“13 Reasons Why” is a compelling story of a young girl who kills herself, but not before she has prepared 13 tapes that would undoubtedly send all those mentioned on them on a massive guilt trip.
Looking at it from a creative perspective, 13RW is a very well made show. However, it’s not just the creative aspect that has made it the most talked-about series of the year (so far).
The show has successfully managed to start a much-needed conversation on suicide and mental health issues which, as it’s makers claim, was one of the reasons to breathe life into this project.
They claim to have created a show that will offer hope to young people, let them know they’re not alone and that suicide is not an option.
However, even though I appreciate the intent behind it, the show most certainly doesn’t accomplish any of the above.
To anyone going through a tough phase in life, I would suggest that you steer clear of this show because it’s only going to make you feel worse.
MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
Nowhere in the course of the series did I come across the words depression or anxiety. I could see the all the terrible things Hannah was being subjected to, but I was hardly shown how she dealt or did not deal with those emotions. I mean yes, I know it all led to her killing herself, but I wish we could see her cope (or not cope) on an incident to incident basis.
Despite claiming that suicide is not an option, it is the only option the creators decide to depict on the show. If they really wanted to scare kids away from suicide, they should’ve shown a better, positive alternative. Instead, they decided to show an extremely graphic scene which, in my opinion, would be more appealing than disturbing to someone already considering ending their life.
The tapes don’t help matters much either. The one thing we can take away from that part of the plot is that the only way Hannah could hurt back the ones who hurt her was to end her life and make sure they know it was their fault. It was more revenge than it was a relief. And that’s where a lot of teenagers can get the wrong idea.
If Hannah could communicate her feelings to them with such ease posthumously, then why didn’t she even give it a try when alive?
NO HELP, NO HOPE
There was only one instance in the entire show where Hannah decides to talk to someone about her ordeal. And that was an utterly disappointing conversation with the school counselor. It was one of the most cringeworthy scenes on the show and could be extremely disheartening to a viewer who is contemplating sharing their feelings with someone they know/trust.
As a show, 13RW is extremely engaging and most certainly quality television.
I don’t have a problem with the story as I believe in creative freedom and that even though some parts of it might seem unrealistic or harmful, it is Hannah’s story and it deserves to be told.
The only thing that I have an aversion to is the message the creators claim to be putting forth, which in my opinion, is in stark contrast to the one they actually deliver. Either change the show or change your pitch.