Students and teachers discuss new TV show, “13 Reasons Why” (computer art)


Megan Skosnick

“13 Reasons Why” sets people in a panic. The Netflix series did a good job of showing that people should be nicer to each other, but at the same time it’s been criticized for causing unstable people to have suicidal thoughts.

“13 Reasons Why” is a 13-episode series based on the novel of the same name by Jay Asher. The show, as of now, is available only on Netflix and was released March 31.

Many people, including myself, have binge-watched all of the first season. Some finished it the very weekend it came out.

The plot revolves around high schooler Hannah Baker, who has committed suicide. Before ending her own life, Hannah made a set of 13 cassette tapes, explaining the 13 reasons why she killed herself.

The series shows the aftermath of a high school and community after their tragic loss. It brings attention to very serious issues such as rape, alcohol, suicide, bullying and the overall problems with teenagers in general, specifically the students at Liberty High.

Miss KatyBeth Morrison:

“I heard a lot of students talking about the show, and saw many students reading the book. I also had several students ask me if I read it. I have always tried to remain ‘in the know’ as to what my students are reading and viewing, so I felt compelled to watch the show on Netflix. I felt the show’s interpretation of ‘the typical’ high school experience was absurd. More specifically the scene showing students drinking at school and school-related events were ridiculous and infuriating. I highly doubt even the naivest of teachers would not call into question teenager carrying around a flask at a dance. I also thought the portrayal of the guidance counselor ignoring Hannah’s blatant plea for help was very unrealistic as well. Teachers, and especially counselors, would never let something like that go unaddressed. It frightened me how the show both glamorized and romanticized suicide. While I am not downplaying the horrific events that took place to her, Hannah’s tale was so captivating, viewers almost forget that they’re watching the mental unraveling of someone who is severely depressed. I also felt this show portrayed Hannah’s suicide as a way to ‘get back’ at the people who hurt her. Although she states she is offering an explanation as to what brought her to this point, I felt her tapes are in a way bullying the individuals who receive them. It makes me worry that someone might find this show alluring and affirm those negative feelings. I wish the show ended with a strong message stating, not implying, that ANYTIME you feel lost or helpless or have any kind of urge to end your life, you NEED to reach out to someone, ANYONE, immediately.”

Junior Sadie Comfort:

“I absolutely fell in love with the show right away. I loved the book when I read it, but the show was even better. I loved that they made it a series and put all the details needed instead of compromising in a movie. I thought the show really showed the true feelings of each character and handled a sensitive topic perfectly. I did not like how it ended in a cliffhanger. No one knows what truly happened and it hasn’t been said if there will be another season y et. I would 100% recommend the show because it displays a great message about treating everyone nicely in a way that makes you never want to stop watching. I hope another season is made soon.”

“13 Reasons Why” is one of the only modern shows that successfully depicts many hardships of high school. It puts emphasis on the fact that people should be more kind to others, but at the same time fails to see that it could bring depressed teens to a very bad place.

The victim’s pre-recorded audio recordings almost make killing yourself seem more appealing if you’re in a bad place. It gives the impression that after you’re gone, you can get justice from outing the people who directly or indirectly caused you to kill yourself.

While the series was very good, the most important thing viewers should take away from it is the fact that there are many more options than suicide. A video pops up after you finish the show or search for it in the search bar, called “13 Reasons – Beyond the Reasons.” Actors who portrayed characters on the show talk about suicide and the importance of seeking help in some way if you are depressed or thinking about suicide. Katherine Langford, who plays Hannah Baker, led most of the serious discussion.

“And just know that there’s life behind what you’re feeling at the moment. I promise it will get better. There is an entire future of incredible things waiting for you. And if you go, you don’t get to … You don’t get to see it,” Langford said.