I think everyone has heard about this TV Show for a while now, but for those of you who haven’t, here’s a brief summary: Clay Jensen discovers a box of 13 tapes recorded by Hannah Baker. She committed suicide before recording those and explained to him the 13 reasons why she ended her life. And of course, it was a book adaptation! *thumbs up for book magic * There’s a lot of controversies surrounding this show and I think this post was much needed to express my opinion about it. I came to an agreement with myself that in this particular situation, I won’t read the book before watching it. Simply because I wanted to have an unbiased opinion of the TV show without having to compare the books vs. the movie feeling. I want this review to be only about the TV show.
MY RATING: ★★★★★/5
Thirteen Reasons Why, as a cinematic piece, is an EXCELLENT show. I think the acting of the teenagers were spot on, and on point. They master the odd, awkward and ugly reality. Maybe that’s the reason people didn’t like watching it, because ”hey, reality sucks” and this show makes it happen in front of your eyes. I even cried in a particular scene because of how very difficult it was to watch. You can feel the struggles of the character, their pain and the injustice surrounding their situations. The central plot is very clear from the start, you have 13 tapes divided in 13 episodes (you can feel that some actions are repetitive but you can understand that they didn’t have a choice to make it as gap fillers). As Clay discover the truth about what happened, he decides to act on it and even seek revenge for Hannah.
Hannah Baker is a very interesting character because not only does she have depression and suicidal thoughts, her tapes are a way of revenge, but they are also her doors to freedom. That thirst for blaming people and leading people to believe they are one of the reasons why she died is a very unique perception, because not everyone thinks like that. You shouldn’t blame yourself for someone’s suicide. The first thing we learn in psychology is that if your friend is dealing with suicide, you don’t try to act as the therapist. You remain available for them, encourage them to talk about it but you can’t bring it on yourself. A suicide is not only the society’s failure to keep the individual alive, but also their own thoughts. #Mental Illness. Their perception of reality is so altered by aggressive and dark thoughts they are telling to themselves that the brain convinced itself to end it, once and for good.
A lot of articles stated that “How 13 Reasons Why gets suicide wrong” or “Hannah Baker didn’t show any sign of depression like I (the author of the article) do”.
Alright, let’s get this straight my friend.
EVERYBODY. I mean, EVERYBODY’s experience is different. I think even if you’re depressed, you shouldn’t judge someone else’s depression. It’s like saying “you can’t possibly have depression, because I have it and it looks nothing like that.” This is mental health issues we are talking about. How do you have the right to dictate how someone should feel it? It’s not for nothing that we have a set of symptoms for mental illness. Because everyone lives it differently. Hannah Baker shows signs of depression. CLEARLY. She expressed in thoughts, in her behavior, in the little details. A very important quote in the show : How does it look like? Nothing. It looks like Nothing. That quote resonates to me so badly because.. yes, I know people (who I was very close to) who had suicidal thoughts and I knew nothing about them. You can spend time with the person everyday, seeing them at school, being close to them and they could be still be suicidal. Why? Like depression, anxiety disorder, or any other mental illness. Humans are complex, our emotions are bottled up in a environment that provide too much stimulus and stressors for us to deal with. Some people are very good at hiding their struggles, some less. The best we can do as a friend and a family member is paying attention to the little shift of their behaviour.
And why doesn’t anyone talk about CLAY? I was watching the whole season 1 and searching discussions about it, but no one wants to talk about Clay’s mental health? He’s had some severe visual hallucinations affecting his reactions during his daily activities. That’s a big indication that he’s not well either. The anger, the resentment he felt was very well portrayed in the show.
Now, as a psychology bachelor student, I had some minor problems with how they depict mental health issues too. The way they portray the counselor, it may not be representative of every counselor, but that scene was sad. I think a therapist would try to guide everyone’s lives for the better, sometimes they don’t. Hannah’s suicide is already a hard realization for the authorities: that they had failed in their task not only as a counselor but as parents and school directors. But that doesn’t mean getting help from a professional is useless.
“Mental Health Groups Don’t Want You To Watch ’13 Reasons Why” and “Is 13 Why Romanticizing Suicide ?” WHAT A F*CKN QUESTION. Would you ask this question for other TV shows as well? Because buddy, I have news for you: it’s a TV Show. Since when does a TV show not romanticize something? I think what the authorities fear about this show is that teenagers won’t be able to differentiate between what’s happening on screen and what’s real. That’s a little controlling in my opinion.
I think the only purpose of this TV Show is to spark discussion about suicide and school bullying, and traumas. And they succeeded. It’s triggering I don’t deny it. They have rape scenes, violent and horrible events. I think it’s one’s personal decision to watch it or not. All this sensational censorship phenomenon is the same thing with any censorship we had in the past: pornography, illicit drugs… and what good did that do? Did it stop anything? No, because humans are constantly evolving, adapting and I think this show is much needed for our generation. For parents and friends to realize that yes, your OWN kids can be bullies, your own kids can rape other kids, your own boyfriend can rape you. When facing that situation, you must act on it. If you are a witness, you must act on it too.
I think overall, I need to remind everyone that this is a work of fiction inspired by a fictional novel. Of course it won’t depict 100% real life events but they are pretty close. The message of the author is a lot can accumulate and convince the person to act upon it. And more importantly, what would you learn from it? To pay more attention to what you do, what you say, for words are as powerful as actions. Soul crushing.
WINNERS ARE : Donna from Chocolate’n Waffles and @wildbi3ber on Twitter! We decided to giveaway 2 books 😉 One for WordPress commenter and one for the Twitter retweet!
I’ll be reading this book now that I binge watched it haha 😀 Thought some of you might want to read it too, and since I have 2 copies kindly from Penguin, I would love to giveaway my 2nd copy!
To participate :
- You can retweet this post on Twitter
- OR Leave a comment telling me that you’d like to participate
- You have until May 5, 2017
SIMPLE AS THAT 😉