Netflix just announced they are bringing back its hit TV show 13 Reasons Why and it seems as if everyone is asking: is this a good or a bad thing?
The show follows the story of a high school teenager who commits suicide. Before her death, she creates 13 tapes about the people who influenced her tragic end. After her death, the students are forced to listen to the tapes. Some argue that the show glorifies suicide, while others praise it for showing the true pain of growing up as a teenager in the unpredictable and sometimes cruel world of high school. Another huge fear is that it may lead to self harm, according to Quartz.
The article goes on to explain that with all the talk surrounding the show, one thing holds true: this is the first show to deal with teenage suicide head on. As a film and television student, I first didn’t like the show for this exact reason. This show had the power of the first teenage suicide drama yet they chose cliche dialogue, poor acting and confusing character structure? if I were the producers, I would have put in much more money, and time, for the first season. Instead, it looks like a Disney Channel original movie that weirdly portrays a suicide. I wish instead, the show would have used a similar style and lighting to Big Little Lies, another murder mystery or that of The Virgin Suicides.
However, the true problem with the show is the glorifying of suicide. As a New York Times article points out:
“Superintendents and school counselors around the country have issued warnings to parents that “13 Reasons Why” glorifies suicide and could lead to an increase in copycat behavior and self-harm among vulnerable students. ‘We are concerned about our children watching this series without adult supervision because it romanticizes and sensationalizes the idea of suicide,’ Lisa Brady, superintendent of schools in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., wrote in an email to parents.”
Instead of helping young adults with depression and suicidal thoughts, the show depicts that one can use death as a revenge plot, and that suicide is not stoppable, as shown in one of the posters that reads “You Couldn’t Save Me.”
If you have younger siblings or cousins, I highly suggest having a discussion with their parents about this show.