Ever since 13 Reasons Why released their trailer I knew I would be watching the show, at least to tell you all what I thought as a mental health advocate. After a several day binge, I have finally completed the series, and immediately needed to discuss this show with my readers. The following are my thoughts on this show, without spoilers as always, and whether or not you should watch it.
I would not recommend sitting through this on one sitting. I’ve broken up my viewing over the past week, and I have to be honest; the show was pretty intense in some scenes, and I wish I went a little slower to prepare myself for the inevitable. The show follows Hannah Baker and several of her peers. Hannah has recently committed suicide, and has left behind several tapes to reveal why (or who) is the cause of her suicide. I know it was a book before the series, but I never had a chance to read the book growing up (surprisingly, because I was an avid reader as a teenager). Going into this with no knowledge, I didn’t know what to expect.
The show at times is definitely driven to a younger audience; some things in the show are typical high school bullshit, so it can get a little draggy. But wow; did this show capture the truth of a suicidal high schooler. Often times people refer to Hannah as a “drama queen” who was “seeking attention.” This hit me personally, as the class Drama Queen who was wanting to end her life. I very much connected to the characters, even aside from Hannah. This show really shows that you don’t always know what’s going on in someone’s life. Sometimes, we’re the victims, and others, we’re the bullies. This show details a viewing of both narratives, connecting to every part of the human psyche.
At times, as previously mentioned, the show can get pretty intense. I suggest people who are easily triggered to avoid the show, despite the trigger warnings previewed at the beginning of episodes. This show is extremely graphic at some points, and even though I consider myself to be mentally strong (or getting there), this show did trigger two flash backs for me, and caused a bit of depression in my life.
Overall, this show is good; as long as you focus on the message. I do feel like some things were added for shock value, and like they didn’t nail the message of suicide prevention. Please reach out if you need help. And enjoy watching; who knows, maybe this show can help save a few lives. ***Although I think a second season would be a big mistake, to be honest.