13 Reasons Why is an American web television series based on the 2007 novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. The series revolves around a high school student, Clay Jensen, and another student, Hannah Baker, who committed suicide after suffering a series of unfortunate circumstances. A box of cassette tapes recorded by Hannah before her suicide details thirteen reasons why she ended her life.
I have made a list of 13 reasons why I am addicted to this show!
1) The Team And The Music
The book is adapted by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning writer Brian Yorkey for Netflix. It has an interestingly good mix of songs you may or may not recognize, both new and old, and how could it not be, when Selena Gomez is one of the producers?
2) The Consequences Of Bullying
Bullying is very common. I am sure most of you must have experienced it yourself, by being the victim or by being the one doing it. While you might think that the silly pranks you do to bully people are ‘harmless’, this show teaches us otherwise. All actions have reactions. After all, How much does it take to be a nice person?
3) The Choice Of Topics
13 Reasons why focuses on raw and sensitive topics like depression, suicide, sexual assault and bullying; which are basically a taboo especially in India. All the more reasons why parents should watch this along with their children!
4) All Characters Are Flawed, Even Hannah
The characters in 13 Reasons Why are pretty fascinating and real. There are some stereotypical characters like popular guys who play some sport and popular girls who are super mean to everyone, but overall the characters are complex people leading complex lives. Most of them aren’t what they look like initially, and as you get to know them over time your sympathy towards everyone grows. Even someone like Justin turns out to be a guy who’s hurting inside due to his relationship with his mother.
5) Recognizing Signs Of Substance Abuse.
After Jessica is sexually assaulted, she begins drinking regularly. We see that she has bottles of alcohol hidden underneath her bed to numb her feelings and help her to sleep. She also starts stealing alcohol and later starts drinking it whenever she feels low. Research suggests that substance abuse may be linked to traumatic events in the past.
6) The Acting Is Superb.
The entire cast is amazing, but both Langford and Minnette are the backbone of the series. These two deserve recognition for a job well done,being the leads of the show. But the rest of the cast is also fantastic, including Christian Navarro as Tony, Brandon Flynn as Justin and Justin Prentice as Bryce.
7) Objectification Of Women And Slut-Shaming
The girls in the series are depicted as how many girls are in real life, in search of male attention. Also, girls and boys are quick to label certain girls as sexually “easy.” A wrong picture gets circulated and the girl is called a ‘slut’. In the series, there goes around a list which objectifies girls, having labels like ‘best ass’, ‘ugly face’, ‘best lips’ etc. Not only boys but even girls make fun of those in the list and nobody realizes the harm in making such lists, which later leads to sexual harassment towards Hannah Baker, labelled ‘best ass’. Shame is a powerful weapon used to bully and demean other people.
8) It’s More Than Just A High School Drama.
Not only are the characters really complex and interesting, the story goes beyond simple teen drama. This is a suicide story, but it’s also a story about people affected by loss of a girl. Parents, teachers and friends. Ultimately, the show has a great impact. I really liked the fact that the show didn’t have a happy ending but a real ending. Hannah doesn’t survive, the people who bullied her feel responsible for her suicide. All raw human emotions.
9) Everyone Is Struggling.
Most of the times the signs that someone is struggling aren’t really obvious. It should be common sense to acknowledge that everyone is going through something bad in their lives. The girls who is always laughing isn’t always happy. The popular guy feels alone because he doesn’t have real friends. The series teaches us to be nice to people and to care enough.
10) Accepting Your Own Identity.
The series includes openly gay characters, but it also includes Courtney who is deeply ashamed of her being a lesbian and constantly tries to hide it. The fact that she has two fathers increases her feeling of isolation because she knows what her parents have faced. Sadly, Courtney starts spreading rumors of Hannah being a lesbian to avoid attention on her. Parents need to be aware that LGBT teens are more vulnerable to bullying
11) Sexual Assault Is Real, And Can Happen To Anyone.
The victim blaming needs to stop. Girls aren’t asking for it if they are wearing short skirts or if they are extra-friendly. The concept of consent is absent in teens and that should end. Most importantly, If you witness something wrong happening, you need to raise your voice!
12) You’ll Learn How To Identify The Signs
Not just Hannah, there are many people around her who are struggling. Alex, who feels alone after Jessica leaves him; Jessica who resorts to Alcohol after learning that she was raped; Skye, who everyone considers a loner has cuts across her arms; and Justin, who shares a troubled relationship with his mother. This show helps us identify the signs of depressed, suicidal people slowly isolating themselves.
13) The Beautiful Cast.
On a lighter note, the cast is flawless.
So, tell us your views on this popular series in the comments section below.
Also, a plus point if you have already watched it. There WILL BE a season 2 guys!