It’s late I know, but I just finished watching the television series 13 Reasons Why and I felt the need to express why this series is so important to watch. Now, this is going to have spoilers of some kind, but I’ll try my hardest not to do so.
13 Reasons Why is a series that revolves around several extremely dark and mostly unspoken themes, including suicide, death, self-harm, sexual assault and physical violence. So why am I speaking so highly of a television series that seems to surround itself with such negativity?
Therefore, here are thirteen reasons why you should watch the 13 Reasons Why series:
- You get to see the point of view of a victim who has suffered from situations and events, that ultimately leads to a drastic decision. You witness these accounts in a manner that makes yourself feel as though you are there. You don’t miss out on anything.
- Going on from number 1, you don’t miss out on anything. The series is extremely graphic, you see each event from the very start to the end, by doing this you are left speechless, shocked, and sickened. That’s what those vivid and realistic scenes are meant to make you feel. If those scenes weren’t in such detail, the trauma the characters go through would be tremendously dismissed by the viewers. You gain an understanding, and you see what victims go through.
- It gives those who are of older generations a glimpse of what being a teenager is like in the digital age. The world of social media and the internet wasn’t around when older people where in school, so they are given an insight on how one photo was taken out of context, can affect someone’s life. By providing this insight to older generations allows them to pick up on how issues that are considered small to them may be enormous problems for younger people.
- Shows the aftermath of suicide, and how the act can damage loved ones. The series doesn’t allow suicide to be sweet, unpainful, and easy, it displays the rawness instead of downplaying the event.
- Displays how many people struggle with not being able to pinpoint or put into words emotions that are being felt, and how that impacts an individual. Likewise, how many young people are unable to acknowledge their feelings and how that can lead to emotions going unnoticed.
- Presents the lack of education surrounding mental illness, bullying, asking for permission and dealing with grief among young people.
- Viewers see how easily a girl can be quickly considered an object instead of a human. ‘Slut-shaming’ is evident in the series, and shows that once it begins, it allows other people to continue with the harassment. The idea and pressure of being perfect and attractive are so prominent in the young girl’s lives, that once it is too much admiration or self-love it allows for others to slut shame them for no other reason required.
- Shows the amount of strength a survivor has of a distressing and traumatic, but also how damaging it is and why many people fear the ‘victim shaming that follows when speaking up.
- It sheds light on the fact that bullying is still prominent in the school environment and can also be not as public as others might think.
- That choosing not to say anything is dangerous whether that is noticing a behaviour of someone else or deciding to protect yourself.
- Displays how every sign that something isn’t right should be taken seriously before it develops into a grim situation.
- The smallest thing you do to someone affects them greatly, and if someone is experiencing multiple stresses and discomfort, it can snowball to a catastrophic consequence. The show allows the audience to view how multiple events and situations impacted one person, how one’s pain can be easily built up.
- It starts a conversation, makes us realise there is a problem, and it happens. It reminds us that there is always someone who will need help, which these types of events occur in real life, not just on a screen.