The hit US TV series, “13 Reasons Why” has been taking the entire world by storm lately and if you haven’t watched the show yet, its about time you hop on board the series train.
The series follows teenager Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette), on his quest to uncover the story behind his classmate and crush, Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), and her decision to end her life.
Twist: Clay discovers that the late Hannah Baker actually provided the reasons of her death herself through a series of 13 cassette tapes. The secrets and characters involved are enough to keep anyone riveted.
Here are 13 reasons why you should watch “13 Reasons Why”:
1. Shades of depression
“You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not messing with just that part.
Unfortunately, you can’t be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life.
Everything. . . affects everything.”
― Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why
The series does not shy away from tackling depression especially amongst teenagers. It explores the facets of high school, the mechanics and cogs, the very factors that could lead to extreme depression.
The show, albeit the gorgeous actors, has a raw, gritty and truthful feel. You don’t feel like you’re being duped in any way or that they might be compromising the truth of depression and its consequences.
2. Millennials as the face of the bullied and the bullies.
Bullying is a MAJOR problem in every country especially among younger generations.
It’s happening and it’s a problem. That’s a theme you will pick up immediately from the series.
A study done by Yale University states that bullied victims are 7 to 14 percent more likely to consider suicide and the 7 percent actually go onto committing suicide.
Studies in Britain have found half of the suicides among youth are bullying related.
Many adults (parents, teachers etc) turn a blind eye when it comes to bullying in high schools especially with young people. Being able to understand that this is actually a harsh reality that could be happening in your loved ones life could save them from potentially harming themselves.
Did you know?
For every suicide, there are 20 attempts by young South Africans, SADAG survey finds.
3. How to protect survivors of rape and sexual assault
In the series there are two victims of sexual assault; in the show these victims are forced to forget about the trauma they have faced.
The show does a great job at conveying the complexities and darkness of rape culture and how society mistreats and misunderstands sexual assault victims.
Statistics provided by Africa Check revealed that 42,596 rapes were reported in 2015/16.
That’s only reported rapes; only one in 20 rapes are reported each year.
4. Social Media and stalking
“Because when you’re posed, you know someone’s watching. You put on your very best smile. You let your sweetest personality shine.”
― Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why
Watch how Hannah deals with her stalker and what he does to crush her spirit through a lens.
5. For the epic soundtrack
My favourite thus far:
6. If you were a misunderstood teen.
7. If you ARE a misunderstood teen.
8. If you’re a teacher /counsellor/ parent/ psychologist/ human being with a sense of humanity
Reason for this is because in the series; Hannah Baker is clearly going through a difficult time in her life and she reached out to the very people that a student would go to for consolation or guidance, and they failed her.
It is important for teachers to watch (whether you’re a lecturer or guidance counselor). It shows you exactly what you SHOULDN’T do when a student comes to you with such a sensitive topic.
9. If you have experienced bullying
The show triggers feelings you might have had when you experienced being bullied at a young (I’m sure we’ve all had our fair share of being bullied when we were younger or even now).
It doesn’t mean that you should suppress those feelings. Speak about it, face it, fix it and know that there is hope for you.
10. If you are a bully
Watch it. Feel bad and change your ways.
A survey conducted by NoBully.com shows that 58% of South African students experience being bullied.
11. If you feel alone.
There are people who love you and you shouldn’t overlook it; you are never alone.
12. If you’re a person who doesn’t like talking about anything.
Like the previous point states: You are never alone.
The series will help you understand what is going on with you inside, if you’re too afraid to speak to anyone.
13. If you believe in Love
The chemistry between Hannah and Clay is electric.
The show is a bit tough to watch due to the real topics it tackles.
But a series that honestly reveals real life issues could be a real eye opener to many people.
– Zuhaa Isaacs