13 Reasons Why you Should Absolutely Watch “13 Reasons Why” – Whatever Your Age
The hubby and I are self confessed Netflix addicts. If it’s on Netflix, it’s gotta be good.
We’ve watched so many amazing things on Netflix and they continue to push the boundaries. This isn’t a sponsored Netflix post I promise. But today on the blog I want to share my thoughts on one of Netflix’s most recent, and fairly controversial, series – 13 Reasons Why.
I’m in my late 30s and my first impression, after hearing about “that scene”, was that it would be teeny, a bit trashy and not at all “up my street”. I had visions of romanticized suicide and trivial high school drama. We’ve been in a bit of a watching limbo recently so we thought what he heck, let’s pop it on, it’s been getting good reviews.
And on it went.
The first 6 or so episodes plodded along and I felt my fears were confirmed. This was indeed a teeny drama. It wasn’t until the second half that I really started to empathise with Hannah, one of the main characters. At first I found her irritating and self-obsessed. I also found Clay, our living protagonist, irritating. I found myself shouting at the TV – “just flippin tell her you like her!” And why on earth didn’t he listen to the 13 tapes in one sitting?! I’m sure some die-hard fans will enlighten me.
And then it ended. And there was that scene. The one people told me would be horrific.
And it was.
I felt uncomfortable viewing it and even though I knew Hannah was dead from tape 1, I felt sad. I felt frustrated. I felt angry. I felt completely naïve as to how the world has changed since I was a teen myself. I felt awfully sad when her mother discovered her. I started imagining finding my own child lying like that. Horrific.
My reasons why parents should give it a watch
Today I’m sharing my 13 reasons why every parent should watch this series. It truly is harrowing but in a way that I really think we, as parents, all need to be aware of. It’s been a very long time since I was at school. And school on the 90s was very different to school today.
So here goes.
My 13 reasons. Enjoy, whatever device you are reading this on…
Reason 1 – it tackles very Real Issues
13 Reasons address so many issues that our young face today – bullying, social pressure, school pressure, sexual assault, drugs, alcohol. The list goes on. Issues that we shouldn’t shy away from talking about but which we continually do.
Reason 2 – Cyber-bullying
13 Reasons tackles the very real issue of cyber-bullying and this notion of 24/7 bullying. I was lucky not to go through any “real” bullying at school. I was teased now and then and called a boffin but once you hit your 20s and get your degree, who’s laughing then ey.
At least when I was a kid I could go home and truly switch off. Today our tech-centric lives mean that we never truly switch off. I worry what it will be like when b is old enough to realise. And I worry about how I can protect him. And whether I even can.
Reason 3 – understanding what’s important to young people
13 Reasons really made me evaluate my own thoughts on what is trivial and what is not. At first I really thought Hannah was overreacting. It’s a photo, get over it. But that’s fine for me to say. I never had this type of problem at school. And in my 30s, I’m at a place in life where I truly don’t give a crap what people think about me. I’m quite happy to have a wee on the side of the road (b and I did last weekend!) and more fool anyone stupid enough to take a pic of my ass and post it online!
13 Reasons made me appreciate what it must be like for teenagers at school and college and the era of insta-photo-share. I think as adults it can be easy to trivialise childhood and teen problems. And watching 13 reasons made me really think differently about this.
Reason 4 – Depression
13 Reasons tackles something that a lot of people feel very uncomfortable talking about. No, not suicide, I’ll come on to that next. Depression. Why is it still such a huge stigma in our society?
Unfortunately I am no stranger when it comes to depression, If you have experience with depression then you will absolutely relate to 13 Reasons. If you don’t have any experience with depression then I think it gives a really good insight into how it impacts a person and the people around them.
13 Reasons builds up over the series and we see Hannah slowly become more and more depressed as the episodes pass. We see a culmination of things that build up, and ultimately end with her suicide. At first I thought these things were pretty trivial but we learn that this isn’t the case at all.
Reasons 5 – Suicide
Suicide. 13 Reasons is shockingly graphic and I get why there was uproar about showing the suicide scene. But why are we shying away from this? As an adult and as a mum I think it really hits home as to how depression can soon spiral out of control. It really made me think about the signs I might have missed had I been in Hannah’s parent’s shoes.
Reason 6 – It isn’t “teeny”
It isn’t a teen drama. It tackles real life issues really well. Yes it is set in an American high school, about teenagers. But it isn’t teeny. I think any parent with a child or soon-to-be-teen should watch it.
Reason 7 – School isn’t what it used to be
13 Reasons really made me realize how much the school environment has changed and is impacted by our mobile phone and social media culture. I’m a mum in my 30s and this was never an issue when I went to school. Watching 13 Reasons made me appreciate how difficult school must be now. Although 13 Reasons is set in the States, I think anyone with kids at school in the UK will relate to the issues explored.
Reason 8 – Watch for the warning signs
Kids hide things. I’d love to say that I’ll have this amazing relationship when b is a teenager, where we share all our secrets and talk openly. But who knows. I keep things secret from my parents. I found it hard to talk about things with them. As a parent you only ever want what’s best for your child and you vow to be there for them. But sometimes life gets in the way. We see this in 13 Reasons over the episodes as Hannah’s parents have their own life “shit” to deal with.
Reason 9 – Understanding school dynamics
One of the things blatantly obvious in 13 Reasons was the way friendship groups form. You have the jocks, the pretty girls, the geeks, the nerds, the goths. I think as adults these lines typically become blurred. I can’t speak for everyone but my friends are friends, whoever they are. I don’t care if you play basketball or listen to heavy metal. If we have something in common and you’re interesting and kind then I’m happy to have a glass of vino with you! 13 Reasons hits home how blatantly obvious this isn’t the case at school. And once out of school and out of that competitive environment, it can be easy to forget how it was. 13 Reasons was a wake up call.
Reason 10 – It’s a conversation starter
Even if you have zero experience with depression, suicide, bullying or sexual assault, after watching 13 Reasons, you are sure to want to discuss the topics raised.
Reason 11 – It’s educational
As a parent myself now, it really opened my eyes as to the challenges young people face. It’s a series that will stick with me for a while yet.
Reason 12 – Teen Problems are very real
I think it’s difficult now to understand just how important teen struggles at school can be. I never want b to feel misunderstood when he grows older. I’d like to think he could come and talk to me about any problem and I wouldn’t trivialize it. But watching 13 Reasons made me realize how easy it could be to dismiss something posted on social media as not worthy of worrying about. The challenges our young face at school may impact them emotionally and socially for years to come. Our kids need to feel understood.
I really think 13 Reasons may help parents, who perhaps feel disconnected from their kid’s uber connected lives.
Reason 13 – Because it’s a great series!
And finally, why watch 13 Reasons? Because it’s a fab series which deserves the attention it gets. Netflix never seem to disappoint and they know exactly what will resonate with their audience. I found 13 Reasons frustrating at times and I found it hard to watch at times. If you’re a parent of a teenager or child, if you work with kids, if you just want to understand more about depression, suicide and bullying, then I think it’s essential viewing.
Have you seen 13 Reasons Why? What did you think?