Tuesday, May 30, 2017

13 Reasons...


     This piece has been stewing for about 2 weeks at this point... and possibly longer by the time I actually publish it. It needs to be written though.

     On March 31st 2017, Netflix released a series to stream called 13 Reasons Why about a group of teenagers dealing with the aftermath of one of their friend's suicide. The series is narrated by the disembodied voice of the dead girl, each episode being a side of a cassette tape (yeah... its a whole thing) she recorded explaining why her suicide was all of their faults.

     This is the place for the disclaimer. I, being a human being, have strong opinions about both the overt, obvious subject of this series, and the slightly more hidden, underlying issues that it refuses to acknowledge. Also, Spoiler Alert! I am going to talk about some details that will ruin the ending and other major plot points. If you haven't seen this show, and care about such things, then stop reading now. Otherwise, more after the jump...

     Disclaimer out of the way there is one more point to be made before I wax on about the major flaw of this series. I liked this show, to a certain degree. The kids in the roles are all pretty good actors, and the direction/writing were both very effective in eliciting emotion and giving me something to identify with. So on those levels this show works, and is pretty entertaining.

     Ok, let's get the obvious out of the way. This series is glorifying suicide. There is nothing the creators can say to change the fact that they are presenting suicide as a plausible response to bullying. Thus glorifying the worst possible way to deal with any problem. That is inexcusable. The main character, Hannah, kills herself to get back at the people she feels mistreated her at her high school. Do I feel that this show will cause someone to kill them self because they saw it? No. There is more to that decision than just seeing it on TV. I DO, however, think that the thought of suicide becomes more plausible after a weak/naive mind sees that Hannah gets her revenge in the end, even though she isn't there to see it.

     The less obvious problem this series has is selfishness. I don't necessarily mean the aforementioned suicide, though that is the ultimate selfish act. I mean the selfishness present in people under a certain age. Of the 13 reasons presented here,  the only one that is not totally self involved is rape. To a certain degree that is 2 of the 13, both times though it is the only thing that Hannah doesn't seem to be totally selfish about.

     This may be an extension of my disdain for my generation of Millenials, and the younger generation of Plurals. The selfishness in these 2 generations is painfully on display here.

     I was going to break this down episode by episode, but the time involved in doing that is more than I care to invest into this piece.

     The conclusion I am trying to drive here is that suicide is the most selfish way out of any hard time in your life. Barring a situation with an issue with medication, Suicide is the COWARD'S way out. This show is glorifying cowardice and showing suicide as a possible way to not only get things done that wouldn't otherwise be done, but also a way to exact revenge of sorts on those who have wronged you. Children need to learn that the world doesn't revolve around them, and that the only way to stop bullying, or any troublesome issue they are having with others, is to take positive action.

No comments:

Post a Comment