Opinion: 13 Reasons Why I Don’t Recommend Watching 13 Reasons Why


WSPN’s Lucy Hughes expresses her opinion on Netflix’s recently released, popular show 13 Reasons Why.

Lucy Hughes

I started watching 13 Reasons Why because my friends told me to. “You have to watch it,” they told me. “Why?” I’d ask, “Is it that good?” “No, it is not good, but it is something you have to watch,” they would reply. “You have to watch it because it teaches about suicidal students and what they go through. It changes your perspective on everything.” Because of the ever growing popularity of the show, I decided to give it a try. 13 Reasons Why, originally a novel written by Jay Asher, came out as a TV show on March 31, 2017. Since then, teens have binged episode after episode, watching the story of how and why Hannah Baker killed herself. I watched the first episode and didn’t realize what all the hype was about. It seemed like an ordinary show that I wouldn’t be interested in. And I was right. I didn’t like 13 Reasons Why. I hated how it made me feel, and how despite the scary scenes and disturbing stories, I felt like I needed to watch it because of the lesson it would teach me. After watching the show, I came up with 13 reasons why I don’t recommend watching 13 Reasons Why.

1. This show romanticizes suicide and makes it more of a drama than it is in the real world.
2. I can’t describe how much it pained me to watch the scene where a girl got raped. Where a boy tried to kill himself. Where there was a fatal car crash. Where the main character was shown slitting her wrists with razor blades. I had to look away multiple times in the series with actual tears rolling down my cheeks. Although some people believe these scenes are necessary to show the pain of people who go through these violent things, it is not worth it because it makes it more real and more plausible to those who may be considering hurting themselves.
3. At the end of the show, I did not feel like I had been taught a lesson at all. I felt like I had seen a horror movie that would change my life forever. I always keep my car locked and run between buildings in the dark because of the fears I accumulated throughout my experience watching 13 Reasons Why.
4. I am not the only one who feels this way. Even Paul Stein, superintendent of WHS, felt the need to educate parents about the show by writing an email to all parents stating, “My understanding is that the content of this series, which deals very directly with suicide, contains many graphic and disturbing scenes,” and advising parents to speak with their children about the topics and emotions raised by the series.
5. The protagonist of the show, Hannah Baker, was 17 when she committed suicide. She recorded a series of tapes before she died, blaming people for her death. This freaks me out because it instills the idea that people can haunt you after they die.
6. There are many suicidal people in the world who will take Hannah Baker’s strategy to heart and record tapes before taking their own lives.
7. Many people deal with stalking, sexual assaults, bullying, mental health, underage drinking, and suicide. Although it is important to converse about such matters, creating a show that justifies killing oneself over those issues is not a good influence.
8. Watching Hannah’s story is very likely to increase the number of suicide attempts in the world. There were no clear signs as to what Hannah should do to get better; instead, all of the bad things that happened to her were stacked one on top of another until she couldn’t take life anymore.
9. At the end of the series, three teenagers were shown carrying guns. What kind of message is this sending? That it is okay to carry guns around in case you are having a bad day and are feeling depressed?
10. Students of all ages, including ones in elementary and middle school, are watching this show. Even without intending to, Hannah’s suicide plants a seed in all viewers’ minds – that taking one’s own life is an option. This is a very bad message to send to young people today.
11. 13 Reasons Why questions the help of guidance counselors when dealing with personal issues. People should not be introduced to the idea that adults are not there for them. Just because Hannah didn’t think her counselor was helpful certainly does not mean that others will not find comfort in talking to a trusted adult.
12. In one scene, when Hannah tries telling her guidance counselor she was raped, he responds with, “If you won’t confront him, then the only other choice is to move on.” This is a horrible depiction of what a counselor would do in this scenario. At WHS, no one would tell a student to “just move on.”
13. This was one of Hannah’s final lines in the tapes: “Some of you cared, none of you cared enough.” This ignorance is being fed into young peoples’ minds, making them believe that others may not care about their important issues.

Kids should not watch 13 Reasons Why. It is harmful and does not provide healthy alternatives. It romanticizes suicide.

Opinion articles written by staff members represent their personal views. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent WSPN as a publication.