'13 Reasons Why' from the perspective of a 17 year old high schooler
Written by Aoi*
I can testify that in my own school, that as soon as this show came out there was talk everywhere. I heard a number of things despite not seeing it myself. However I am a film buff, and I see why people my age love this show and why many adults are so confused as to why we love this show. Here is the simple answer: the show is what a lot of teens are going through right now, it shows how harsh life can be at this age.
Technology can be very cruel, and nowadays in high school, different is looked down upon. It is soul crushing, as someone who experiences suicidal thoughts from time to time, I can relate. High school is very much a bubble, and unless you're really rich, a jock, or a player you are going to be more than likely pushed to the side. But here is a big difference, if you truly are someone that keeps to themselves, don't mess with anyone, or just sit down stay quiet and go through your day… I hate to say it but that makes you a target for people. There is a lot of pressure in high school, trying to keep your academic and social life in sync is hard enough, but adding bullying to the mix can really feel like hell on earth. Some people really cannot handle it, and this is where the show starts showing how bullying has been upgraded in the 21st century. The internet has given people a new outlet. If people have the intent and will, they can and will harass and ruin you behind your back. False rumors can be spread around like wildfire, and it gets worse if you become a meme. That meme will take years to die, and will surely be a reason for anyone to feel upset. You are laughed at as a trend and as a one-sided joke.
13 Reasons Why is popular for simply showing teens exactly what is going on in the underworld of high school. Teens are suckers for things they can relate to, and it has adults perplexed because there are very few “edgy” and down to earth things that are targeted toward teens. They are used to seeing somewhat inoffensive things like Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber who talk about trivial teenage things. Things like relationships, and being free, and then here comes this show that says to hell with that we don't care about that, this is what is really happening. The show doesn't try to hide what's happening with a cut away or with symbolism like in most shows or movies. The show is clearly out to make a statement on the rise of teen stress, depression and suicide, and the show's creators clearly do not care who opposes them. Otherwise, the show would have been removed from Netflix, and we wouldn't be here discussing it now, would we?
*Aoi is a pen name.
Thank you KHOU, Great Day Houston and Deborah Duncan for dedicating a one hour special to discuss 13 Reasons Why.
Deborah did a great job interviewing teens, parents and experts. Here are links from today's show (6/12/17):
- Deborah Duncan talks with several local teenagers about the show, "13 Reasons Why" and how it relates to their lives. What do their parents think? What should parents know about the reality of being a teenager? http://www.khou.com/entertainment/television/programs/great-day-houston/teen-panel-06122017/448027868
- Counselors Heather Lambert and Shelly Simpson talk about reason to watch or not watch "13 Reasons Why." http://www.khou.com/entertainment/television/programs/great-day-houston/13-reasons-counselors-06122017/448029209
- Rania Mankarious, executive director of Crime Stoppers, and licensed counselor Jill Ahrens Tucker discuss Cyber-Bullying in today's society, along with their mental effects and legal ramifications. http://www.khou.com/entertainment/television/programs/great-day-houston/cyber-bullying-06122017/448029717
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- Linda de Sosa and Sahar Paz share their stories of attempted suicide in hopes of helping others. http://www.khou.com/entertainment/television/programs/great-day-houston/suicide-prevention-06122017/448031606
- A panel of licensed therapists, high school counselors and suicide prevention experts join a mountable discussion while Deborah shares questions from our studio audience. http://www.khou.com/entertainment/television/programs/great-day-houston/13-reasons-audience-06122017/448033020
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