Why I don’t like 13 Reasons Why
The following is a series of messages I sent to my friend while I was watching the Netflix series ‘13 Reasons Why.’
These are literally my reactions as I was watching the series in real-time. Please take into account that these were taken straight out of a chat, so I used very informal and vulgar phrasing. I simply copied and pasted the messages I sent and revised them to sound more coherent and proper. Also keep in perspective that these messages were not sent all in one sitting and that some were sent hours apart and some were responses to things my friend said, so some lines may seem out of place or randomly stated. Again, these are the things I said as I was watching — as they were happening on screen.
SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT.
Please forgive me for my excessive use of the phrase “I don’t know.”
It kind of reminds me of Perks of Being a Wallflower..? Clay reminds me of Charlie.
It doesn’t feel genuine. It feels like propaganda or a PSA for suicide prevention. It feels like just one of those cliché high school teen movies/TV series. You know? Like I know it’s cool that it’s shedding light on the topic and bringing up awareness. But I don’t know, man. I’m kind of annoyed with it. I don’t know how to explain. But so far from what I’ve seen, that’s what I make of it.
Kids today are not that stupid. They’re a lot more aware of these kinds of things nowadays, you know? I get like kids/teens are still being bullied and committing suicide and it is a serious problem. But I don’t know. It’s kind of stupid. Thats kind of mean, but I don’t know. It’s all just stupid to me. For now, at least — like right now, at where I am at the moment. It might change when I finish it or something.
Yea, I don’t want to be one of those people who doesn’t like things just because of the hype surrounding it/because it’s mainstream. (I still like a lot of mainstream things, by the way.) But this is just honestly my impression of it. Like, I immediately thought of Perks of Being a Wallflower and from there it just started to feel like all those high school teen flicks rolled into one show but executed in a different manner by taking the negative, dark tone.
It’s a good message and it’s trying to doing something good. But I don’t know. It just doesn’t feel like thats how it really goes down. Like we’ve all been through high school. We’ve all experienced the drama and the assholes. I honestly really do feel empathy toward the characters. I relate to them. But it seems a bit exaggerated.
I don’t think this is the best way to get a message out. Maybe for like parents, that’s a really good way to get their attention. But for teens in middle school and freshmen in high school? It’s just going to make them paranoid. You know? Like they’re going to think that’s what it’s really like — that the drama can really be that intense and that every little thing that happens will affect every other thing on such a large scale.
Like, you’re going to give kids anxiety over this. “Kids” our age are watching this and it shouldn’t affect us too bad because we’ve already been through that. It’s still a bit fresh, but we understand it. But then there are other kids watching this who are still experiencing it or haven’t experienced it yet, and it’s just enhancing the high school stereotypes and it’s going to make them more guarded and anxious.
Yea, it depends on who’s watching. There are people who won’t get triggered from this, and there are people who will be greatly affected by the scenes portrayed.
And another thing — why would she make those tapes? It’s really mean. I can get that she wants these assholes to be aware of how they’ve affected her life, but her death is already enough to spark conversation and make people think about how they treated her. You know?
She’s tormenting them.
That detail just really annoys me the most.
Yea, she is obviously tormenting them, but why the fuck would you even do that? You know? Why would you want to torment the ignorant assholes even after you’re gone? Seriously. Her death alone is enough to make people feel guilty about everything that happened.
It’s an interesting way to die.
Oh, wait I just remembered this thing:
There was this 11-year-old boy who hung himself because he was “pranked” by his 13-year-old girlfriend. The “prank” was that she killed herself. All her friends were in on it by posting on social media. He saw all the messages and he killed himself, “too.” It made me mad when I read about it.
And I guess that’s part of the reason why I’m so annoyed with this series right now..? I don’t know. They’re just kids. And pretending to kill yourself is not okay.
Depression and suicide has been romanticized so much in recent years. I feel like forms of media like this Netflix series contributes to that glorification of killing yourself.
Why was it so easy for that 13-year-old girl to pretend? It shouldn’t even be easy to think about pretending to kill yourself.
Honestly, I really don’t want to finish watching this. Even though I should. Because I’ve already started it.
If her actions are justified at the end, then I should just keep watching.
But — ugh — I’m sorry. Still annoyed at this point in the series.
I’m done with episode 4 now. I think that’s enough for today.
I just realized another problem I have with this. But I’ll only say it if it’s still relevant when I finish the whole thing.
I don’t usually say much about things I watch until I’ve finished watching it, but this series is just so off to me.
I just want to finish this as soon as possible. Just to get it over with. But it’s also so hard to keep going because I’m still so very annoyed by it.
Like, see how Justin is being not even an asshole, he’s on the verge of murderer right now. Like I don’t think that would really happen in real life. I get that a person’s home life can affect who they are as a person, I also know that there are people who, despite living in a shitty household, they still understand right from wrong.
I’m on episode 8 now, by the way. It feels like each episode is getting shorter and shorter.
I actually feel really sad finding out Jeff died. He was a decent friend to Clay.
