So, I recently finished watching this new show on Netflix – 13 Reasons Why – and it has to be one of the most realest, rawest, depressing things that I have seen in a long time. I thoroughly enjoy watching TV shows and prior to its debut, I saw it being advertised on Netflix. As Pretty Little Liars is coming to an end, I have been looking for similar shows like it to watch and when I watched the trailer of this, I thought to myself that this could be it.
I did not realise that the show had been adapted from a book (written by Jay Asher) and so even though from the trailer, it was obvious that they were discussing suicide, I did not realise that the story will be as deep as it was. I was wrong.
The story revolves around Clay Jensen – a boy whose friend/crush (Hannah Baker) committed suicide and he receives a box of tapes that has been recorded by Hannah which details why she decided to kill herself.
The show already starts off sad but the further you go, it takes you into a world of sex, drugs, rape, slut shaming, depression, suicide, bullying and just about the dark things that teenagers go through that people just do not want to talk about. The show is raw and it just depicts all of it so clearly that nothing is implied–it doesn’t have to be because you can see it happening. The show is anything but subtle and honestly, it is not easy to stomach. However, it is a story that people need to see because it is happening everyday but we like to act as though it isn’t.
It is interesting because I was reading a recap of the show where someone wrote that it is kind of unrealistic that Clay listens to the tapes so slowly. However, someone wrote a comment whereby the person stated that it is interesting that there are 13 reasons for each episode (as the show comprises of 13 episodes). So, the person asks…how did you watch it? Did you binge-watch it like the other students in the show or did you watch it slowly like Clay? You have to imagine, Clay is hearing the voice of someone he loved and cared for and she is detailing all the pain she went through and witnessed and you can hear it in her voice. For me, at first, it was easy to watch the first couple of episodes because I was just getting to know the characters and so I was not as invested. As the show went on though, and I got to know the characters such as Hannah and Clay and I started to witness some of this issues, it became harder for me. It made me angry, it made me pissed off, it made me want to cry, it made me want to scream…
Eventually, I started watching it a bit faster because I just wanted it to end – not because it was not a good show, but because it became hard for me to stomach. I still have the scene where Hannah killed herself and where she and Jessica were raped playing in my head over and over again and it just makes me so sad.
One of the things I learned from this show is that everyone has their crosses to bear. We look at people every day—our friends, our family—and you don’t even know what is going on in their heads. People have things that they are struggling with and what might seem trivial to you might not be trivial to them. So, what we can do is to always make sure that you are nice to people. You say a kind word to people because that could make all the difference in someone’s life. And, just because you are hurting does not mean that you should put your hurt on someone else. I noticed that some of the people that hurt others on this show were going through their own struggles at home. While I sympathise, it shouldn’t give you any reason to treat another person badly.
I could go on and on about this show but I will just end here. I have to commend the actors and the actresses because they did a phenomenal job portraying these characters and how they feel.
Treat people kindly. You never know what anyone is going through.
On a side note: The diversity of the cast is amazing and I have to give a special shoutout to all those who made it possible.