The following was actually a Facebook status of mine, but I figured what the heck, copy paste that mofo, it works as a blog post as well. Since it’s my thoughts on a show about suicide I’ll add a possible Trigger Warning.
So I finished 13 reasons why. (probably going to be spoilers but none really about the story itself, I’m mainly talking about the overall “message”.)
I get the premise of spreading the whole “let’s be nicer to each other.” However, I feel like it’s more emotional porn than anything else. As entertainment, it certainly fits that criteria, as in you watch sad movies to cry, comedies to laugh, and this show to basically feel all the damn feels. It is well made (for entertainment purposes, anyway), and it certainly throws you around violently in every direction as you watch the different stories. From the beginning it draws you in and I’d wager many people binge watched it, I did.
For me, personally, it hit way too close to home. It was very difficult to watch but difficult to pull away as well. I related to Hannah, the one who made the tapes that Clay listened to the entirety of the season. Each episode was a different side of a tape, cassette tape, or rather, each side was a reason for her suicide.
Anyway, I get why people like it so much, in the sense that it teaches a lesson, one that sadly, not everyone already knows even though they fucking *should*. That our actions will have consequences, that you never know what another person is dealing with, how we treat others really fucking matters.
Now, I don’t think it romanticizes suicide, at least I didn’t get that when watching it. But I certainly wouldn’t recommend the show to anyone who is suicidal. It’s very detailed, very graphic, and there is absolutely no sugar coating. But I guess to get any real attention these days is to shock the shit out of people. So that was accomplished, I’d say.
As for it seemingly being a revenge suicide, whether people got it or not, it certainly was depicted as that. Especially in the first few episodes. I didn’t like that.
Farther into the season, you get more of a sense of what she is going through, you see more to help you understand. As opposed to the first few eps that seemed to depict her as over reacting or misunderstanding things (Again, rage boiled, deep inside of me when I picked up on that).
The ways people behaved, their different reactions (usually the wrong reaction) did get on my nerves. But I understand that many people do stupid shit, that teenagers especially can be incredibly cruel and selfish little shits.
The last three or four episodes get even more serious, with viewer discretion warnings, due to depictions of rape or violence or suicide. So yea, when you get to those it’s a pretty rough fucking road, if it hasn’t been already, that is.
I’m not saying it’s a bad show, but I am saying it could be problematic for someone who might be living with depression or suicidal thoughts or tendencies. To get rather personal, I have depression and I have, rather recently, dealt with suicidal thoughts, and have only *just* really started to feel better. I wasn’t going to watch it, but my morbid curiosity got the best of me. Also being autistic, I tend to not handle emotion well on a good day. So I actually knew better but I wanted to see so that I could form an opinion.
Objectively, the show is entertaining. It’s an emotional ride for people who like to cry in front of their televisions. (spoiler alert: I’m not one of those people.) While I see how a lesson to be nice to people can be gained from it, I think it’s more for shock value. I also think this show is more for people who are not in Hannahs shoes, but rather for people who would be in the shoes of those she listed on the tapes. So yea, for that, it’s a good show.
But before someone goes on to tell me how much they think the show is great and all the good it does… do keep in mind that I was affected rather negatively by it. The show *can* be problematic for some. I’d appreciate it if people would acknowledge at least that much.