Based off of the book by Jay Asher, the hit Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why has taken off and blown up across the globe. It first aired on Netflix on March 31, 2017 and the show became a hit almost immediately.
Many opinions have swirled around, both positive and negative, some neutral. But why are people being so opinionated about a silly television show made for entertainment?
Simply because of the themes within the show and book. Most shy away from these topics because of the controversy behind them and the severity of them. But why should they shy away from a topic that needs to be spoken about?
13 Reasons Why is controversial because the main character, Hannah Baker, has depression, which is a mental disorder. Very few directors or writers choose to have a character with a mental disorder because of the reprecussions that may come in return by showing something that is not "normal." Normalizing television has actually brought down children's understanding on these serious topics and instead of helping them, is actually damaging them.
Hannah Baker has depression due to the events going on in her life, which are revealed throughout the season of the show. It is known quite early on that she commits suicide because the pressure of everything weighs down on her so heavily that she feels she can barely breathe and she needs a way out. She needs to figure out how to get away from it all and this is the only solution she can think up.
Critics claim this show is encouraging teenagers to commit suicide for "stupid reasons." Just because these reasons seem odd or ridiculous to you does not debunk them. Unless you personally have gone through these tragic events, you shouldn't be judging those who have. You don't know what went through their mind the entire time.
Critics, however, don't see it the way die-hard fans such as myself see the explanation above. Throughout the season, Hannah describes the reasons for her death. At the end, it shows her killing herself. It's a harsh reality of what can happen to anyone at any age.
Sorry for slapping you in the face with a taste of reality.
How is this encouraging suicide or self-harm? It's not. It's simply stating that as adults, you need to be there for your child. Check in with them, be by their side. What's the harm in showing you the consequences of your poor actions?
This is exactly the reason it is controversial.
The theme of suicide is seen as 'encouraging' to teenagers. It's not intended to be triggering for those who are suffering with mental illness or suicide thoughts/tendencies; and if it is, they are warned not to view the show, but to perhaps read up on what occurs within it. The writers did not create the show and Jay Asher did not write the book with the intent of causing suicide; they did it to bring forth the idea and message that your actions count and they can hurt others. Be aware of what you're doing.
This show is controversial for the message it is trying to send to the viewers or readers! Why is the message so dark to some? Because they refuse to see the truth. They refuse to see how their actions could contribute to someone ending their own life.
The message of the show is to treat others how you want to be treated. Be nice to someone because you never know what they've got going on in their life and your one nice word could save their life. Don't judge a book by its cover.
Always be nice.
13 Reasons Why is a fantastic show for young viewers (teenagers) either with their parents or with their parents consent. It teaches them what schools won't. Suicide prevention is something that needs to be more present in school's for this reason. Better staff, as well. Be included in your child or student's life and education.
Be there for others, it could save their life.