So, right now, we are in the middle of exam period, therefore, of course, I have found every way possible to procrastinate.
I have just finished reading Che Guevara’s diaries on a trip he took on a motorbike across South America with his friend Alberto Granado, called The Motorcycle Diaries (more on that later) but, more importantly for this post, I began watching and completed the Netflix original 13 Reasons Why.
For me, Netflix originals are usually a hit or a miss… I only really watch them if they come highly recommended… and, hearing that this particular series deals with issues close to my own heart, I felt the need to give it a try.
I’m not going to lie, I did promise my boyfriend I was going to wait until after exams to watch the whole series with him, but curiosity got the better of me and I watched the first episode… which turned into all 13 and after a three day marathon – in between cramming and working of course- I watched the final episode at the uni library, absolutely howling with tears and unable to move from the sheer shock of the message. (My boyfriend is not happy with this, and has refuted any offers of re-watching it with him, saying he doesn’t want my pity viewing)
Though there are elements that the series missed out about the mental health side of things, I feel that it did address lots of points that are neglected on a day to day basis. So, here are my 13 reasons why you should jump into the series and watch Clay as he goes through the turmoil of not just losing his friend to suicide, but also having to deal with the messy aftermath.
- Watch the series, if not for anything else, but for Hannah’s hair. The gal has a mane of amazing curl locks that looked amazing long, but (and I am so jealous) she rocks it as a short bob as well! Total hair envy- brb I’m off to get a perm.
- The sheer diversity of characters within the series is incredible… all types of people from all walks of life, each is dealing with their own problems, and it is incredibly interesting to see how they handle their own individual situations.
- It’s a fun game while watching the series to try and work out how old the actors actually are… and how all of them are supposed to be high school students yet have easy access to alcohol and drugs, and are tattooed up to their eyeballs. Also Bryce looks old enough to be my dad.
- The relationship between Hannah’s parents as they try and deal with her death is both fascinating and heartbreaking to see. It plays out in such real terms you feel for them with all your heart every time you see them together, both mourning the same daughter, but both with different approaches.
- Who doesn’t love a gory death of an innocent bystander?
- Ryan should have his own television show. He is someone we all want to be friends with because of his sass, but would all be a bit scared of in case we became the target of his comments. Add that to some fabulous hair and some terrific poetry writing, and you’ve got a character who, in this instance, may have been the only one thinking he was doing the right thing by someone rather than protecting his own sorry ass.
- 13 Reasons Why evokes pure and raw emotion in every single episode. I know I went from confusion to anger, to disbelief and ended up completely heartbroken by the end. It takes a good movie/ television show to be able to make you feel real emotions, and this one is definitely up there.
- The soundtrack is bomb. With songs by Selena Gomez (which is mainly because she produced the series) and Billy Eilish, even if you hate the plot, the music will keep you hooked.
- Though the show does it in an indirect way, it does show the struggle that teens even now, in the 21st century, deal with in terms of accepting their sexuality. Through Hannah’s torment because of another girl’s secrets, it tries its best to put out the message that there is nothing about our sexualities that we should be afraid to show or disclose, but teenagers today still suffer from bullying and abuse and are scared to be who they are.
- Bullying awareness. We all go through shit in school, it’s just something that happens and we have to deal with it… however, this television show completely opens up the characters and exposes the ins and outs of high school life. It can be so shitty, but we seem to forget about this when we leave. Remember complaining to your parents when people called you a stupid name and being told to just deal with it? This show reveals the cutting manner words can hurt us, and that sometimes, we say things to others that we don’t even think about, and it truly can affect them in ways we can’t even begin to comprehend.
- Our words can heal as much as they can hurt. Be kind. Someone might be having a tough day, and a little compliment or act of kindness never hurt anyone, so why not be that little extra nice to someone or smile at someone you would normally just walk by?
- Clay’s cut on his forehead literally festered for weeks. If anything, this television show really portrays the dangers of cycling.
- Awareness of sexual assault. It is never the fault of the victim. Just watch and you’ll get what I mean.
Now onto what I think were some negatives.
- First of all, what Hannah does is actually incredibly selfish. Yes, what the other kids did to her was terrible, but to leave a set of tapes behind to blame others for taking her own life was the worst thing she could have done. Not only were her schoolmates reeling with the news of her death, but they had to end up seeing with this crushing guilt on top of it was even worse. She had no idea of knowing whether or not her plan would have worked after having died, so why did she go to all that effort to create this grand plan?
- SHE DOESN’T EVEN LEAVE ANYTHING FOR HER OWN PARENTS!
- Clay should not have had his own tape, I’m sorry but that’s how I feel for poor lil’ helmet head.
- The television show depicts depression, anxiety and suicide as things that you can find the exact source of, when in reality they’re not. Feelings of extreme depression, and disordered thinking are a whole different ballgame and cannot be interpreted in a single series of a Netflix original series.
I guess I’ve rambled for enough time now. Personally, I do think they could have done a lot more to address certain issues to do with depression and suicidal thinking, however, as a television show to hook you instantly and do so for the whole 13 episodes, 13 Reasons Why is definitely a must watch.