About The Show
Based on the best-selling books by Jay Asher, 13 Reasons Why follows teenager Clay Jensen as he returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who tragically committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Will Clay be one of them? If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list. Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, 13 Reasons Why weaves an intricate and heart-wrenching story of teenage life that will deeply affect viewers.
I literally binged this show in one day, staying up all night. I experienced so many feels while watching that I had to write something about it. So, excuse my typos as this is written from the heart.
Feel #1. This Show is Important
EVERYONE should watch this show. Adults, teenagers, tweens, families…..EVERYONE. This show is important. Yes, it goes to all the dark places but also showcases important topics that should be discussed. This is the show the world needs right now. As uncomfortable as some of the episodes are, it makes you feel. It makes you think. It makes you want to have those conversations.
Feel #2. I can Relate
I am 35. I don’t feel old or young. It seems like I was just going through these similar issues a few years ago. However, as a parent Kate Walsh’s performance KILLED me. Each episode I found myself relating to someone in various ways. Whether it was Hannah and her emotions, the person the tape was about, or a parent/loved one dealing with those precarious years.
Feel #3. Rape Culture and Slut Shaming Are Real and It Has To Stop
In today’s world of social media both of these issues have become hot topics and talked about often, yet both still occur. There is this “idea” of what is sexy and as girls and women try to achieve this idea of what is sexy they are often targeted as sluts. All you have to do is look in the comments of pictures and you will see the word “slut” more often than not.
Rape culture is harder to talk about but is in the same vein. Often times if a girl or woman comes forward with her story of rape their sexual history is looked at first. People question what she was wearing and if she was drinking. I’m not an expert by any means, but I am a rape survivor and even though I can share my story I still suffer from shame and guilt. I don’t know how to stop slut shaming or the current rape culture we are in, but I think the first step is dialogue.
Feel #4. Consent Needs to be Talked About More
After watching every episode I had a shocking realization. I have had many talks with both of my children, but we had skimmed over consent. I sat both of them down separately and immediately had different talks with them. Both were uncomfortable, but I wanted to be sure they both understood what consent actually was. For my teenage son, I stressed that HE needed to get Verbal consent….multiple times before anything happened. For my tween daughter, I explained that SHE needed to give Verbal consent multiple times. However, I also stressed to both of them that if they changed their minds about the situation they were in they could walk away and it would be ok.
Feel #5. Uncomfortable Conversations Still Need to be Had
Look, I get it. I remember talking about puberty and sex with my mom growing up and the thing is we really didn’t have an open dialogue. It was more of a “this is what happens” manual. As a parent, I decided with my kids it would be more of that dialogue that I didn’t have. Is it uncomfortable? Yes. For all of us. However, both of my children know that they can talk to me about anything without judgment. Do I maybe scream into my pillow after? Maybe. Maybe they do too, but the dialogue is there and it’s working. Am I a perfect parent? No. I’m ok with that too. I know they still need friends to talk to, and a support system other than me. As long as they are having these uncomfortable conversations with SOMEONE I am happy.
Feel #6. It DOES Get Better
Again I’m torn with my feelings on this one too. As I was watching Hannah I just kept thinking that a beautiful soul was diminished because she couldn’t think of the big picture. She was so stuck with the here and now. As a teenager that’s all, you can think of. Believe me, I’ve had dark days as both a young adult and as a grown up. We all do, but it does get better. It’s so cliche to say it, but cliches are often true.
Feel #7. We All Need To Do More
In an episode closer to the end Clay says something similar and it stuck with me. We never know what someone else is going through. So if we can all be a little kinder. Show a little more generosity. Ask about a someone’s day. If we all as a society worked a little harder senseless tragedies of all kinds wouldn’t be as prevalent. I hugged my kids a little tighter. I talked to them just a little bit more. I’ve given out compliments to random people. I’m trying. I’ll never be perfect, but I’m trying and that’s all we can do, right.
If you have yet to watch 13 Reasons Why on Netflix please do. Like I’ve said multiple times there are some hard to watch scenes, but everyone should watch it AND talk about it.