13 Reasons Why break down

*TRIGGER WARNING, THIS POST WILL GO DEEP INTO 13RW AND THE DETAILS ASSOCIATED WITH THE SHOW AS WELL AS DIFFICULT TOPICS IN THE SHOW*

*SPOILER ALERT-DETAILS OF BOTH SEASON 1 AND 2 OF 13RW WILL BE DISCUSSED*

 

This will be a hard post, with a hard topic. I just ask, no matter how you feel about this show and this topic that you are kind in the comments. Disagreeing is fine and welcomed, calling people names, making threats and even being plain rude because does/does not like the show is not okay and will get you immediately blocked.

This is a show that has been met with a ton of controversy, love, hate and all around a huge amount of opinions on the show. There are so many people who love the show and claim it has done wonders, and there are just as many people hating the show talking about how it isn’t at all accurate or good for anyone. Either way you feel about the show, the second season has just dropped, and with plenty of time for people to binge, love or hate the show I figured it was time for a 13 reasons why break down. Basically my thoughts, what other people are saying and the whole meaning behind the show.

So if you don’t know the first season of 13RW follows the story of Hannah Baker post suicide, after several traumatic experiences with her classmates Hannah ends her life. Not before recording 13 tapes, with 13 reasons as to why she did this. She then leaves the tapes to be passed around to the students that are the “reasons” behind her decision and make sure that they all listen to the tapes with the threat that they will be publicized if they do not do as told. The students try to hide the tapes, while making sure that the other people listening do what they are told, and to never talk about the tapes. Alongside that Hannahs mom is discovering more and more about Hannahs bullying and pursues a lawsuit against the school for negligence. Season 1 ends with all the kids basically panicking, the tapes are in fact given to the parents to use in the lawsuit and kids are started to be called in to testify. The baseball team (Bryce) still stands at the top bullying those around them making sure everyone stays quiet. And another student (Alex) attempts suicide.

So then here comes season 2, deep in the lawsuit Hannahs parents are now split. Alex survived his attempt and students are being called to the stand to testify either for or against Hannah. Jessica is too afraid and not ready to name her rapist and Alex is trying to get back into the swing of things while still dealing with bullying about his attempt. The school has banned any talk of suicide to ‘”fix” the problem, and Bryce is now working full force with his buddies to maintain his innocence after several allegations of rape against him.

So then, what is this show even for? The first season really brought in a lot of questions about that. Was a show like this doing any good, or is it only doing harm. There were many talks about romanticizing many aspects of suicide and mental illness. But does it really? Besides there being many MANY warnings before they showed anything in the show, people still watched on (again, against warning, people still continued on even when the warning specifically said what was going to be shown.) I am in now way protecting the show and what they chose to show, but they did take every precaution necessary and then some with also providing resources. Honestly, the best way to break this down is to work with pros and cons. So lets start there.

PROS

CONS

13 RW talks about the hard issues no one ever does talk about

It shows A LOT. And while there are many warnings before they show anything, most people just ignore the warnings and it’s still upsetting.

It can really help people who have no clue what it is like realize what people with mental illness relate to

It shows a lot of the negative sides of mental illness, suicide and rape. Hannah wasn’t always an angel, Bryce was a total creep, Jessica had serious trouble coming to terms with what happened, and the school just straight messed up. It doesn’t just make it all better and give light to a bad situation.

Mental illness is different for everyone, and the show tackles one of the extreme cases of it while also showing the other things teens do deal with regularly

It can be too detailed at times, and while that can be good for people who need to learn about that kind of stuff, other people can seriously be triggered, and while there are warnings most people skip those or don’t listen.

It takes a stance on reality with no one ending up doing anything (for example Hannah and her rape) when a student steps up and asks for help.

People say that the acting is lame and unrealistic at times (like Clay seeing Hannah’s ghost or Tyler building up to school shooter) and that in turn ruined the show

While it’s a hard show to watch, it gives light to a reality that many people actually live

Hannah was a jerk for sending the tapes out and causing all of these issues. Especially not telling Jessica of the rape. It was a low move, no matter her motivation, and caused so many other issues that teens should not have to deal with

It doesn’t portray Hannah as the perfect victim, she had flaws and sometimes was a downright nasty person. For example, it was pretty low of her to send out those tapes, which only humanized her issues.

It was drawn out a little too long as well. The 13 episodes made sense, one for each tape but sometimes it just felt too drawn out and might have been better to be a two part movie.

It shows the aftermath of a suicide, the pain that it causes and in this case, the guilt that hannah made sure they felt. For whatever reasons she did send out tapes, we got a good view on the guilt and regret that people feel.

No one apparently learns in this series, which is pretty much how it goes on in life but you would think that at some point at least one person would stand up and say something. While it took to reality pretty well, are people really that stupid? One person takes their life, a second tries and the school and it’s students do nothing to prevent yet a third student from going of the deep end? At least one person would stand up.

It’s a huge slap in the face, which can be good for people who have no clue on these things. By showing the hard stuff it made you connect more to the character and gain a little more understanding. This kind of stuff appears in movies quite often and no one talks about it. In fact, it’s becoming normalized. By making such a shocking show, people begin to talk and therefore being to step up and actually do something about it.

