn’t watch ’13 Reasons Why’ Season 2.
1. Suicide is NOT Glorious
Suicide is not something that should be going around with glory, it is a deadly serious topic, and it needs to be understood. Suicide is the ending of a human life, someone who was living, breathing, laughing, who was pink, and now they are not.
It is not something ‘cool’ it is a nightmare, a disaster which the individual leaves behind on their families, friends, those who loved them, a wound soo deep that it never heals. Even time does not heal these wounds, it only teaches them how to live with them.
2. Revenge is NOT the way to go
Hannah’s suicide is more like revenge, she left behind a lesson to teach. She was bullied, they were mean to her, she decided to end it all, take revenge, teach them a lesson by leaving traumatising tapes which have changed more than 13 lives, not to forget to make them feel guilty every day, for the rest of their lives, until they decide to end their life.
3. When it Comes to Bullying, Schools Turn a Blind-Eye?
We see and we hear over and over again that bullying has lead to suicide. Experiencing bullying is traumatic and each individual copes in their own way, even we have been bullied at some point in life. But, is bullying a taboo in schools? It is reason enough to end life?
Mental health advocate and speaker Aliçia Raimundo says, “Your bullying experience is valid even if you were never suicidal and your feelings of suicide are valid even if you were never bullied.”
Bullying does not directly cause suicide. Schools run campaigns, community centres and other communities help local schools in spreading awareness, serious actions are taken against those who have mistreated with someone causing them to get hurt, spiritually, mentally, and physically.
4. A Short ‘How to Suicide Guide’
The final episode of 13 Reasons Why actually shows how Hannah Baker commits suicide. From wearing old clothes to getting in a running tub of water, till breathing her last couple of breaths, everything is shown on TV.
A child is literally shown how it goes about. The art of slitting wrists with stolen razors is portrayed in the most horrific ways that it becomes almost impossible to forget her last moments.
5. Give-up and Go Kill Yourself is NOT a Solution
Suicide is not the answer to every problem in life, my cat died, oh no, I should suicide! Oh no my chocolate fell on the floor, I need to die! Suicide is NEVER an option! If there is an ongoing problem like bullying, fat-shaming, boy/girls issues, or even harassment, you need to talk!
Tell an adult, your parents, tell a friend, tell someone, but let it out. Not talking is a crime in itself, you need to get everything out there, find different solutions, and work a way out, not end life because it’s easier than confronting, trust me, it is not, especially not for parents who have to go around explaining to people why their child end their life and they have no idea what drove them to do it.
6. Rapes are Not Meant to be Hush-Hush
There are 2 rapes in 13 Reasons Why Season 1, and in both situations, Hannah Baker is present, and decides to stay quiet about it. The first time, she witnesses her ex-friend get raped, she does not help, she does not tell, she remains silent, so does the boyfriend of the girl who gets raped, yes, he was aware.
Hannah wanders to the rich kid’s area, she apparently ends up being at the rapist’s house! Yes, even after knowing that he raped someone who was once close to her, she still ended up going to his party. She even finds herself in his hot tub (jacuzzi) and she actually jumps in.
When the rapist approaches her, taking advantage of her being alone, she does not ask for help, she does not make any noises, she hardly struggles to get herself out, not to forget she got herself into the mess.
Even days after this event, she decides not to talk to her parents, she does not confront the culprit. She remains quiet, and when she finally gets the courage to talk to the school counsellor, she denies to give up his name, to which the counsellor suggests its best move on, as she did not open state that he raped her, she does not even mention that he has raped another girl.
Is crying the only solution to everything? Wouldn’t things be different if she would have slapped him in front of everyone, took it to a higher authority at high school, had her parents deal with his parents… If only these things were actually done and not just said.
7. Social Media & Technology Need to be Supervised
Hannah’s first tape is about the boy who was her first kiss. He is also the boy who snapped an inappropriate picture of her, it went viral from his phone after one of his friends decided that everyone should see it, and he does absolutely nothing to slam the rumours about them being physical.
Thus, Hannah is labelled as many different things, even though nothing happened. Technology can be extremely savage, 13 Reasons Why only shows us the bad side of it, how to use it to spread fake news like wildfire, how to stalk people outside their homes with DSLR cameras, not how to blackmail and take advantage.
Why just the negatives? Why not how tech saves lives? or how it can be used to stop and prevent suicidal children from taking and making the decision to end their lives?
8. Ignorant Parents, Friends, and School Counsellor
Yes, of course, they were ignorant because you never told them what is wrong in your life in the first place! Until and unless you do not tell your family and close friends about what has gone wrong, how do you expect them to know? They do not wake up with a dream that there is something wrong with you! Speak!
