A new show has taken the world of Netflix by storm. Based on a book, 13 Reasons Why, is one of the most captivating and powerful shows on Netflix today.
The show depicts a girl named Hannah Baker who is 17-years old and who has committed suicide. Before her death, she created 13 tapes to represent the 13 reasons why she killed herself. The story follows the people in Hannah’s high school as each person on the tapes gets to listen to their impact on Hannah’s life.
Clay Jensen is one of the main characters as the story follows him and how he discovers the 13 reasons why his crush took her own life.
The popularity of the show has spread to students all over East. Addie Watson (’17) described the show as “disappointing because Hannah was selfish and ruined her parents’ lives.” Many other students at East support Watson’s opinion because of the frustration most viewers felt toward how Hannah handled the situations in her life.
Sadie Hamilton (’18) described the show as “unsettling because it makes you feel uneasy and makes your brain think in different ways.”
Despite the show’s success, controversy has risen over whether or not teens should be watching such a detailed show about suicide. Many viewers believe that the show misleads the audience into thinking that there is someone to blame for suicide and that the show glorifies suicide.
Interviewed in USA Today, one student stated, “In 13 Reasons Why, I don’t see a daring and powerful teen drama. It’s just a tired attempt at discussing a difficult topic. It’s clear the creators see suicide only for its shock value, and I worry for the teens like me who will watch the show.”
As more and more attention is being drawn to the show, more people are demanding for a second season to answer some lingering questions from the end of the first season.
Riley Lowe (’18) said, “I think there should be [a second season] because lots of plot lines went unanswered. But at the same time there was only one book, so it will be hard to follow the original story if there is another season.”
The conflict over the way 13 Reasons Why described suicide is leading to more awareness about the seriousness of teen suicide. I think it is safe to say that the realness of the show has not only affected students at East in their daily lives, but also their outlook on suicide in our own high school.
From the Suicide Prevention Lifeline: If someone you know is struggling emotionally or having a hard time, you can be the difference in getting them the help they need. It’s important to take care of yourself when you are supporting someone through a difficult time, as this may stir up difficult emotions. If it does, please reach out for support yourself. You can call 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).