The school! For a school that made a huge statement about being anti-bullying they sure made a huge deal of turning the other way. It’s understandable that Hannah was a fluke they weren’t paying any attention to, but the other kids? At some point a school is going to take some precautions for this, at the very least just to appease parents.

There are so many resources and behind the scenes as well the why behind making the show. They really take the time to talk about this issue, and the producers of the show actually take the time to care. No matter how you feel you can’t deny that they really seem to be putting in a lot to this show, and it’s because this matters to them.

It could be too dark at times, with pretty much every kid having issues and the school looking the other way and no one getting any punishment for any of this it’s just too much at times.

They did add even more warnings and suggestions to the second season as well, apparently listening to the complaints around them. While there is only so much a tv show can do, it’s nice that they made an effort to appease those who were unhappy.

They added in extra fluff in the second season trying to make Hannah seem more human and less loved. By pulling out the affair with Zach, it added a twist that never even fit. If that was true why would Hannah even include what she included on the tapes. Sure they were trying to add some happiness to Hannahs life, but it didn’t fit. Then they try and make Hannah to be a bully by throwing in that she bullied someone, for a week mind you and then it stopped. It just seemed out of place, and only added to further a story line that could of been shortened to begin with.

The show has both redeeming qualities and what the heck qualities. Where you can see a point to them making this, you can also see where all the complaints come from. However, I can’t fault the show for a lot of the complaints because half of them were because people continued to watch even after they were warned. I was taught growing up that I had to protect myself and keep my eyes off of things I shouldn’t be watching. As crazy as this sounds, and as mad as I was as a child, I learned to shut things out that were bad for me or would cause stress. As someone who has indeed suffered through the worst parts of depression, I headed warnings. When I felt like I wasn’t going to be able to make it through and I took breaks for my mental health.

This is not to say that all people should do this and just block things out, not everyone has the same mindset and not everyone heeds warnings the same way. But they are in-place, and they are there for good reasoning. So are we really right to get all mad because there was a warning telling us exactly how it was and we continue anyways? It’s kind of like someone saying, I am going to punch you so move, and you don’t move and get punched. Yeah, it was bad of the person to do that but we also had fair warning and had the time to move. Take it how you want, but a show like 13 Reason Why is going to be difficult, and it’s going to focus on the stuff no one wants to talk about. And while I agree they could of gotten the point across with less graphic scenes, I also see all the good being done because of this. Maybe what some needed was a huge shock to finally realize what an issue this is.

Okay, so then how do we know if we should watch this or if it’s bad. Because I feel like this is an in-between show. It’s intense, it can be too much, but can also do a lot of good. It does focus a lot on reality, and how stuff goes down in life. Especially amongst teens. I don’t know about you guys but I sure overreacted as a teen. I was over emotional, did things irrationally and took things way out of context. If something bad happened, it truly felt like the end and I had that burning fear if anyone ever found out the bad thing I did. It’s rough, and you’re really too young to handle normal crap let alone all the stuff these teens handled.

Honestly, the show can be a great learning tool. But like the show says, don’t watch if it’s going to affect you. And only you can know if it will. Or watch with an adult. kids shouldn’t watch this show either, and basically anyone under the age of 18 is going to have a hard time handling it. Even adults will have a hard time handling it. Also realize that this is not for entertainment. The purpose of the show is not to entertain you, and if that’s what you think it’s for or its what you get out of it’ you have missed the point.

Also remember that watching this show is not easy, just as it’s not for entertainment. It’s a learning experience, it was made to make a point. However badly it made that point. It’s a difficult show, so take precautions and listen to the warnings.

Do continue to warn people about the show, it needs all the warnings just as much as people need to realize this is a serious issue. Continue to talk about the show, share resources, talk to your friends and be there for people who need you. Be there for those who are suffering. And realize that while this is a huge issue it won’t be solved by a single show, it won’t be solved by telling everyone never to watch the show, it won’t be solved by people saying we need to watch the show. It will be solved by people realizing it’s an issue, by people stepping up and being there, by sharing these resources and by making it known that people with mental illness are not alone.

While the show can be an eye opener for some, terrible for others, it is just a show. And it has brought to light a discussion that needs to be continued and talked about. So no matter how you feel about this show, at least people are now realizing this is a huge issue and beginning to become bigger advocates of mental health and reaching out to those in need.

If you are someone in need, know that you are not alone. I’ve included several links for several resources for help and/or to talk. I am always open if you want to message me and talk about anything. I encourage any person suffering to find a parent or trusted adult/friend and talk things over. Talk to a health professional and just keep the discussion going.

If you know people in your life who is suffering, or have suffered reach out to them. Keep the discussion going, be there for them and make it known to them that they are not alone. Provide resources, never stop talking and just make it very clear that they are not alone. We can do so much with our voice alone.

And always remember to take care of ourselves both physically and mentally. While we need to talk and be there for friends/family that is also not at the expense of our own health. As much as this needs to be talked about, we must always remember not to drain ourselves and always take care of ourselves as well.

 

American Association of Suicidology
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Depression Help – Recommendations
Families for Depression Awareness
Mental Health Facility Locator
National Institute of Mental Health
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
PA.GOV – Suicide Prevention and Awareness Information
Pennsylvania Adult/Older Adult Suicide Prevention Coalition
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services A – Z Directory of Services
Pennsylvania Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
The Jason Foundation forYouth Suicide Prevention
World Health Organization