Trigger Warning: The following article contains references to suicide.
Spoiler Alert: The following article contains information surrounding the end of 13 Reasons Why.
It seems as if everyone today is wound up in the tales of the tapes. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you probably haven’t logged onto your Netflix account in a while. The new Netflix series 13 Reasons Why is based off of The New York Times best-selling novel written by Jay Asher. In this Netflix series, Liberty High junior Hannah Baker decides to take her own life, at first it seems without giving the world any reason why. One day, the protagonist of the story, Clay Jensen, received a box of cassette tapes on his porch. Once he begins to listen to them, he hears Hannah’s voice. Hannah says that if you received these tapes, you are one of the reasons why she killed herself. The group of thirteen people on the tapes have to listen and pass the tapes on, and if they don’t they will be made public. As wee follow Clay as he listens to the tapes, we see flashbacks of Hannah and things that happened to her which caused her to take her own life. In the process of listening to these tapes and seeing what led to Hannah’s decision to end her life, we see Clay start to reevaluate his own.
Since this show has become so popular, much light has been brought to many issues in society today, including bullying, rape, suicide, etc. This show makes a very important point each episode on how to not mistreat people and to try to walk in other people’s shoes, along with many other important points. The show’s intention was to bring attention to these pressing matters. However, even with much praise, this series comes with much criticism as well.
Many believe that this show glorifies suicide and may encourage teens who are feeling depressed and or suicidal to take their own life. With scenes such as Hannah Baker slitting her own wrists and bleeding to death, organizations such as Headspace, a youth mental health initiative in Australia, have issued warnings to teens about the series. Experts are concerned that teens might commit “copycat suicides” as this series glamorizes Hannah’s death with her post-suicide storytelling.
I personally enjoyed 13 Reasons Why a lot. Every episode had me glued to my screen, wondering what would happen next. After I finished one episode I had to watch the next one right away. From suspenseful scenes to mysteries that left me thinking, this show kept me wanting more after it was over.
What do you think about 13 Reasons Why? Do you think it brings awareness to suicide or glamorizes it? Let us know below!
To hear what a 13 Reasons Why Writer personally had to say go to http://ew.com/tv/2017/04/20/13-reasons-why-nic-sheff-hannah-death/ to read his thoughts.