It’s not too long ago since 13 Reasons Why aired on Netflix and lately I spot conversations about how important the message is, though in a wrong way passed around.
Psychologists present arguments how this subject might have the wrong impact and actually introduce to a teenage person an easy death and an easy escape from their issues.
I cannot disagree, though I also cannot agree. Because everything is a matter of perspective.
Both producers, cast and any other involved member on this, in any way possible share their goal. Push people to stand up strong. Talk.
In the book facts have different order, nevertheless the same result. Word by word you discover so many truths. I guess ugly facts for ugly truths.
Netflix and every person responsible for this production made an incredible upgrade of the plot. They represent more interactions with the characters, introduce every personality beyond Hannah’s truths, you see how hard is for everyone to be a teenager.
Go through changes being a child for society, but a young adult both at once. A person who discovers the world and straggles to fit in. Your reputation is everything. It sounds nothing when you’re adult (does it?), you learn to be yourself and don’t care. You understand you cannot be likeable to everyone and most of all people always talk, start rumors and put labels, it seems to be a habit, part of our nature, however by that time you find it reasonable. And when people act depending on rumors becomes inevitable. Because it feels forever.
Although another unique capability of human mind is to forget. Things some day become just memories, experiences which made us who we are.
Mr. Porter in a sincerely way tried to explain it. But he failed to make it properly or Hannah was in a level of self distraction which helped her to let him fail.
In the end she says “everyone cared, but not enough.” It is important to look the fact, she had put herself in distance and at the same time she challenged with her cryptic way people around her to make a move. She expected for a move, yet she never was clear she needed one, she wanted one. Because when she tried to be she felt like she hit a wall (Zack) or people will laugh at her (poem) or misread (Anonymous note).
As it happens to the book Hannah is fighting against rumored reputation and herself. But she quits.
The scene of her rape and the frozen reaction. When the director shows her hand (amazing scene, yet so hard to watch) it is clear for the audience, she established her surrounding. She gave up. She reached her limit and decided to put everything aside. Including her life.
The TV show episodes are more intense than the book’s chapters. Same is for the suicide scene.
The intensity and scenes like the one Skye argues with Clay about how suicide is a choice for the weak or how Hannah imagined a future and so many others. Concluded one message. One statement.
Shit happens. When you are younger it’s like a mountain with no top. But guess what, it has a top and when you reach it the view is a whole world in front of you. Also full with bad and good things along to come.
13 Reasons Why doesn’t suggest suicide as solution to a teenager who’s going through many overwhelming things. And no teenager should left think of it this way.
It suggests, beyond those things there is light. People like Clay, Mr. Porter, Parents who care and instead of pushing them away, try to give a chance, to them and to you. Be clear. Try to talk. Don’t give up on yourself since there are people who don’t give up on you even if they also struggle with their own truths.
It’s a show storytelling an ugly truth. There is no good way to give life in an ugly reality. We should start speak about things as they are.
We should start conversations on the main purpose of the book and the show. It’s important to speak about it and understand Hannah’s action was a mistake, but her cassettes, her truth is a lesson for everyone left behind to learn to behave better, to respect, to listen and if they are victims the ones who listen not to quit life, because they will leave behind persons who care enough and they deserve a chance to fight together, as Jessica. Because it’s rather late not ever. They don’t quit only from all the bad things happening around them, but also the good.
Finally, in the show at the end we are informed the child who was in the ambulance was Alex and he attempted suicide. The guilt and realisation these tapes left were overwhelming for his character, but we see again people fail to recognise the signs. How he was on edge. He had reached his limits. He was trapped to himself.
Don’t discuss what is wrong with the way show presents cyber bullying and sexual assault, the teenage life and choices.
Discuss what is wrong in our society and the need to spread the message and become better.