Courtlin Binge-Watched a New Show this Weekend
After 13 hours of TV and a whole lot of crying, I am exhausted!
This weekend I did a whole lot of NOTHING. I actually wanted to get out and enjoy the nice weather, but I've been sick since Thursday, so that just wasn't really a possibility. Instead I plopped my booty down on the couch and decided to try out a show that I've heard a lot about these past two weeks: 13 Reasons Why.
13 Reasons Why is a new Netflix series that was just released a few weeks ago, based on a 2007 novel by Jay Asher. The show follows the life and death of teenager Hannah Baker, who has recently committed suicide. Following her death, Hannah left 13 cassette tapes, with each one documenting a reason why she chose to end her life. The tapes are secretly passed between the people who are mentioned on them, ending on Clay Jensen. The show focuses on Clay and his journey, as he listens to the tapes and tries to make sense of what has happened. If you're thinking to yourself, "Courtlin, this show sounds SUPER depressing!" well, it is. But it's worth it.
13 Reasons Why addresses not only suicide, but also bullying, depression, and sexual assault. And it doesn't just lightly touch on these issues, either. There are some incredibly graphic scenes that I was shocked by, but I agree were necessary for the audience to see. As someone who has struggled with mental health issues since childhood and who has a father that committed suicide, this show was a really tough watch for me. I know there are plenty of teens out there who have watched the show and thought it was unrealistic and stupid, but teenage me could absolutely relate to Hannah's struggles. I think sometimes as adults with adult problems, we look at teenagers and their teenage problems and we laugh. They seem so silly compared to the problems we have now. We forget that for a lot of teenagers, life revolves around school and the people they see there every day. Having friends is a huge priority at that age, and when that part of your life is falling apart, it can seem like your entire world is falling apart. I had a major meltdown in middle school, all because I didn't have any friends, and it was bad enough that I ended up in counseling. Now I can look back and joke about being a dork at that age, but at the time I felt like my life was worth nothing.
I think 13 Reasons Why also does a good job of highlighting the damage that bullying can do. You really have no idea the impact your words and actions can have on another person, because you really have no idea what people are going through. Everybody handles things differently. Yes, I know that sounds super cheesy, but that doesn't make it untrue. Most of the characters on the show don't want to take responsibility for any of their words or actions, but end up having to face them in the end. And, I thought it was interesting that almost all of these kids' parents said the same thing: "My child would NEVER bully anyone!" Even the people who seem to always be nice can have their not-so-nice moments. People can be rude and cruel at any age, but I think adults are a little more equipped to handle those people, simply because they have a bit more life experience (that's not to say that sometimes it doesn't still hurt). If anything, I think the show serves as a not-so-friendly reminder to be kind to people. It can only help.
Overall, I really enjoyed the show. I feel that the directors did a great job of showing suicide in the light it deserves to be shown. It's a horrendous and very permanent solution to what is usually a temporary problem, and we should be doing absolutely everything we can to prevent it. There were some parts of the show that I didn't particularly like, but that happens with any TV show or movie. I'll tell you one thing, though: it made me ugly-cry harder than any other show EVER. I mean, I LOST it during the last episode. I was sobbing so hard that I had to put eye drops in. If you plan on watching, make sure you have tissues handy. You're gonna need them!