Thirteen Reasons Why Sparks Discussion in the Past Month


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Quotes from the characters of Thirteen Reasons Why

Natasha Fidler, Reporter


 On March 31, 2017, a new mini-series was released, titled Thirteen Reasons Why. This series was modeled after the book written by Jay Asher that covered the difficult topics of suicide, rape, and depression.  The show follows Hannah Baker and the thirteen reasons why she killed herself. Ten years after the book was released, popularity has only grown over the years.

 I believe that this is an important series that has spearheaded the discussion about the topic of suicide. Millions of people have watched the show, which has sparked millions of discussions. In an article on titled “13 Reasons why Netflix most popular show social media,” it writes about the audience that this show has gained.

 “3.5 million social volume impressions in the first week of its release, giving it the biggest social presence out of any of their original series and films,” TeenVogue said.

My entire group of friends has watched the show, so it obviously came up in our discussions when we hang out. A topic that is usually not discussed became something that we argued passionately about. It was safe space where people could offer the opinions; however, unpopular the opinions were about the fictional character of Hannah Baker.

 It is good that people are talking, more than good… great! Having an honest discussion about suicide is the first step to people trying to help understand and prevent it. No one can prevent something they know nothing about or refuse to talk about. Thirteen Reasons Why may not have solved every problem surrounding suicide, however, it has started a discussion that might.

Netflix is offered around the world, so people outside the United States have the chance to view Thirteen Reasons Why as well.

There were lessons inside the mini-series that have had lasting effects on the people that have watched it. One of the statements that hit home with me personally is what the character Hannah Baker played by actress, Katherine Langford, said in episode 3.

“You never really know what is going on someone else’s life do you?” Baker said.

 This statement is so simple, yet so true. People do not know what is going on in others lives; however, many people just assume about other people’s situations. Treat people with respect and kindness, especially when you have no idea the problems that person faces in other aspects of their lives.             

 The sad part is that this lesson is meant to be taught since we were in pre-k: “treat others as you wish to be treated,”. However, over the years not only have we forgotten this, but we do not realize how complicated our peers’ live really are. This mini-series has reminded us in a big way that what we say does have an effect on someone else. A not so gentle reminder to be aware of the treatment of others is sometimes very needed.

 Those who say this T.V. show is harmful to those who are depressed and those who are suicidal are completely correct. Some schools in Canada have even banned the discussion of the T.V series.  In no way is this show for people who are suffering, and could anyway be negatively affected by this. People who have no other interactions with suicide, do not begin to understand the impact of something like this, should watch this. It is a great starting point to begin to understand suicide, and to reinforce how people need to treat others. Thirteen Reasons Why may not be the perfect way to address suicide, but honestly, what fictional mini-series will be?  

 Thirteen Reasons Why makes more people, think about and even better discuss the topic of suicide. This is no longer an issue to speak about or something people do not feel comfortable to even bring up.

 Media in the past has always been a way to bring attention to something. That is exactly what this television series did. It was entertaining enough to get millions of people to watch, and then later discuss. Thirteen Reasons Why took the first step towards educating the public on this topic and hopefully motivating them to learn more about the prevention of suicide.