“13 Reasons Why” is graphic but thought-provoking

by Associate News Editor Ciera Golliver

When “13 Reasons Why” premiered on Netflix March 31, audiences went to Facebook and Twitter to discuss the graphic scenes and sensitive material they witnessed during their binge watches.

Based on the 2007 New York Times bestselling novel, the show focuses on Hannah Baker, a teenage girl who committed suicide. After her death, a friend of hers, Clay Jensen, discovers she left tapes for 13 people to describe the events leading up to her death.

Viewers have criticized the show for the graphic material it presents — and for good reason. The show depicts two different accounts of rape, and in the final episode, viewers watch Baker slit her wrists.

The topics are very serious and sometimes uncomfortable to watch, but they are also a depiction of the real world. Unfortunately, life can sometimes be as graphic as the show depicts.

Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted, according to rainn.org.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among the ages of 15-24, according to the American Psychological Association.

In the final episodes of the series, the tapes reveal Baker’s struggles to cope with sexual assault, bullying and depression. She wonders if it is possible for her to move on from the tragic events she encountered.

A school counselor told Baker to live with the terrible actions. Her final tape captured this interaction as the moment she decided to end her life.

The show is difficult to watch and touches sensitive material, but it also allows the audience to understand the impact actions have.

“13 Reasons Why” is not suitable for children to watch, but it is not healthy for adults to ignore either. The series opens the door for parents to have a hard conversation with their teenagers about the events going on in their life.

This is not just a show. This is a depiction of events that happen every day.

I recommend all students watch this show to learn about the world around them. For those battling depression, “13 Reasons Why” depicts how they are not alone. It also encourages anyone who knows a victim of depression, bullying or sexual assault to support them.

“13 Reasons Why” sheds light on a subject many find too dark to talk about in a way those who personally connect with the show can be proud of. It is not dramatized or glamorized.

I highly encourage everyone to take some time to feel uncomfortable watching a show that brings a voice to the survivors. It is easy for tragedy to silence some, but “13 Reasons Why” is not afraid to face the backlash of tackling a hard subject.