13 reasons why is an American mystery teen drama based on a novel of the same name. It was adapted by Brian Yorkey for Netflix. It’s about high school students. Mainly, it’s about Hannah Baker who commits suicide and leaves a box of cassettes. In those 13 cassettes, she gives 13 reasons why she ended her life. After her death, her friend, Clay Jensen tries to understand the reasons why she had to take such a drastic step. Currently, it’s season 2 is streaming on Netflix.
It discusses multiple issues faced by teenagers
This show has been brave enough to bring out the various problems teenagers face. It highlights issues like bullying, parents role in a teenager’s life, school’s role in the well being of their students and the relationships the students have with each other. Also, it discusses the most difficult issue, rape.
Here are 13 thoughts I had while watching 13 reasons why
1. How are the parents in this show so clueless?
Every single parent in this show is least interested in what is going on in their child’s life. Although teenage is a bit difficult to handle, it’s still necessary to know what goes in their minds. Even when Hannah Baker repeatedly tried to confide in her mother, she didn’t take her seriously. She always told her that she was being paranoid and she’s just imagining things. Being a mother, I think, we should try to be our child’s friend and listen to them attentively.
2. Clay Jensen thinks the sun revolves around him.
When Hannah was alive, Clay never confessed his love for her. But now that she’s dead, he’s the one who is angry with her. He liked her from day one but didn’t have guts to tell her. After she dies and he finds out that she had relations with other guys, he gets angry with her. Like she was his property or something. He’s also angry with her that she died.
3. The kids in the show are brutal.
They are mean, insensitive and bullies. They don’t think twice before bullying someone. They go out of the way to protect themselves while putting others in danger’s face. If they see someone who is weaker or vulnerable, they use them as bait. They call each other names like slut, whore. They are just ruthless brats. One of the main reasons Hannah committed suicide was that her schoolmates spread rumours about her. They bashed her because someone decided that she doesn’t have a good character. Imagine, how someone would feel if they bullied like this.
4. Friendships have no value for these kids.
The kids in this show value nothing. Mostly, it’s the girls who break friendships in a second. They betray their friends for a boy. Like Jessica stopped talking to Hannah when she and Alex started dating. Even when they know that their friends are in trouble, they don’t bother. But the guys are the real hypocrite in this show. Their friendships are only for their own advantages. Like Justin and Zach stick around Bryce only because he helps them financially. Likewise, Bryce needs their help to hide his dirty deeds.
5. Tony is a bit shady.
Throughout the show, I don’t think I ever saw Tony going to the school. He helped Hannah with the tapes and he was the one who delivered them to Clay. But I still don’t know how he and Hannah became friends. At the beginning of the season 2, he acted really shady. He also has anger management issues. And let’s face it, he does not look like a high schooler at all. He’s always in the right place at the right time. I just cannot figure him out.
7. How similar is American and Pakistani high school culture?
This show made me think this very important question. Besides the bullying issue, what are other similarities between American students and Pakistani students? Are they as mean to each other as the characters of this show? I think we have one advantage that our parents are very much involved in our lives. We share almost everything with them and they know how our friends are. Basically, our business is their business, which in this case, is a good thing. But what about those kids who don’t share everything with their parents? Do they suffer like Hannah did?
8. Who made this man the counsellor of the school?
The counsellor, Kevin Porter, was the last person Hannah went to. She even expressed her suicidal thoughts with him, but he failed to take notice. He was supposed to be attentive and was supposed to alert her parents. After her death, he tries to make amends by going out of his way to connect with the kids. But it’s safe to say that it’s a little too late.
9. Justin Foley is a coward.
He let Bryce rape his girlfriend, Jessica. He knew what he was going to do, but did not stop him. Instead, he started acting weird around Jessica. He tried to play the victim. He left school, his home, his town and started living on the streets. Instead of confronting the problem, he took the easy way out. He left Jessica to suffer alone.
10. It’s 2018 and people are still hiding their sexual orientation in an American TV show.
In this instant, Courtney Crimsen is one example. In order to hide her sexual identity, she put the blame on Hannah when their pictures leaked. She is a strong, smart woman, raised by two ‘dads’ and she still had to hide it. Maybe, she didn’t want to be bullied because of it. And to think that it’s an American show, where they are becoming more accepting of all orientations. Or are they?
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11. Why is no one reporting Bryce?
In season one, we saw him raping two girls, Jessica and Hannah, but no one reported him to police. Hannah had recorded those incidents in the tape and then Clay got his confession too. But school and police failed to make a case against him. They let him go easy, including his friends.
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12. More lesson for parents than kids.
This show teaches us to be more attentive to our kids. If you think their behaviour is unusual, be very alert. Talk to them as friends. Listen to them, try to understand them. Make them believe that you’re on their side. Do whatever it takes to make them feel comfortable and protective.
13. How are our actions and words impacting others?
We all can be mean and insensitive at times. But we have to be careful to not cross the limit. What if we hurt someone so much that it breaks them and they do what Hannah Baker did? We need to make sure we are not the source of someone’s pain.
In the end, I’ll just say that this show is a must watch because it shows us the realities of a teenager’s life. We need to understand them and help them if needs be.