Why I am okay with 13 reasons why ***SPOILERS***

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There has been mixed responses to this TV show. Now I have not completely finished the second season but I have watched all of the first (obviously) and I know enough to comment on how I feel about this show. In short I AGREE with it and here is a list why:
Image credit: NME.com

1. It shows how some people feel about certain situations, the emotion and some scenes are raw. Despite it being graphic it is raw and the rawness makes it feel real. This doesn't mean that it represents everyone, because nothing can represent everyone, because everyone deals with everything differently, everyone has different levels of what they can cope with or deal with, everyone feels different things in the same situation. A problem big or small is still a problem and still matters even if it doesn't to you.

2. Some might say where are the real moments? the moments where Jessica stares at herself in the mirror, the spacing out, the flashbacks in their own heads, the mother telling Hannah that there is too much chin in the photo, how guys rate girls, how people lie, how people put labels on themselves as well as others putting labels on them, the passing around of photos, the teachers misreading signs and dismissing real issues, people feeling powerless and so many more moments are real and they happen in real life, maybe not to you or your friend but they happen and it cannot be dismissed.

3. People talk about how graphic Hannah's suicide was and how it shouldn't have been shown on screen because a) it triggers relapses and b) it sets a bad example for teens or younger viewers. Let me tell you something, it is real and it is shown to make you feel because (see point 4.). Also why is it okay for you to watch American Horror story or horror movies where people shoot themselves in the head or someone else kills them brutally or hurts themselves. But to answer a) At the start of episode 1 of season 1 and 2 the actors and actresses introduce themselves and say what the TV shows purpose is to do, who their characters were and to not watch the TV show by saying "if you are struggling with these issues yourself, this series may not be right for you". The intro even says for you to talk to a friend, parent, a school counsellor or an adult you trust if you feel like you need someone to talk to. The intro also offers a website to go to if you need help as well as at the end of every episode and they also have a warning in the left hand corner on what the show contains like suicide, graphic scenes/images etc.. But this show is not supposed to offer up solutions to make everyone feel better (point 5), also people are arguing that it does not show any type of trigger warning before the suicide and so on, you know that you are not supposed to watch the show from what it is about in the first place, the show is legally sound because even if the warning is not verbal at the start of every bloody episode it was there at the start of each season and no one is going to start watching a show on a random episode without starting from the absolute beginning. I hate to say it but it is your own if you want to watch this show, no one is forcing you to watch it, it is not the only thing you can watch. A lot of people have said they can deal with Hannah's suicide but not the thing that happens at the end of season 2, again it is your own, if you feel generally queasy then do not watch it, it is like Saw some of the scenes in the Saw movies make me feel sick but then its my fault for watching it. Honestly, the fact it makes you feel sick is because it is real, yes it's horrible but it happens, this show does not sugar coat things and it shouldn't, do not watch it if you don't like it, sorry but it is what it is. On to b) THE SHOW IS A BLOODY 18 young viewers shouldn't be watching it anyway!!!! I know that we all watch shows we are not of age for but that is just an indication and a safety for the show and producers to say they warned the viewers before starting the show.

4. People have said that the show is not realistic. HOWEVER, the show says at the beginning of episode 1 of season 1 and 2, this series is fiction, the definition of fiction is:
- literature in the form of prose, especially novels, that describes imaginary events and people.


- something that is invented or untrue.
Even though the series touches on real issues the story of Hannah and the tapes are fabricated story lines to keep the audience interested, if you wanted to watch something that is 100% true then watch a documentary!! A lot of shows or movies do this the story line is fiction but the message or topic can be real, EastEnders and Hollyoaks (English soaps) do this too!!, it is not uncommon. 


5. Another common argument is that the show does not offer up any kind of solution to coping with mental health, like I have said before this is not the main purpose of the show, because you cannot help everybody and everyone is different, everyone deals with things differently and so on. In the intro the actors and actresses explain the purpose of the series, and the purpose is to get people to talk about the topics they cover. Also just because you tell someone to not do something because it harms them it does not guarantee that they will or can stop, this is at no fault of their own. But the only person who can help them or make them stop is themselves, they will have to pull themselves out of the black hole because you cannot go into their body and control their actions or feelings and they may not even know why it happens, why they feel that way or why they do it. But again everyone is different. Although when Jessica went to the support group, that is a real solution that will not help everyone but does help people to talk about their situation and provide support for each other to get through their situation.


