If you are a human being who has been on the internet for the last month you will have heard about Thirteen Reasons Why. This Netflix show was and is being watched by thousands of people and most of them are loving the show. I myself watched the show the second it came out. After a weekend of tears I was done watching the show and I thought it was great. Since then I did not stop thinking about it. The more I thought about the show the more my opinion changed. Then I read several articles talking about how triggering the show was and finally I came to a realization. The show I had thought was so great, wasn’t that good after all.
If you have not seen Thirteen Reasons Why I would suggest leaving now ! I will explain my opinion with examples and spoilers.
For me there are four reasons for not liking this show.
1.) Revenge story
Starting off with the fact that the entire story is about revenge. The book wasn’t like that. No-one seemed to really care about the tapes except from Clay, but with the show you get the perspective of everyone and you see how the tapes ‘destroy’ their lives.
For someone suicidal watching this show what Hannah did might seem like a solution. If you are being bullied you can destroy the life of the person who has been bullying you. If someone hurt you, you can hurt them. It’s a way to finally be heard. But it isn’t.
The most unrealistic thing about the show is how much suddenly everyone cared about what Hannah said in the tapes when Clay started listening to them. They didn’t care they were just scared that Clay would say something.
In real life teenagers wouldn’t have cared, because people don’t care about others.
Still the show made it seem as if Hannah could finally show them what they had done to her. Finally get revenge. This is not something people should be advertising or showing to someone in the same position as Hannah.
2.) Mental Health
She just makes a list of people that are the reasons why she killed herself, but the thing this show doesn’t even MENTION is mental health. Someone who is suicidal has mental health problems. This show just pretends as if Hannah only killed herself because of physical abuse. They don’t show her being depressed or anxious. If you are suicidal, you are most likely also depressed. The show didn’t even bother to mention that.
You can’t deal with the topic of suicide and leave out mental health issues or how seeking out for help is harder when it is because of your mental and not physical health. They should have talked about how teenagers are not being taken seriously when they say they have depressions or OCD. The show just walked passed all of those struggles.
3.) Justin’s back story
I don’t give a FUCK. I was so angry when they started showing Justin’s family life. It had nothing to do with the show or with Hannah’s story. I’m so sick of seeing films or reading books with guys who sexually assault girls but then the creator tries to get sympathy for that person with showing their horrible back story. I DON’T GIVE A FUCK.
Your family life, your childhood or any other part of your life is not an excuse or justification for any of your current actions. I’m sure the creators of the show agree with that, but I just don’t understand why they put that into the show anyway.
We didn’t need to see all that. They just wanted us to sympathize with Justin. Guess what? I don’t. Yeah he didn’t send the picture and he didn’t rape his girlfriend, but in every one of those situations he could have done something.
He was friends with Bryce until the very last moment for god’s sake.
Stop making people’s bad actions about their past or family life. In that moment it doesn’t matter.
3.) Clay being on the tapes
I know Hannah says that Clay wasn’t a real reason and that she just needed him on the tapes to tell her story, but that’s bullshit. She had no right to put Clay on her list. Clay did nothing wrong. Nothing. Clay was such a nice guy and I understand that she couldn’t appreciate that because of all the shit that was happening to her, but how dare she make his life so miserable. Clay is the one who suffers the most (after Hannah) from those tapes. My heart broke into pieces when he asked Tony if he killed Hannah. Why would she put him on that list and make him feel so miserable. It definitely wasn’t an apology. It just will make him feel miserable for the rest of his life.
Same with a lot of the other characters. I’m not trying to justify there actions. Definitely not Bryce’s or Justin’s. But everyone makes mistakes. Most of the ‘mistakes’ that have been made in this show were unforgivable, but what gives Hannah the power to accuse those people of murder. They will have to live with that burden for the rest of their lives. Most and for all still Clay. I will never understand how she was able to put Clay on the list.
First of all I don’t think Hannah ever tried to get help. When she went into the teacher’s office she had a tape with her because she knew he wouldn’t be able to help her with what she was telling him. In that moment she didn’t want help. She had already decided that she was going to kill herself. The teacher obviously should have still reacted otherwise and tried to help her.
The problem with this is that a lot of people won’t go seek help after watching the show, because Hannah tried it and it didn’t work. But well she actually didn’t try it.
I wish there had been a scene where she would have actively tried to get help and I wish there would have been someone who was eager to help. She could have just not accepted the help and the show would have gone on the same way. But with making such a show you have to think about suicidal people watching it and they would have needed such a scene.
What I liked about the show:
It starts a conversation in our society about very important issues.
It talks about our horrible rape culture and the ‘power’ of popularity.
It shows rape and bullying very honestly and without shying away.
It inspired me to look out for people who might need help in my surroundings and do something about it.
I think everyone should know for themselves if they want to support this show or not. There are a lot of benefits and great things, but with this kind of show mistakes are not acceptable. This show will be watched by many people and definitely by a lot of suicidal people. The trigger warning won’t matter to them, they want to relate to someone, but I don’t think Hannah should be that person.