In Netflix’s Original Series, 13 Reasons Why, Hannah Baker is a 17-year-old high school student who commits suicide and leaves behind 13 audiotapes where she explains in graphic detail all of the events that ultimately lead to her death. Each tape is dedicated to each of the 13 people who hurt her and on them she reveals dark, hidden secrets that hold most of them accountable for her death in some way.
I came across 13 Reasons Why on Netflix randomly one day, not knowing the premise and I can honestly say that I believe everyone, especially those still in grade school, should be required to watch it. Being that Netflix is a program that allows more uncensored content than regular TV, the creators of the show were able to display the effects of bullying to its rawest degree. Nothing is left to your imagination, especially the scenes involving rape and Hannah’s actual suicide which has caused a significant upset among some viewers.
Many people have complained about the extreme graphicness within the show and all I can think is, well in real life there are no censors or any kind of protection for those who witness these things so why hide it on a show? The graphicness is what brings the show to life and it is what lingers within you afterwards, making you think hard about the fact that yes; this stuff does actually happen. Was it scary and uncomfortable to watch? Absolutely, but whips your mind back to reality where the same, horrible things happen to people every day.
Aside from the realistic and graphic aspect of the show, the mysteriousness of who the next tape will be about keeps the viewers completely hooked and on the edge of their seats. Especially when it comes to Clay, who besides Hannah, is the main and most loved character on the show. Clay is just your average joe of high school; a nice, shy, quiet kid who just goes wit the flow. The fact that he was given the tapes to listen to indicates he is one of the 13 which leaves him and the viewers wondering what he could have possibly done to Hannah that was so bad that she killed herself, especially since he was in love with her. You don’t even find out until episode 11, where you get a brief relief from knowing that he did not do anything bad to her besides allowing her to push him away when she really needed him to be there for her and break through to her.
Unlike many other shows on Netflix like that are created purely for entertainment, 13 Reasons Why is a show that not only grabs your attention and hooks you in, but it leaves a lasting impact on the you as well. It brings real problems in society to life in a very blunt, obscene, and uncomfortable fashion which I believe is unfortunately necessary in order for people to really ban together and make things like bullying and suicide stop. Another great take away is that it causes you to think about your own life and decisions that you have made in the past. You just never truly know how your actions, however simple they may be, can make a huge difference in someone’s life. 13 Reasons Why is a huge Public Service Announcement broken up into 13 parts, calling its viewers to be the change, to be the one smiling and kind face, to be the one reason why someone decided to continue living their life.