Before you read this, know that I mention things that may be triggering (such as sexual assault, suicide).
This is your tape.
Maybe you’ve seen that specific line floating around social media recently. If you’ve been keeping up, you know it comes from a new Netflix series called 13 Reasons Why—based off of the book by Jay Asher. Here is a quick explanation of the show: Follow teenager Clay Jensen, in his quest to uncover the story behind his classmate and crush, Hannah, and her decision to end her life. ~ IMDB
Here are two more links about the book/series:
Buzzfeed recently wrote an article calling out the series for being dangerous.
The way this series portrays these issues is the absolute definition of raw and real. Quite a few people I know have been extremely affected by these thirteen episodes, and the stories they tell. Most think the producers behind this series took it too far; they believe these incidents were made too real—for a TV series—causing people to feel uncomfortable. I can agree to those claims; this was a very uncomfortable show to watch. But, I think that’s the point.
The creators of this show knew, that as teenagers, sex, drugs, suicide, relationships, bullying, and sadly rape, are all things we have knowledge of. Censoring them the way most shows do wasn’t going to get the point across the way it needed to be. They cut down every obstacle and crossed all the lines with this series—and it was beautiful. Now, don’t take me saying beautiful the wrong way. The things that happen throughout 13 Reasons Why are not beautiful, they are devastating. The show itself, and the huge wave it’s created over the last few weeks about mental illness, bullying, sexual assault, and how meaningful your words are…that is beautiful.
I’ve seen multiple articles/posts on social media regarding their sadness that it’s taken a show so raw to make people talk about these subjects. I get it. It sucks that these things are avoided at all costs unless they are forced upon our face. That’s because they are uncomfortable. They are hard to talk about. The majority of people dealing with these things personally don’t even know how to bring them up—nor do they want to in some cases. And when they are a topic of discussion, you can feel the mood in the room shift; everyone becomes tense trying to say the right thing, not knowing what that is.
13 Reasons Why deserves all the praise in the world for the way they brought these characters/issues to life. Everything about this series felt real. Sure, it was made to be entertaining—hence the tapes—and people are taking offense to that. If you are offended by the show, I hope you try and see it from a different perspective. Understand that it’s made to be successful on television…but, this fact doesn’t take away from everything shown throughout.
Anyway, I could go on forever about 13 Reasons Why. I’ll leave you with this:
Your words matter. Your actions matter. You matter. Understand that everything you do may have an impact on someone else’s life—if you have even the slightest feeling that the impact may not be positive, don’t do it. Everyone is dealing with something you know nothing about, and a lot of the time don’t feel comfortable sharing it with anyone. Don’t be the person that makes others question their life.