Recently the second season of ‘13 reasons why’ has been released which , as expected , has sparked controversy over it’s graphic scenes and the representation of issues from bullying to rape to school shootings.
Firstly , I’m going to talk about my feelings towards the show. When the show was released last year it was all that was being spoke about in my high school , at the time I was in my final year which is by far the most stressful year considering it’s when I was sitting my exams and with it being talked about so much it sparked my curiosity to find out what all the fuss was about.
I watched the entire first season in a couple of days and weirdly I felt relieved when I finished watching it which is probably a weird emotion to feel. In the first season we see how Hannah becomes isolated from everyone around her and how events effect her and at the end of the season we see her commit suicide. I found it odd how I was able to relate to how Hannah was feeling and even some of the things she went through I have also experienced , in a way I felt a connection with her character and I was almost glad that the TV show was made because I felt that it definitely raised awareness particularly for mental health. There’s been times when I felt like I was silly or stupid for being upset over something that would happen in school but seeing the same things happen on a TV show and the reaction being the same it was weirdly comforting to know that I wasn’t the only one that gets upset from situations that happen.
I found the show emotional to watch but I think it’s due to how accurately they portrayed real life and what it’s really like inside of a high school because people are very oblivious to the hardships that teenagers face when being in school. I thought it was good how they put light on how even the guidance counsellor wasn’t very helpful towards Hannah because when I was in high school we always got told that the guidance counsellors were helpful and caring but I remember the first experience I had with the counsellors in my school and I honestly hadn’t felt so judged in my life , it was incredibly uncomfortable and I was made to feel like I was just being stupid which made me not want to talk anymore and I never went back to the counsellor in my school again. I read many comments when the show came out about how it was Hannah’s fault and that she should’ve told Mr.Porter , the counsellor , more about what had happened to her but if you could understand how she was feeling then you’d understand why she wouldn’t say anything.
There’s a lot of talk about how the show comes across as a revenge drama because of what happens with the tapes but I personally believe that overall every little thing that happens on the tapes spreads a message to the audience that any little thing you do could potentially be really harmful to another person and although it may only be one thing that you don’t think is a big deal you never know how much of a hard time a person is going through.
When the show starts to delve deeper into the lives of the other characters and we get to see how horrible the backgrounds of some of their lives are it allows us as an audience to see that people act because of things that are effecting them but no one ever knows what is going on in another persons life. I believe in a way that the show is really trying to emphasise how we need to treat everyone with kindness because the tiniest bit of kindness could be the thing that makes someones day because you don’t know what else they’re going through.
In terms of the graphic scenes shown , I absolutely hated watching some scenes in both seasons one and two. The most awful scenes I think we’ve had to witness are the rape scenes in season one , the suicide scene and the scene where Tyler gets sexually assaulted in season two. These scenes are really difficult to watch but it does show the harsh reality of situations that happen and what happens to Tyler raises the issue of male sexual assault which isn’t talked about as much. However , it certainly sparks controversy and starts conversations which I think is a good thing because I believe that the more we talk about these issues the more that we can help people who unfortunately go through these issues and potentially we can help to prevent it.
I’ve heard a lot about how the show ‘glorifies’ suicide , now i’m not sure if this is just me misinterpreting the word ‘glorifies’ but I really don’t understand how it is glorified. We are made to watch a horrible , horrible scene where Hannah commits suicide and we see how painful it is which to me does the opposite of glorifying it and makes it seem like the worst possible thing to ever do and we see how negatively it effects everyone in her life and it shows how much people really cared about her which to me tries to draw the audiences attention onto how suicide should never be the answer and how if you are feeling suicidal then you need to take a moment to realise that there are people who do care that want you to live.
I know people want the show to be cancelled because of the content that it shows , but the show does come with a lot of warnings about it so audiences are aware of what they’re going to watch and they choose to watch it. If you are someone suffering and could be potentially triggered then I wouldn’t recommend watching it because everyone responds differently to the issues that get covered. I personally am somewhat thankful for the show because I feel that it made a lot of people realise how to treat other people , although it really shouldn’t take a TV show for people to be kind.
If you are someone that is struggling then please , please talk to someone. There will always be someone willing to listen that wants to help , even if you feel like you have no one you need to believe that things can get better. There are numbers you can call as well if you or someone you know is feeling suicidal. So please , please do reach out to somebody if you ever get to a lowpoint.