Tuesday, April 11, 2017

"13 Reasons Why": Why You Should Watch It.

As an avid Netflix user, I often venture into the "trending now" category and "newly released" section to find what I'll be binge watching - or steering clear of - for the new few nights. It was last weekend when I noticed a new series was released and I willing to give it a chance. So without hesitation I began to watch the pilot, really just expecting a young adult series (which it is labeled) for the teen Netflix-ers, offering nothing to the other ages. I was sorely mistaken.

I would like to give this warning now. While I will NOT be disclosing a bunch of spoilers, nor will I tell you how it ends, I will be providing as few details as possible while still giving an accurate depiction of the storyline. I will also be giving MY opinions on it and expressing the key points in why I personally believe this is a series EVERYONE should watch. That being said, let's get into this review.

Found HERE
This series begins with a tragedy that has ridden almost an entire high school with grief from the death of a student. While the entire series circles around multiple key students and their inner lives, the "host" of the show is really a young man named Clay Jensen. 

With not much in his life, Clay is gifted a set of tapes that details the truth behind Hannah Baker's suicide, which Hannah herself pre-recorded prior to her untimely demise. As he goes through each and every tape, he uncovers dark secrets that had created a snowball effect in Hannah's life, ultimately leading her to the decision she so "cautiously" chose. 

As we follow Clay in his journey, each and every episode details the chaotic and heart-wrenching affects of how bullying and high school life can lead to such disastrous results AND how each decision creates a domino effect, extending the pain to many more lives. 

Within the series we see the grieving family, the school that is facing a lawsuit (the family believes her suicide could've been prevented if they had taken Hannah seriously as she reached out for help in more ways than one), the kids that are on the tape (that Hannah basically named responsible for her death), and the past experiences of Hannah's life. 

Personally I feel that this series is extremely important for all members of society, middle school aged and up, for us to truly understand the cause and effect of our actions. While it's impossible to be a perfect person, taking responsibility and thinking how it affects others is an important quality everyone could use, because sometimes (myself included) we don't think before we act. 

"13 Reasons Why" originally started out as a book by the author Jay Asher and depicts heartbreak on many platforms within word form. The series - I feel - adequately retold the story with it's delicate nature, in a fashion that seamlessly adheres to the issues at hand in our society today. 

Rape, stalking, bullying, suicide, abuse, betrayal, homophobia, high school relationships, gossip, underage drinking, drama, rumors, and secrets are some of the points talked about in "13 Reasons Why". These are [unfortunately] very common in high school life and regular life. 

The best part about this entire series is that they talk about how each and every one of these issues could have been dealt with an entirely different approach, leading to the saving of someone's life. 

I think we all could use a dose of reality, because it showcases a lot of real situations that we as people see and deal with daily. It allows us to understand why people act the way they do and how to combat the silencing of very dangerous actions. It gives each of us the tools to be better equipped in handling how our children (or maybe even our lives) are treated when we aren't around. It showcases how to see key signs in downward spirals within each other. 

Found HERE
Finishing the season Clay is determined to expose the truth of Hannah's life, making each person accountable for their part in Hannah's suicide, regardless of the "consequences" that may or may not take place in the future for Clay. I came out of this realizing that while I may want to be accepted in society and I may have my own moments of "anger", but I will take into consideration how my words and actions may negatively affect another person. 

One extra part in this series - which I can't comment on whether or not it takes place in the book, because I have yet to read it - is that it ends with a semi-cliffhanger, leaving room for either imagination or [hopefully] a season 2. 

I have dealt with depression and anxiety in many forms throughout my life, including in high school. I was one of the lucky ones who was thankfully heard when she cried for help, but many times these signs go completely unnoticed. "13 Reasons Why" will give you an insight into the mind of a suicidal teenager, who desperately needs open arms to help guide her into a long life. 

So perhaps you're struggling to find a way past this part of your life or perhaps you aren't sure how to approach your deflective teen, this series could very well help you. If nothing else, it will provide for a very well written and dramatic show you can binge watch.

Each episode increases in more suspense, but towards the end I wouldn't suggest it suitable for a younger audience. That is merely up to the discretion of parents however, as there is even a warning for a few episodes of "viewer discretion advised". 

One last note. If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or any mental illness, please seek help. If you don't have anyone to listen or hear you, you are more than welcome to reach out to me via email (thewhiterockingchair@gmail.com) or on Instagram direct message.

I promise it will be a safe zone with zero judgment and complete confidentiality. I've been on the edge and I know what it's like to stare at death in the face. I'm hear for all you beautiful and handsome Jedi's. You deserve to be loved, you deserve to be happy, you deserve a friend, and you deserve to live. 

Just remember, I'm here if you need me. 

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