6. Whether you hate it or love it, it does get people talking about the show, even if people pick out the things which are wrong with it, it still means that you are talking about the topic by picking out what  they are doing wrong to represent those who cannot relate to the topics portrayed in the series to the finest detail, and to describe their view and side of the topic. (AGAIN the series cannot represent everyone, just as your mental heath will not be the same as mine or the next persons, or how you deal with it, what you feel, what it makes you do and so on).

7. I have also read comments on how the show "almost justifies for people to end their life", this statement is pretty out there and people who agree have every right to have their opinion and I can kind of understand why they would think it. But in my opinion the way I think is I look at the positives of things more than the negatives, therefore from what I take from the show is that it is to prevent people from acting like poop to others and to understand that everyone is battling their own demons and the consequence of not being careful to the wrong people who are about to tip over the edge, even though this message is common sense, seeing how it can affect someone can emphasise the point. Like reality is that if you push someone so far, things can happen, for me this isn't justification, it is just raw and how life is for some, nothing is black and white.

8. People have also said that Hannah has a 'princess complex' where she is unable to help herself, as she never discussed mental health or tried to get better or write them down, even though to me her poems were her release. And people are disregarding the brief conversations with the counsellor, so I will for now and tell you why Hannah does not have a princess complex. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SAY I HAVE THIS OR I AM STRUGGLING to make it totally obvious to people that you are struggling. Because it isn't that simple, yeah of course people will want to tell others and want to pull themselves out of the darkness, but the fact is it is not black and white, it just is not that simple. Some people can talk and ask for help while others struggle to, not because they do not want to but because the words just will not come out, it is really tricky to explain because sometimes they do not even realise why it happens or that they stopped themselves until they are back home alone with their own thoughts. That is the thing, you can offer your support to people and tell them that they can talk to you but that still does not make them talk to you regardless whether they want to and regardless if they feel like a burden or the reason why. This series shows the unspoken signs, you can tell from a look on someone's face or their body language or behaviour. NOT everything is black and white. Even so people can say that people do try to ask for help but again it may not be through words, it could be through a text message saying "are you up?" or a phone call out of the blue, it literally depends on the person, so it would be much appreciated if people would understand that not everyone is the same and even if you think something is ridiculous and so easy for most it can be the hardest thing for some, try not to judge and ruling things out to be impossible because you would not handle it like that or because you know people who struggle and deal with it straight forwardly, this is the misconception where people forget about the few who are still trying to figure themselves out, if they don't know why they act a certain way or feel then how can they tell someone else? how can you describe something that you don't know?!?!?!?!?! For those of you who do not understand or are confused and can't put into words your feelings you aren't alone, I get like that, and so does other people, I believe the series shows that things go unnoticed because it is unspoken but not by choice and it is no way your fault either!!

9. I have also read people saying that the fact Hannah does not self harm before hand or struggle for a long time with it is a poor representation. OMG NOT EVERYONE IS THE SAME!!! people deal with it differently a person does not have to harm themselves beforehand by cutting, they can harm themselves mentally etc. Literally not everything is black and white, hate to be that person but hypothetically Hannah could of been beating herself up in her head and there was just no script, any meaning could be taken on what she did off the tapes. Regardless it is fiction anyway, the story line. Just think about it, the only reason people know about what symptoms can lead to suicide is because people talk about that type of behaviour a lot, hardly anyone talks about the thousands of other ways people punish themselves. There is a lot of things that are unspoken. I don't believe the show makes it seem like the slightest thing can cause depression, the tapes makes me think that the slightest thing can tip someone over the edge of already built up feelings, there is already a lot of pressure for young people in general and everyone has different levels of what they can cope with. BIG or SMALL it still matters, why should you degrade someone else's reason for feeling low because someone has something bigger to feel low about. That is like saying you can't be happy because someone else has it better.

Bottom line for me is, not everything is black and white, everyone is different and to not judge someone just because of the stereotypes or people you know. People only know things on how much they have learnt or been told. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and it is not bad to have opinions. I would love to read anyone else's opinions to this show!!!

If anyone is really struggling after watching this show, it seems so silly but try to watch a cartoon or something happy after, it works for me and it may or may not work for you, so don't hate me if it doesn't.

Always supporting and voting for you.
Josephine Beth-xx


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