Hannah Baker’s story from the TV show “13 Reasons Why” broke the internet in a matter of days. Though, did it do so in the right ways? Fan accounts on social media, news articles and awareness were spread across multiple platforms of media. The suicide of the main character Hannah Baker sparked a controversy about a topic that was longing for conversation. Although the creators of the show say that “13 Reasons Why” was to spread awareness the show glamorizes the idea of suicide.
In an article published by People called, “Why Schools are Warning Parents About Netflix’s Series 13 Reasons Why” it talks about the effects the show has on the “vulnerable youth”. Experts began to worry that the impact of the show can have a greater effect on the teens because of the disturbing and gruesome images of bullying, rape and suicide. The National Association of School Psychologist explains, “research shows that exposure to another person’s suicide, or to graphic or sensationalized accounts of death, can be one of the many risk factors that youth struggling with mental health conditions cite as a reason they contemplate or attempt suicide.” Although the show did bring attention to the topics in school and at home, it has brought a larger concern along with it. The show did not take into account that the graphic scenes they included would have an impact on teens who might find these situations relatable. With that said, suicide in the show was depicted as if it was a good thing for Hannah Baker, causing many teens to feel that way as well.
Suicide was shown to be a lot less complicated than it actually is in the show. Given, bullying can play in a role in such a tragic incident, experts argue that the show does not show how complex it is nor does it touch on the topic of mental illness either. In an article published by the New Statesman, it highlights the fact that during the whole entire show there is no mention of depression or any form of mental illness that could have been connected to Hannah’s suicide. The show manages to highlight the actions of her peers and to hammer on the fact that they were the reason for Hannah Baker’s death, but never is able to analyze mental illness. In the article is states, “The show is right to be trying to provide teenagers with a lesson in compassion and sensitivity, but watching Hannah Baker cut her wrists in High Definition isn’t doing anything for youth suicide prevention.” While the show was trying to make a meaningful message by including Hannah’s suicide scene, it was almost too glorifying.
The show “13 Reasons Why” definitely brought attention to certain issues, but did not execute it successful. Spreading awareness about a topic that is romanticized and not explaining the complexity of it does not represent the real issue. Throughout the show Hannah Baker’s story is never fully understood or talked about, in which in the future shows need to address the real issues and look at the bigger picture. Suicide is not a topic that should overlooked, or represented in the wrong ways because it can lead to a misinterpretation for the youth, especially to young adults who may be experiencing similar things to Hannah Baker. Did it spread awareness? Yes, but did it come about it in the best way it could have? No. Suicide is not a matter glamorizing, glorifying and romanticizing, its a serious issue that is far more complex than the show advertises it.
Why is this my best 2Fer?
This is by far my favorite 2Fer I have ever written. I think I really tackled my weakness by efficiently staying on topic concerning by thesis and finding research that directly applies to what I talked about. I think the flow of my paper goes really nicely, the ideas mesh well together and supports each other really well. The evidence I used was also very helpful, and I think the quotes I used helped my argument a lot, and I didn’t overlap my thoughts. I also tried to include the “so what?” and “why does this matter?” my referencing to change the way things should be done in the future. Overall, I really enjoyed this 2Fer, and think it was my strongest because I targeted to work through what I struggle with most.
Shah, Neha. "Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why Is an Irresponsible Dramatisation of Teenage Suicide." Netflix's 13 Reasons Why Is an Irresponsible Dramatisation of Teenage Suicide. New Statesman, 11 Apr. 2017. Web. 01 May 2017.
Kimble, Lindsay. "Why Schools Are Warning Parents About Netflix’s Series 13 Reasons Why." PEOPLE.com. Time Inc, 26 Apr. 2017. Web. 01 May 2017.
Baila, Morgan, and Photo: Beth Dubber/Netflix. ""13 Reasons Why" Series Writer Defends Suicide Controversy." 13 Reasons Why Writer Defends Suicide Scene Nic Sheff. Refinery, n.d. Web. 01 May 2017.