Hi, that thing you did yesterday? You know the one I’m talking about, yes, that thing. Are you sure it was nice?
I think when we do things, we don’t actually think about the consequences that far. Of course, it’s impossible to actually always be nice to everyone and to always think of the ramifications our actions will have somewhere down the road, but that being said, we can try, can’t we?
I believe this is the message that 13 Reasons Why, hopes to spread. The story is centred around ‘Hannah Baker’ played by the stunning and talented Katherine Langford, a high school student who has killed herself. The show begins with a slight shock as we see her peers taking selfies with her locking and using her death as a hashtag for hot gossip. We then meet the gullible ‘Clay Jensen’ played by Dylan Minnette who seems to be honest and a tad bit stoic, however, we soon see that his character brings quite a lot to the table. He’s the boy who was in love with Hannah, still is, and we even learn that he will stop at nothing to get justice for her.
Hannah leaves a set of 13 tapes, each addressed to a particular person in her school that had some part in her making her horrific choice. As the story progresses we see how she was bullied and sexually assaulted repeatedly, we learn how her “friends” were never really her friends at all and how boys in high school can be some of the cruellest beings to walk the planet. Everything slowly builds and she keeps losing people that she thought were in her corner and it all culminates at the end with her being raped by fellow student ‘Bryce Walker’. At that point even though she’d lost so much, she was still a fighter. But the rape completely shattered her, and she says “Bryce Walker…who broke my soul”. She tries to get help from her school counsellor because she wanted to try one last time, but he let her walk away, and so she gave up. She gave up and took her own life.
I think Hannah’s story though gruesome and disturbing, the show does try its best to show shades of light and darkness, and it really does its best to drive the point home, that we’ve got to be nicer, we’ve got to be better humans.
13 Reasons Why, isn’t for a younger audience and not for the faint hearted either. It can be alarming and downright unsettling at some points, but I think, it takes a little of a shock for people to pause for a moment, pay attention and listen. The show is definitely doing its bit in raising awareness, but has met with its share of backlash for some of its appalling scenes. It has also been criticized as it can be triggering for some people, which is definitely true. But. It does the job of establishing the point that this can be real, that its happening right now, that we’ve got to try much harder if we’re trying to move forward rather than backward.