Thursday Thoughts: 13 Reasons Why [spoilers]

by - Thursday, May 25, 2017

I have been completely obsessed with Netflix recently. I have just finished Riverdale (which I LOVE) and then was looking at what else they had come up with. 

I had really put off watching 13 Reasons Why because I had heard a lot of criticism about it for its portrayal of mental illness. I think mental health is ridiculously important, and was worried that by watching 13RW I would get angry about the portrayal of mental health on the show. While I do understand the criticism on the way that mental illness is portrayed, I am going to dicuss things I think the show did really well, because despite the faults I actually found the show really thought provoking and I haven't stopped thinking about it since I finished the last tape. 

The part of the show that really really really stuck with me and keeps going over in my mind is the part where we are shown the lives that Clay and Hannah would have had if Hannah had not killed herself. It made my chest hurt thinking not only about this story, but about all the things that should be happening in the world but they won't because someone has died or people keep doing awful things to each other. The show was so poignant because while the romance and friendship was building between Clay and Hannah and I so desperately wanted it to work out for them I knew it wouldn't. And it could have done. 

It really made me feel like the real enemy of mental health is passitivity. All the characters suffered with no one standing up to bullies, or asking how someone was, or challenging others' behaviour, or telling someone how they really felt (Clay I'm looking at you!!!). Any of them could have stopped Hannah from killing herself at any point because that's all it took to stop the awful consequences and break the downward spiral. 

Despite the criticism, it has got people talking about mental illness, its impacts and the importance of mental health. Which can be no bad thing when there are people out there suffering. The school in 13RW was entirely believable, with the school overlooking problems despite clear indications towards many of the students suffering from depression. There only being one counsellor for the entire student body was entirely remincent of the world of budget cuts we live in. 

The scene where Hannah kills herself was dreadful, and awful to see her hurting herself so badly, a character that we had got to know and who had shared all their secrets with us. I know it's acting, but the bath scene was done with nothing but reality in mind, which made it neither gratuitous nor pleasant in any way. Despite some claims that the show has glamorised suicide, I personally feel that Hannah's was anything but glamorous.

Ultimately, you will need to watch it yourself to see what you think, but I thought it was fantastic, not only because it resonated so much with me, but because I know that everyone watching will have taken something different from it. 

If you haven't seen 13 Reasons Why yet, it is on Netflix.. If you have seen it let me know what you thought!

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