My Facebook feed has been filling up with my friends commenting on 13 Reasons why. Some love it some hate it….Let me begin by saying each to their own.
I binged watched the show in 2 days. Let me tell you why I loved 13 Reasons why:
- Bullying has evolved. It’s not just limited to school or outside of school, it follows you home on every social media platform..it takes a life of its own and the show has portrayed this. When I was in high school we did not have phones that could take racy photos of girls and spread it around the school or with a click of a button a rumour is spread to the whole school. The show is not trying to influence behaviours of teens out there lets get this straight this is what is already happening. The show is just trying to bring this out.
- Every character had some issue they were dealing with (depression, anxiety, peer pressure etc). The issues on the show were not centred around Hannah they were also focussed on Alex and his need to fit in with the jocks, Jess and her delusion of what happened to her and how she turns to vodka etc. Yes, we all had problems when we were young, some of us more than others. But in saying that it is how we deal with the problems that matters. For Hannah it all got too much and thus she decided to do what she did. She turned to people for help (Jess, her counsellor etc) but didn’t end up getting any help. For some people the feeling of being alone, of not getting any help is the end of the world.
- Which brings me to the point of – it wasn’t just the kids at the school that were responsible but her teacher..an adult someone in a place of power that could have helped her but just shrugged off her problems as insignificant. Instead of listening to her and raising a red flag to her parents he made her feel that she was the root cause of her problems. But is the teacher the only one who does this or do adults in our society now ask people to suck it up because the conversation is just too hard. I like the fact that it wasn’t just the kids who were portrayed as the root cause but also the adults.
- The way men respond to a situation is miles apart to how women respond. We have the scene where Hannah is put on the hot list and which she finds offensive however Clay doesn’t understand why. Making a woman the fodder of gossip of a whole school especially the male populations is not something to be pleased about and both Hannah and her mum address this issue on the show.
- Just because people seem fine on the surface they may not necessarily be fine. This by far is the biggest point of the show. Hannah was laughing in some scenes, she attended a party and made out with Clay. Nobody thought there was any underlying issue thus nobody addressed it or did anything about it. The show explores this while not making it a totally dark series where someone is sitting in a dark and dreary room and sobbing the whole time. This says depression is not out and obvious it is underlying and that we have to ensure that people know where to go when they need help. That is what needs to be out and about and glaring at you. THIS IS WHERE YOU CAN GET HELP. Lets not be reactive.
- Finally we have all left school behind and we can look at it better than we did when we were in high school. But remember the time someone made fun of you and you were embarrassed however that was short lived and the next day people had something else to talk about but for Hannah that was not the case. For Hannah things just escalated. Yes, now when we sit behind our keyboards and type out our opinions it is really easy for us to say oh if I was in high school and this happened to me I would have learnt from the experience but come on would you have?
The show is not trying to glorify suicide it is rather trying to make people aware that depression is not out and proud. It’s not glaringly obvious. We just need to ensure that our loved ones know that we are here for them to vent, a shoulder to cry on or whatever they may need. Hannah is not being a vengeful girl by recording the tapes. She recorded the tapes for closure. Whether for her parents, whether for herself or whether to stop her classmates from doing this to someone else…only Hannah knows.
These are only a few reasons why I loved the show but again let me end by saying each to their own ;-P