13 Reasons Why

26 Apr

So. What’s up with the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why?”

This series is based off of a book published ten years ago by Jay Asher, which is about a young girl who committed suicide, leaving behind 13 audio tapes to the people she considered the reasons as to why she killed herself. The series itself is rated TV-MA for mature audiences for a plethora of reasons, including the suicide, of course, as well as graphic images and descriptions of self-harm, bullying, and rape.

While the Netflix series has a high rating, the book itself is generally aimed towards teens. I know that one of my younger cousins has read the story, and I’ve seen Rachel pick it up off of Barnes and Noble’s bookshelves to give it a look, but due to the summary of the novel, I was never interested in looking at it farther than the blurb on the back cover. Suicide is such a serious and sad topic that, while I’m sure the author handled it very sensitively, the thought of reading about it for fictional drama was not for me.

(Similarly, it’s why I’ve never read The Hunger Games series, although I know how much its fans love it. I can’t wrap my mind around a world that actively televised and watched children kill each other. It sounds a little strange, considering the other kind of high fantasy I read, but I digress.)

“13 Reasons Why” on Netflix is making quite a few headlines lately, most notably with people condemning it for “romanticizing” suicide. Others claim that it’s sensitive to the difficult topic, that it’s a great tool for opening up conversations between parents and teens about suicide, bullying, self-harm, rape.

Schools are sending out mass emails and letters to parents to warn them about this series that many of their children are already watching, despite the MA rating. It was the dominate topic of conversation at the dinner table just last night between my parents, Rachel, me and my two teenage cousins who were joining us. They hear their classmates talking about it all over their schools, and their curiosities were piqued. The older of the pair had read the book, but I don’t believe she had realized how graphic the episodes could be.

We all spoke about how difficult and series the topics that “13 Reasons Why” touches upon, about how graphic the show may showcase the issues as, about why it’s important to understand the sensitivity and severity of the topics. They seemed receptive of the outcome of the conversation, but I fear they didn’t understand how serious the issues are.

It’s a little bittersweet, actually. Perhaps they don’t grasp the seriousness because they have been lucky enough to not have had experienced any of those issues in their little worlds, and I pray that they and everyone else who touches their lives never has to.

Again, I haven’t read the book or seen the series, nor am I inclined to do so, and I do not mean to offend anyone with my opinions. These are just my thoughts on this bit of controversy that’s surrounding a television series that had started as a book. Anyone else have thoughts on “13 Reasons Why?”


Posted by on April 26, 2017 in Home


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5 responses to “13 Reasons Why

  1. tahenryauthoress

    April 26, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    I haven’t watched it. I like my nighttime TV viewing to be brainless. And my kiddo is way to young for that to be family viewing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kris P.

      April 29, 2017 at 9:46 am

      I’ve heard rumors and articles wondering if this show should be mandatory in school, like middle and high school, mostly to help open up conversations about all the issues that are found in the show and book. With the rating, I’m sure they would need to get the parents’ permission and everything, but I think just by existing the conversations are already happening. I’m not sure how old your kiddo is, and it’s definitely interesting to get a parent’s perspective on this (aside from my own in regards to my cousins, of course).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Skye Hegyes

    May 2, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    I haven’t watched the show yet, but I plan to. I listened to the audio book last year and loved it, and yes, it’s on the harsher side, and it’s just a girl recounting her memories. I imagine if the show shows HALF of what she talks about, it would be extremely graphic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kris P.

      May 7, 2017 at 3:03 pm

      I think that’s why it got such a high rating — I heard it could get very graphic, but seeing as I’m not planning on watching it, I obviously can’t say for certain. Perhaps you’ve seen it by now? I’m interested in hearing your impressions.



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