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13 reasons why has become a very popular television show within the last year. The first season covered the controversial and sad topic of teen suicide. The second season has involved a lot of sexual assault and violence. How is this show affecting teens? Should they be allowed to watch it? What are your thoughts on how the topics are introduced and what the show truly stands for? Is it an accurate representation of life for teens? Do a lot of people understand that it is fiction and not based on a true story? How do you feel about the violent episodes (especially in season 2) if you have watched the show?
My dad is a teacher and after the second season came out the principal emailed parents and told them to watch the show with their kids and discuss it. Do you think discussing the material in the show is important? Or should we just treat it as another fiction tv show?
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7 Replies to “13 reasons why”
I watched the first season and got really into it. Willow was a newborn and I needed something to do in between 4 hour naps every hour (for Willow not me, haha), breastfeeding on demand, and changing diaper after diaper lol. I found myself emotionally vested in the show and its characters, which I don’t normally do- I’m not a huge TV watcher- but something about this show really sucked me in. I found myself triggered, shocked, and emotionally shaken throughout the season and Hannah’s suicide REALLY struck me and affected me. I decided that I HATED the show, and I was angry about it and had lots of thoughts. As a survivor of multiple suicide attempts and of major depression, sexual assault, and other themes shown in the show- which affected me throughout my teen and young adult years I felt that the show had a responsibility to show these themes differently- and to provide more information about suicide and what to do after assault and suicidal thoughts or attempts. I also was so so angry the way they depicted the suicide as being the fault of the characters- and how they left Hannah open to be considered selfish and horrible – without discussing in a more effective and helpful ways to teens and young people who may be dealing with similar issues.
With that being said, it was really good platform to bring a lot of those topics to light- I just wish it had been done differently.
And, I chose not to watch the second season for my mental wellness. However, if Willow was in high school and wanted to watch it, I would definitely watch it with her and use it as a learning opportunity to discuss depression, rape, bullying, sexuality, friends, suicide, etc.
When I watched the show on my own, on a whim, I was drawn in by it; I’ve read / seen parts of the book from High School way back when so I figured it would shed some light on the subjects it was intending to cover. While I happened to enjoy the show, I have to agree that the light the series shed was… A little skewed; making Hannah appear not a piece of her mental unease, a part of her design, but a sort of selfish, melodramatic girl on a path of inevitable self-destruction. It was silly on their part. But in the end, I found that I stuck around to find out what happened and ended up watching the whole first season and… Overall? Appreciating it for what it attempted to do. We don’t see many shows like this, I don’t think?
I went so far as to bring my Grandmother into the mix (she’s who I’ve lived with for years, we’re on our own), I wanted her to see what things could look like. Perhaps not the best resolve, not the best medium, but I didn’t know any other means of discussing it other than sitting with her and watching the entire series start to finish. She was shellshocked to say the least. And I know that was not your question -to show teens or not- but I feel that acknowledging any generation’s interpretation of what’s really going on inside our heads is valid.
I know that watching a lot of violent television and movie content can negatively affect children. If they could learn more about other human emotions than just violence all the time then it would be helpful. Also a parent discussing the shows and talking to their children about what happened in the shows is very helpful.
Hey! I totally agree with that- even “cartoon” violence is really negative I think. Glad to have you on Turningpointct.org! 🙂 Welcome
Reading 13 reasons Why in the sixth grade gave me great insight into understanding the thought process of someone suffering from suicidal ideation. At that time, this was essential for me to understand. I had been battling my own suicidal thoughts and felt that no other person could have been experiencing these dark thoughts. Jay Asher has chosen a medium that gets the conversation started about this. the gentle approach to such a “grim” topic like suicide helps to lower the stigma we place on ourselves and others who must deal with these thoughts on a regular basis.
13 Reasons Why is a dangerous and awful show. It has nothing new or interesting to say about suicide. The show narrowly implies that bullying leads to suicide when in fact no one thing leads to suicide.
It presented how bad things can get and how cruel teenagers can be but then offered no message of hope or empowerment. There are ways to tell a story about suicide that are compassionate and don’t trigger emotional distress. There is absolutely no reason to show Hannah killing herself. Having that on-screen does nothing positive. It isn’t “raising awareness” or “showing the truth,” it’s just fueling suicidal actions of viewers by providing a detailed, graphic plan to commit suicide. It lacks the understanding of how to show suicide on screen safely. Because this show leaves no positive, hopeful, or empowering message, it is a lackluster attempt to “raise awareness.”
The show doesn’t talk about mental illness or depression at all. It’s “attempt” at opening a dialogue but gives no message about how to live with difficult emotions, how to get support from others and how to survive. How can a show say they are opening a discussion when they present suicide as the only option? The fear presented in this show makes viewers feel like there is no hope and that there is nothing that can be done. A better way to make a show about suicide would be to show how adults can be supportive to these experiences and how to prevent suicide.
Making tapes that are “witty” and take a long time to make before you kill yourself is unrealistic. Suicide does not exact revenge. The person responsible for Hannah’s death is Hannah and Hannah only. It is pushing the topic of mental illness into the wrong direction-one about blame instead of prevention.
I was looking at the suicide rate per year and I could hardly believe the statistics.
Suicide is really sad and it seems preventable, why would someone want to take their own life ? But I saw that there are hundreds of suicides every year. This is so tragic. Like in the USA in 2017, there were 47,173 recorded suicides, and this number is up from 42,773 in 2014.
I can not really comment about suicide cause I have never met anyone who committed suicide or someone who had even wanted to.
I do know from hearing stories about it that when someone does they feel that they have reached the end of their road and that there is no hope left in the world or in their life. I wish I could do something about helping people who feel this way.