Yes, it is hard, it is not easy to talk to others about being bullied, or when it comes to being harassed and even raped. However, it was clearly established that staying quiet does not help either. Do not think silence is the best answer, sharing is. You can always call helplines, talk to those who have survived such situations, but start at home!
9. Triggers Suicidal Tendencies
Suicidal thoughts and behaviours start when vulnerable individuals encounter stressful events. They become overwhelmed by the situation and decide, based on their faulty way of thinking, that suicide is the only reasonable way to stop the pain they are experiencing.
Determining what makes events stressful is difficult because of the everyone copes in different ways and has different perspectives. What may seem pretty meaningless to one person may seem devastating or unbearable to another. Those who are stressed due to bullying, being harassed, or because of relatable content from high school, and be one reason.
Me, being a student in a high school abroad, I can relate to most of the things on the show. One, yes, there are people who pull pranks, humiliate students, and make inappropriate comments, rumours and pictures go viral. Yes, there are bullies, bullying does exist, and no not just heavy-built or popular boys, even girls are bullies!
I agree parties and drinking are very common at the age of mere 16-17, however, there are events such as lost friendship, neglection, and other add-ons which build-up stress, leading to suicidal thoughts. The story through Clay’s character, the boy who is narrating events through the eyes of the victim, is so powerful and effective that it feels as if I am Clay, I knew Hannah, and I am also one of the reasons why she took her life.
10. Suicide Needs to be Discussed not Hidden in the Closet
Hannah Baker was a talented girl, she had a bright future, witty and charming. However, despite the fact she knew she was depressed, she knew she needed help, she blames others for not helping.
She blames Zach ( a friend of her rapist) for not helping her even though he knew she needed it. She blames Clay for leaving her alone the night she witnesses the rape and tells him that if he stayed things would have been different.
Instead of blaming, why not accept you too were at fault? You never spoke out loud, you never told others about what is going on, not to forget that you were the one who forced Clay to leave while he kept asking if he hurt you or if he did something wrong.
11. Graphic Depiction is Not Nessasary
The last four episodes are extremely intense. They do have explicit warnings at the beginning of each episode, but that isn’t enough.
Not only does it feature 2 rapes, bot acts are gritty, horrifying and not something your children need to actually witness just in case they need to deal with something like this. They did a good job of showing Hannah and how she felt during the rape (soulless look and expressions), but watching her body writhe with each “thrust” was completely unnecessary and not something we needed to watch in order to understand the gravity of the situation.
The suicide toward the end of the series literally displays how to kill yourself. She is seen stealing razors, and then actual cutting her wrists, the way she cried out and laid in the bathtub until she was gone. Why show a kid exactly how to do it?
12. Not Educational Enough for its Intended Audience
The story is about teenagers and school life – the ups and down, the fun, the dates, the attractions, the challenges, the jocks and suicides. Isn’t it great that it’s also aimed at that very audience? The most impressionable, and those that do experience suicidal thoughts due to pressure and immaturity.
According to The Mighty, not all who die by suicide have a mental illness, but a mental disorder and/or substance abuse is found in 90% of suicide deaths. And when it comes to adolescents, one in five have (or will have) a serious mental illness. With those statistics in mind, it’s no wonder suicide is the third leading cause of death among those 10 to 14 and the second among those 15 to 34 years old.
Clearly, these are important issues and ones that need to be addressed. “13 Reasons Why” is one of the first and most popular mainstream media portrayals of suicide in adolescence and it doesn’t talk about mental illness at all. It is missing a crucial opportunity to discuss an issue affecting the lives of so many children and teenagers.
13. Consequences can NOT be paid for after Damages have been Done
One thing 13 Reasons Why taught me was that Hannah’s suicide was pointless and did no good. She could have approached each individual personally without having to take the glory. Now that she is gone, people are paying the price for it, and at times, such as Sherri (character) knocks down a stop sign leading to the death of a teen and serious injuries to an old man.
She is then shown taking care of the old man and his wife, but is that really enough? For months the boy who died was presumed to be under alcoholic influence whereas he was completely sober just because he was bringing back beer to the party. Some damages cannot be repaired, like the trauma, Hannah’s parents are going through, the stress and emotions all characters, their families are going through. Most of all, the heaviness the viewer carries till the last second of the season.
13 Reasons Why is not appropriate for teenagers, not even young adults. Do not let your kids watch this series, it is not healthy for them, and can leave its influence on the child.
All opinions belong to the writer, these opinions are personal and do not mean to offend anyone.