For those of you that have not watched the Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why, I highly suggest you dedicate 13 hours into this eye opening series. The show, in a nutshell, is about a high school girl who commits suicide and leaves a 13 cassette suicide note to those that were the reason as to why she decided to end her life.
Initially I was angry after finishing this series. Beyond angry actually. I felt that this show was done very poorly and sent the wrong message. I felt that I needed to discuss this with my friends, my wife, etc. to gain a better understanding of what I had taken in. After sitting back the last few weeks, and letting all I watched digest, I’m still dissatisfied with parts of this show, and have more questions than answers to certain parts.
I found the suicide scene quite graphic and disturbing. I still shudder at the visual this show provided and could have easily understood the strength of the scene without something so barbaric. I’ve heard many different views on this, but still believe it was incorporated as a tool to bring viewership. Honestly, the reason I stuck with this show was to make it to “that scene” everyone spoke of.
I felt the producers, since they decided to explore this issue, at the very least needed to respect that young people may watch this show, and carried the obligation to provide mental health, or suicide prevention hotline information prior to the opening credits. As the topic of mental health has finally made its way to the forefront in recent years, I was shocked they didn’t use this stage to endorse awareness. Maybe the producers were suggesting that the main character wasn’t carrying mental health issues? Maybe by leaving the door open to the viewer to discuss, that was the point?
I’m left to presume that this was the “Schrodinger Cat” paradox experiment in a modern application.
By the end of it, I became annoyed, as I’m sure many other who watched this show were. This young lady seemed to be in a spiral, and when she was offered help, she refused it, and when she had the opportunity to help, she stood in the shadows. Ultimately she placed the blame on everyone for everything, and attributed some very trivial things to her departure.
It absolutely was a change-up of the palette of sports, documentaries, and fluff box office hits I watch. It seemingly made me engage into discussions with others into the realm of mental health awareness. It even made me question my own beliefs, and has made me more attentive to the behaviours of my own children moving forward.
But, just like slugging 12 beers and 4 shots prior to kissing that really “beautiful” woman smoking a cigarette on the patio Old Chicago’s, it’s left a bad taste in my mouth…