13 Reasons Why you Should be Watching 13 Reasons Why

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Netflix’s ’13 Reasons Why,’ based on 2007 novel, is binge-worthy for these thirteen reasons, but the list could extend miles upon miles. Starring Dylan Minnette, Kathernine LangFord, and Christian Navarro, the show opens the discussion of serious topics – rape, suicide, depression, etc. – in a strategic and honest way. It follows teenager Clay Jensen, on his expedition to uncover the story behind his classmate and lover, Hannah, and her fatal decision to end her life.

  1. Relatable. Many people face some of their biggest internal challenges in high school and can relate to many of the serious problems addressed in this show. Although the school is ironically named, “Liberty High” the high school might as well have been a jail. Students in the school suffered from issues regarding sexuality, identity, depression, rape, and thought of suicide. Considering these real problems happen everyday in real life, the characters become friends to the people watching this show who are suffering from similar issues.
  2. Empathize. The characters become your friends. There are 13 tapes for each character, so there is a lot of backstory on each character and you feel as though you really know them and want the best for them.
  3. ’13 Reasons Why’ was originally a novel that came out in 2007. The Netflix show definitely does it justice, but make sure to read the book! 
  4. There is at least one character you will fall in love with. For me, it’s Clay. Primarily gentle and caring, his character grows throughout the show as he transforms into someone fearless. His love for Hannah was heartfelt, unconditional, genuine and will inevitably generate water works.
  5. Selena Gomez, a very familiar face, was originally cast as Hannah. Gomez didn’t want her fame to take away from the story, so Katherine LangFord was cast as Hannah instead and Gomez became executive producer.
  6. Discussion of teenage depression is usually hushed, but this show doesn’t hide any last detail. ’13 Reasons why’ vividly and graphically shows exactly how detrimental depression can be.
  7. Though you might lose sleep at night, it will be worth it because there are surprises in every episode. Since there are 13 tapes, there is some sort of twist or turn in each tape. Therefore, this show is the perfect excuse to stay in bed or lounge on your couch all day.
  8. Not only is this a good show for teenagers to watch, but it is also a show that would be beneficial for parents to view. In many cases, teens don’t talk to their parents when they are depressed and parents don’t really know what is going on. This show encourages discussion and better relationships between parents and teenagers.
  9. Being kind goes a long way and ’13 Reasons Why’ emphasizes that. Many of the issues in Hannah’s life related to the fact that whenever she found a friend, the would wrong her. Not one of the students at her high school, besides Clay, did anything to make her feel happy. A simple gesture, wave, or compliment goes a long way and may help someone’s internal issues.
  10. Not only does kindness go a long way, but small hurtful things also do. From “locker room talk” to rumors, ’13 Reasons Why’ emphasizes how damaging these little things can be.
  11. It shows both sides. Though the main character, Hannah, is a female and depressed, the show eloquently discusses the issues that men face as well. It doesn’t fault males, yet fluidly expresses both sides.
  12. ’13 Reasons Why’ encourages people of all ages to rightfully use their voice. By making your voice heard, more people are apt to come out about their personal stories. Awareness is more important now than it ever has been.
  13. The story isn’t over! There is expected to be another season, so hang tight.

1 Comment

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    Gabriella Quintanilla

    April 21, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    In her praise for 13 Reasons Why, Hanna Van Der Linde neglects to consider the potential harm that the show could give to certain teenagers watching it. There is an absolute oversight to this alarming issue. Hanna briefly mentions the different issues illustrated in the show including, sexuality, depression, identity, rape, and suicidal tendencies. She even explains how relatable these issues are to teenagers. With all this information, she still fails to understand the harm it could inflict on said teenagers. This lack of acknowledgement is what makes Van Der Linde’s article weak and even harmful, in some cases.
    13 Reasons Why should not be watched by children or teenagers who have a history of depression or sexual assault. For viewers who struggle with those issues, it is important to stay away from such graphic content like the rape scenes in 13 Reasons Why. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention states that certain content could be harmful when “media uses dramatic/graphic headlines or images and repeated/extensive coverage sensationalizes or glamorizes a death.” The show is especially triggering because before we watch Hannah end her life, we experience the process of her life unfolding. By the time she ends her life, we have already spent 13 episodes relating to her. In the show, Hannah’s dedicates each tape to a different person. Within each tape, theres a detailed explanation about her history with the person and how they mistreated her. She blatantly blames all the individuals for her suicide and makes it apparent that she is seeking revenge. She even goes as far as to threaten to expose them, if they do not abide by her rules. The person that helps Hannah distribute the tapes, continuously repeats how they are all at fault for her death. The amount of attention that is put on blaming others could send a bad message to teenagers who are being bullied. It can encourage teenagers to consider suicide as a revengeful act. The concept of suicide as revenge in 13 Reasons Why can lead to the suicide contagion effect. The US Department of Health and Human Services defines suicide contagion as “ the exposure to suicide or suicidal behaviors within one’s family, one’s peer group, or through media reports of suicide and can result in an increase in suicide and suicidal behaviors.” Dan Reidenberg, executive director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE), told The Washington Post, “the show has made it more important than ever for adults to intervene, as it glamorizes suicide and mental illness in a potentially dangerous way to already vulnerable teens.”
    Hanna Van Der Linde irresponsibly omits the possible harm that could result in watching 13 Reasons Why. This neglect could drive a vulnerable child into watching trigger-worthy content. By failing to discuss the harmful outcomes of watching 13 Reasons Why, Hanna puts many teenagers in danger of getting triggered. The show contains very detailed, graphic scenes that could cause teenagers with a background in depression a great deal of pain.

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