Everyone is raving about this new show. 13 Reasons Why is the talk of the town but should we let teenagers watch this high school set show?
The short answer? No, teenagers should definitely not watch this show. And not because it isn't a good show. In fact, I loved every second of 13 Reasons Why. But, I also am an adult who can look at this show objectively and see the faults of these teenagers. People who are not in high school and thinking that it would be cool to do something like this to prove to those who hurt you how terrible they are.
Basically, the show follows Hannah Baker throughout her suicide while also simultaneously following those she left behind. It is all woven together by these tapes that Hannah recorded, listing the 13 reasons why she ended up killing herself. She goes through all the people who led her to this decision, leading up to the day she does it. While the show tackles some important issues, here is the important thing to remember: suicide should not be glorified.
And this show kind of glorifies it by showing how affected these people are by her death. Hannah doesn't see that because she's dead, and that's something the show does not push. If teenagers see this and see how Hannah's friends and family reacts, they might think that if they kill themselves, then it will show everyone who wronged them how terrible they were.
Which again, is a terrible thing to teach teenagers. They show the suicide at the end of the show as well, another thing that they definitely should not have shown. This show has its moments when it does good things, like teaching boys that objectifying girls isn't exactly helping anyone and it isn't a compliment. On the other side, the show is masked with moments like showing the suicide, or kind of teaching children that people will feel bad for how they treated you after you died.
If you have a teenager, please watch this show with caution. Maybe have a conversation with your kids after watching it but just try and make them see that suicide should not be glorified.
There are also numerous resources that are out there to help and can be found at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website. They can help to guide the conversation and are there for support in a crisis, and ultimately are there to prevent one.