This post is the second part (or an extension) of the last post about the new Netflix’s TV series 13 Reasons Why that will cover some extra points that I forgot to discuss and have been thinking about. This is not a very long piece, just a way for me to express my thoughts.
If you would like, feel free to check my last post and fill yourself in the loop before continuing.
I ended my last post talking about the controversial topic on the glorification of suicide and asking “why is it okay for us to view or broadcast movies or Facebook/YouTube videos of violence like people killing or shooting others but not this particular scene?
I don’t understand why people are mad about Hannah’s suicide scene as if it’s “glorifying” it.
THE MEDIA “GLORIFIES” DEATH AND VIOLENCE ALL THE TIME. The news. TV shows. Movies. We make movies out of tragic events. People even broadcast live videos on Facebook of people stabbing and shooting each other and PEOPLE SHARE IT.
I just wanted to re-illiterate that point.
Secondly, choosing to let Hannah die at the end. This part I thought very hard about when I was showering and it came to me!
First, let’s look at the different outcome if Hannah did not die. If Hannah did not die then yay, more hope for us who suffer from mental illnesses, but what kind of message does it send out to the bullies?
I believe the main message the TV Show is trying to send is that bullying has consequences. So if Hannah did not die, the bullies would continue to think that bullying is okay and they can easily get away with it because the bullied would find help anyway so what’s the harm?
Now, let’s come back.
Having Hannah die at the end may send out a not-so-pretty message that there is absolutely no hope for those who are suffering from mental illnesses except death, BUT that’s not the only message.
It sends a message to the bullies because they are one of the TV show’s targeted audience. By deciding to end the show with her death, it shows how bullying has consequences and it starts and ends with the bullies. And they can either chose to stop or someone is going to get hurt.
By ending the show this way, it encourages us to be nice to one another and understand that our actions have consequences and that’s exactly what Clay says in the last episode, which could be seen as directed towards us, the viewers:
It has to get better. The way we treat each other and look out for each other. It has to get better somehow. -Clay Jensen, 13 Reasons Why
Lastly, 13 Reasons Why is coming out with a second season and a lot of people aren’t so happy about it.
I agree that it has become an entertainment piece rather than an educational one, but how else is mental illness going to be seen if not from the media itself? I’m sure not a lot of people are going to read an article or book about it because a lot of people are lazy.
As of right now, you have to cater to your audience and if that’s through TV shows or movies, so be it.
On a completely different note, I thought it would be interesting if the show executed their seasons similar to how American Horror Story do by having a different storyline every season but the same cast. This way they can focus on a range of mental illnesses.
I hope this brings out some important points to create a slightly clearer understanding of 13 Reasons Why, but feel free to disagree as well.