PRESS PLAY – 13 Reasons Why follows Clay Jensen as he listens to tapes left by Hannah Baker that she recorded before committing suicide. The show is based on the book which was written by Jay Asher.
When 13 Reasons Why was added onto Netflix on March 31st, it caused a stir due to the many controversial topics that it contains. This show is important to teens in several different ways due to some of the sensitive material involved in the show.
Reason One: This show addresses serious topics that pertain to society today. Some of these topics include suicide, rape, and bullying. These topics are often easier to talk about when it involves a TV show rather than being talked to in a class.
Reason Two: The show is realistic and relatable. Each character is relatable in their own way because each character has their own story and personality. Also, this story matches the way people actually think and feel, so the characters seem like real people.
Reason Three: The show makes kids aware of how their actions affect others. By experiencing Hannah’s story, teens see how easily saying something can drive a person to make serious, irreversible actions.
Reason Four: Watching this show may prevent kids from committing suicide. When teens see how everyone around Hannah react to her suicide, including her peers and her parents, the person watching the show may see how much people around them care and decide not to commit suicide.
Reason Five: The show can teach kids warning signs of suicide and how to recognize them. If teens have friends like Hannah, they could prevent a suicide, unlike Hannah’s friends.
Reason Six: Parents and teachers can use this as a way to connect to teens. Many of the topics mentioned in the show are difficult to talk about, especially in a classroom or dining room setting. However, it may be easier for teens to talk about serious topics such as suicide when it involves a television show.
Reason Seven: Teenagers can see what it is like having a peer commit suicide. They see what would happen and how people would react when someone in the community commits suicide. Some students in Garnet Valley may be affected by suicide every day, but others may have not been exposed to it, so watching this show could be a new experience for them, even though it does not affect them as much as if someone they knew committed suicide.
Reason Eight: The show encourages kids to communicate with their parents and those around them, even if the subject is difficult. It teaches youth that it is important to talk about how they feel before they make bad or irreversible decisions.
Reason Nine: Because the show is on Netflix, it is easy to access and watch. Unlike the thirteen people who need to get a radio or a walkman, all you have to do to watch this show is go onto Netflix and hit play. No cassette tapes required.
Reason Ten: Unlike many shows based in high school, the characters actually seem like they are teenagers. Despite the numerous characters with tattoos, the actors seem like they could be in high school.
Reason Eleven: The show also teaches the audience that everyone has their own story. Everyone goes through different experiences, and from watching 13 Reasons Why, people may be more sympathetic to the experiences of others. Different people interpret things differently and by watching the show, people will learn this lesson.
Reason Twelve: Generally, the show is entertaining. At several schools, teachers are deciding whether they should let their students watch the show in school to learn lessons on bullying and suicide. Not only could students learn from the show, but they would enjoy it and it would be more beneficial than a lecture or a documentary.
Reason Thirteen: Overall, it is a good show. It is wonderfully crafted to educate the people watching it in a way that could also entertain them. It addresses subjects that make some people uncomfortable, such as suicide, rape, and drugs, and it deals with these issues in a way that is not insensitive to people that have been harmed by these topics.
By Maggie Herron