After hearing so many good things over Twitter about 13 Reasons Why, I decided to give it a watch yesterday morning. Little did I know that I would become hooked and end up finishing the whole season by 3.00am this morning.
In between submitting job applications and doing some work on my blog, I found the time to just watch one more episode. And wow this is the most amazing, thought-provoking series I’ve watched so far on Netflix.
To people who are thinking about watching it for the first time, if you think you’re about to watch a typical teenage/adult series about relationships and school life, you’re wrong. There’s so much more to it underlying that’s really important for people to see. There’s a lot that can be going on in someone’s life that others might not be aware of. Or even still, they might be aware but either don’t want to or sadly don’t have the courage to help.
Sometimes, the signs of the pain that someone is in will always be there but people either fail to recognise them or they can be pushed away when they do offer their support. Others are left questioning if they ever did enough.
I don’t want to go into the storyline too much because I think you’ll be captivated from the first moment you begin to watch the drama without needing too much detail beforehand. What I will tell you is that, there’s a young woman named Hannah, played by Katherine Longford who tells us her journey through 13 reasons why she wanted to kill herself.
Before you think, ah that’s not my thing, give it a watch and you might be surprised at how moving and engaging the series really is.
The way the story is told through Hannah’s and Clay’s (who is Hannah’s classmate, portrayed by Dylan Minnette) dual narrative is truly heart-wrenching and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry. Each and every little part of the episodes hold a meaning, where several messages are conveyed with the audience.
I’d like to share what I learnt from 13 Reasons Why.
People hurt differently
There could be ten people in a room who have all been hurt, but it can affect each and every one of them differently. Some people might shrug it off. Others will be slightly damaged mentally. Others will be disturbed when it comes to doing the physical things. But there’s one clear message that, everyone has more going on that what meets the eye. You don’t know what happens behind closed doors. Some people are more sensitive than others, and it’s what we do about it when we see these people hurt that might change a decision they have.
Bullying still exists
You would think that in this modern world we live in, bullying wouldn’t even cross peoples’ minds anymore but sadly it does. It happen in both a child’s life and an adult’s life in today’s society. It’s sickening to see the consequences it has on victims. To belittle someone, to hurt them physically and/or emotionally is unacceptable. It’s so disheartening when words and actions play a part of a young person’s life, as to whether they want to end theirs to end all of the unnecessary pain in their life.
Should you accept that somebody raped you with good reason? No, certainly not. However, some victims are made to feel as though it was their fault – ‘giving the signs’, not screaming no, being drunk etc. What right does that give any person to abuse the nature of another by hurting them and doing something you know they aren’t ‘asking for’.
Should you change who you are to be in with the crowd? Again, no, definitely not. However, teenage life definitely involves this motion today just as it did in the past and it may well do so in the future. We are all human and I don’t think it takes too much effort to be kind to someone no matter how they look. You don’t know what they’ve been through.
Hannah Baker accepted all the bad decisions that she had made and it was heart-breaking to see what she was going through. She felt neglected at times, lonely, known for a false and misinterpreted reputation. She was a young woman who simply wanted to live a happy life and feel loved.
Sadly, not everyone gets this feeling. And I think Katherine Langford deserves so much credit, alongside Dylan Minnette for how they portrayed their roles so real life-like.
Many of the girls in the series loved that they were on the ‘best’ part of the best and worst list. However Hannah was different. She seen how belittling it was and how it objectified young women like herself. People took advantage of seeing her on the list and thought they could insult her verbally and physically.
Could you accept those 13 reasons as to why Hannah Baker killed herself?