If you haven’t been living under a rock, you would have seen a lot of talk about the new Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why. It follows the life of Hannah, a 17 year old who takes her own life and how she documents 13 reasons that contributed by recording them on cassette tapes. Sounds dark, and it is dark in places, but it’s an amazing series that has addressed issues like suicide, sexual assault and bullying head on. Here’s why I think you should watch it…
1. It’s important we talk about it.
Probably one of the most important reasons. This series got me talking, like, a lot. To friends that had also watched it. To people who I think should watch it. To the twittersphere. Something that this series wanted to do, get people talking about what can be seen as taboo subjects and not easy to address from day to day. The suicide rates for females in the UK is at his highest in a decade and men’s suicide rates are 3 times higher*. That’s not something that should be ignored.
2. It covers relatable issues.
It’s set in an American high school and touches upon issues that all teenagers face. Slut shaming, peer pressure, judgement, relationship problems – things that we have all gone through at some point. It makes you realise that what may not be a big deal to someone, could be for another person.
3. It reminds us that you never know what someone else may be going through.
Something that can be easily forgotten when you go about your daily life. A passing comment you make could really dampen someones day, or alternatively, make it. Be kind, be understanding, be there.
4. Incredible acting.
It’s a hard-hitting series that actually shows scenes of assault and suicide, instead of shying away from them. It’s the only way to really make the viewer sit up and it hit home with me. I think Justin Prentice who plays Bryce deserves recognition for his part in those awful scenes of assault. Hard to watch, but harder to imagine the shoes Prentice had to slide into in order to act those scenes out. Bravo.
5. There are heart-warming moments.
Lots of little parts definitely gave me the feels. Hannah and Clay joking around over Jessica’s rock collection and when they admit to liking eachother’s names – very cute. All those times Hannah, Jessica and Alex met at Monet’s. Clay showing Hannah a lunar eclipse on the roof of the cinema they work at. (Why hasn’t this happened to me in real life though?).
6. The soundtrack and music choices are gold.
Possibly the shortest intro I’ve seen for a Netlix series, but I like that. It’s to the point, straight into another episode about another tape. Song choices throughout capture particular moods and emotions in certain scenes. When ‘The Night We Met’ by Lord Huron plays as Clay and Hannah dance at the winter formal and when ‘See a Little Light’ by Bob Mould plays as Clay, Tony, his boyfriend and Skye drive off in Tony’s car after the tapes are over are some great examples.
7. It’s not all dark.
There are funny parts, cute parts, parts that aren’t all about death and depression or dark times. It’s a combination of good and bad, so don’t be put off watching just because the main narrative is to do with suicide.
8. It’s not another mindless piece of television.
I’m not saying I’m not guilty of sticking something on that requires hardly any thought or emotion on my part, that is easy to do and I do that sometimes. But I also like shows that are about real life (Hello Netflix series The Crown) a good Louis Theroux Documentary and especially something like this that has an array of subplots and leaves you asking a LOT of questions.
9. It’ll leave you wanting more.
Which is such a great trait for a series to have. You don’t want to be tailing off halfway through. I guarantee this won’t leave you feeling disinterested a few episodes in, you’ll want to finish it ASAP and you might binge watch 10 episodes in a day like I did…
10. You’ll find yourself seeing similarities between the characters and you, the viewer.
Are you watching the episodes all in one binge (like Alex) or are you taking your time (like Clay)? 13 tapes, 13 episodes, working our way through, drawing our own conclusions, our own opinions and our own truths. Just like the characters.
11. It makes you appreciate life.
There really is a way out. Nobody should be in that place where not being here is the only option for them. Be kind, be thoughtful, be understanding, get educated. Don’t dismiss mental health. Always ask and don’t walk away.
12. You’ll be left wanting answers (infuriating, but clever).
Is Alex going to be okay? What happens to Bryce? What does Mr Porter do with those tapes? What were Hannah’s parents reactions after listening to them? So. Many. Questions. Clever really because people will be talking about this series for a long time to come. Which is kind of the point.
13. It’s a show that stays with you.
It really stuck with me after I watched the final episode. It was brutal but we viewers needed that. It is not something that can be skirted around and shouldn’t be in today’s society. Suicide rates are rising. Mental health issues like depression and anxiety are not something to be ashamed of and people need to educate themselves on what this means for the sufferer and how others can help.
Quite a serious post this time, but I felt compelled to write it.
*Stats from samaritans.org