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A Review of the Controversial Netflix Series (Spoilers Ahead!)

Graphic+by+Makenzie+Moesly
Graphic by Makenzie Moesly

Graphic by Makenzie Moesly

Graphic by Makenzie Moesly

Madison Moesly and Makenzie Moesly

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Thirteen Reasons Why is a Netflix Original Series about a teenage girl named Hannah who commits suicide, leaving behind 13 tapes discussing the reasons why she killed herself. Throughout the show, the tapes are passed around to the 13 people mentioned in the tapes.

This new series is based on the novel Thirteen Reasons Why and has caught many people’s attention as it is very controversial. Some say the show romanticizes suicide and is dangerous because it blames others for someone’s own choice. This teen drama has sparked attention all over social media.

Many people upset with how Thirteen Reasons Why was displayed went straight to social media. Many articles were written about the dangers of watching the show, and a middle school in Auburn even gave out letters to parents advising their children about the popular show; some parents went to the extent of banning their children from watching the show. Twitter users started to tweet that “suicide cannot be stopped by love” and began to dislike how the show displayed the plot. Some may say that the events that happened to Hannah “weren’t even bad” or she was “melodramatic,” but I disagree. Even if you think the things people said or did to Hannah weren’t damaging, theses events build up and have long term effects. If you began watching the show but had the same thoughts as some Twitter users, I suggest you finish watching the tapes and see what happens to Hannah in the end before saying “nothing really bad happened to her.” No T.V. show is perfect or going to please everyone and sure Thirteen Reasons Why contained scenes that maybe shouldn’t have been added (Editor Note: Some are claiming psychologists specifically mentioned not to include certain scenes, but we were unable to verify that source) but it sparked conversation, which was what Thirteen Reasons Why was intended to do.

Thirteen Reasons Why mainly follows Clay Jensen as he dreadfully listens to each tape left by Hannah. This captivating show uses flashbacks, so you can completely understand what’s happened in the past as well as what is currently happening. The tapes Hannah Baker left behind get passed around to everyone who was on her tapes, and if you don’t pass them to the next person, the tapes will be revealed to everyone. The show starts off with the implication that everyone on the tapes have listened to them other than Clay, so the show follows him as he listens. Clay could be viewed as an “outcast” compared to the other people on the tapes,as  Clay is different compared to some of the people on the tapes; for example  Justin, Jessica, or even Marcus because they were cruel to Hannah, whether it was intentional or not. Clay had good intentions–he always wanted to be there for Hannah and wanted to spend time with her, but he was just awkward and sometimes didn’t know what to do under certain circumstances and that was mistaken as him being “uninterested.” From the beginning, rumors and assumptions were made about Hannah, and as you watch the show, that was one of the main reasons why she began to lose friends. People were more distant and mean to her, and in the end, she felt alone, and as each tape is revealed, the issues Hannah faces are more intense. Hannah almost always tried to stick up for herself or because she knew the truth about the rumors, she’d try to “brush it off.” On the very last tape, when Hannah had had enough, she explained how that day she had lost about $700 dollars her parents owed to the bank, so that night she took a walk to get her mind off of things. As Hannah was walking, she heard loud music coming from someone’s house, so she went to his backyard where he was having a pool party; as she was walking around,  she ran into her friend Jessica in the jacuzzi. Like the others, she got in, in her bra and underwear, and just talked with her friends. As the party died down, each person for whatever reason ended up getting out of the jacuzzi, leaving Hannah alone. Bryce (the guy whose home they’re at)then got into the hot tub and forced himself on Hannah, and that is when she finally has enough. About a week after, once Hannah finished making the tapes, she decided to give life a second chance–she took that day to reach out to her guidance counselor, Mr. Porter. Hannah tells Mr. Porter that she’s feeling empty inside, and states, “I don’t feel anything. I don’t care anymore.” As she speaks up about how she’s feeling, it seems like Mr. Porter’s phone will not stop ringing, but Mr. Porter tries to give his best advice. Hannah then basically speaks up about being raped by Bryce, yet Mr. Porter questions everything, asking her if she said no, etc. then pretty much tells her if she doesn’t want to press charges, then she should try and move on. Hannah then left the office, distressed, but waited outside the office hoping he’d chase after her. Hannah recorded the entire conversation between the two of them and that was her last tape because he never came for her. Hannah then went home and committed suicide.

Please remember that you are not alone; however, if you’re feeling this way, please talk to someone such as a guidance counselor, your parents, or your friends, anyone you’re comfortable with.

 

(Editor Note: The show contains graphic depictions of unsavory events, so if you are prone to discomfort or otherwise, check a website for trigger warnings per episode first)

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