I’m so oddly attached to Jeff now. I’m realizing how much of a big brother he was to Clay and he was such a good guy (from what was showed, at least). It really makes me sad about his death.
The whole part when Clay told Jeff’s parents about when he found him in his car broke my heart, man. Like, of all the people who could have been there first, it was Clay. And he had to see one of his closest friends that way.
I think the whole character of Jeff and who and what he represents is the best part of this show.
And now I’m feeling bad for Justin. Why is no one answering him? I’m getting pissed at these “friends” of his.
I’m seriously genuinely still crushed over Jeff’s death.
I still really don’t understand why these people are like this. I mean, I get it — about their backgrounds and how they grew up, but even though I feel sympathetic toward them I still don’t get it. It still feels off to me and it still reminds me of Perks [of Being a Wallflower]. I keep finding connections.
This series is superior in the storytelling since it’s a series as opposed to Perks which was just a movie (shorter, details left out, changes, etc).
Man Bryce is such a “nice guy” type, I can’t believe how fucked up he is.
Okay, now I’m really getting pissed with this fucking Courtney.
These fuckers, for real.
Bless Alex and Zach for wanting to come clean.
These assholes seriously have no dignity.
No sense of obligation.
No sense of empathy.
No sense of humanity.
This is really pissing me off now. Im starting to hate this again.
Ryan wasn’t even that bad either. He just stole her poem. Like he did it for a good reason anyway. (I still understand why and how it affected Hannah negatively. But he wasn’t really a bully is what I mean.)
But all the other fucks are stupid assholes.
On the last episode now.
Okay, on the whole character of Hannah herself, like how everything affected her and how things made her feel, that was all good. Like, it was all pretty accurate, in my opinion. Except the recording of the tapes thing and tormenting the people thing. That’s the only thing off about her character, in my opinion.
I think the recording of the tapes adds to the glorification and “beauty” of her suicide. And I don’t think that’s right. I mean, at least it provided evidence for what Bryce did. But ultimately, other than that, it didn’t really hold a real purpose. Except maybe to make everyone hurt more.
Those tapes really made it worse. It forced those kids on the edge. Like I said before, her death alone would have sufficed in making people reevaluate the way they treated her and make them feel guilty.
The way it was portrayed here just made them all look like selfish inconsiderate assholes that NEEDED to hear those tapes in order to know that they had affected her life negatively, you know what I mean?
I’m going to watch the behind the scenes thing now.
Yea, obviously she wanted justice. But then, its like the only way to justify those tapes and to get justice was for her to kill herself..? Does that make sense?
It’s like her death gave the tapes purpose and the tapes gave her death a purpose. Oh, and I actually cried when it showed her suicide scene. That was really emotional for me. I was really close to that point in my life, so when I saw that, that old feeling just kind of swelled up inside me.
I understand her mindset and why she made her decisions but it’s just the whole fact that she recorded tapes messes it all up for me. Like I get that when you’re in that mindset you really do feel like this is the only way and that it’s the best way.
Everything else that I’ve mentioned before is more-or-less forgivable and tolerable, it’s just the tapes that really throws this whole thing off. That’s the thing that is just out of place to me.
It’s good that they let the BTS (behind-the-scenes) episode be part of the whole season package. Netiflix knows their audience well. They know people binge watch these things and don’t even check what’s next.
It [the BTS episode] didn’t really help me in changing my opinion, but it’s good that they added it because of the issues. It’s good to have this discussion right after and not just leave it with that last episode as the final thing you get from the series.
I’m not trying to sound like a know-it-all or a smart-ass, but I understand all of it [everything that was discussed in the BTS] already and I totally get why they did the things they did. I already knew why they let the graphic scenes be graphic. I know why those things needed to be shown. But again, these kids who have access to this will watch it and find the beauty in it and misconceive that just because you relate to it, it doesn’t mean suicide is the only way to get out of it.
Of course, it depends on the viewer. But in light of recent years and recent events, it’s very clear to me that many teenagers and even children think they connect so much with anxiety and depression and they romanticize the ideas surrounding it. Why do you think I first said that teens nowadays are not that stupid? It’s because so many of them nowadays are very aware of these things, yet they still don’t fully understand it, which is why they romanticize it. I honestly don’t know if I’m even making sense or if my point is getting across. But whatever. It’s just my opinion anyway.
Already, I’ve seen my old classmates who’ve watched this series and they support it so much just because they think it will shed light on the subject. Yes, I understand that, and I think that has a lot of merit. But having it done in that way only makes it a proper PSA for adults, for parents, for those who surpassed the obstacles of high school drama, maybe even for the bullies. But not for teenagers who haven’t gone or are still going through the drama.
I was going to write a conclusion/summary type of thing, but I figured I would just be repeating certain things I’ve already said and repeated in the above. I hope no one gets mad at or offended by me for my reactions. I hope you understand what I meant, even though it was really hard for me to dictate exactly my point. Hopefully you saw all sides of my opinion and understand that I also understand all sides of the opposition of my opinion.
If you disagree and would like to further discuss, please feel free to.