Why You Absolutely Need To Skip “Thirteen Reasons Why”


Lots of people kill themselves before age 20. In fact, it’s the second leading cause of death among people age 10–24.

But Thirteen Reasons Why seems more intent on capitalizing on that market’s weakness than on providing it with real ways to handle the nuances of pain. It’s irresponsible, to say the least. The show depicts Hannah slitting her wrists as if the horror of the image is in the blood gushing out (I assume in the hopes that the graphic nature will shock kids into not doing the same, because the same always works when you show kids dead gangbangers and tell them not to smoke weed…) and not in the viewer reliving dangerous thoughts they’ve imagined, and how tempting it still is:

CLAY: She put on some old clothes… She got into the tub, still with her clothes on.
MY BRAIN: Ah, yes yes, that’s clever, keep your clothes on so whoever finds you doesn’t have to see you naked —
MY BRAIN: Oh wow, that’s really graphic imagery for a Netflix show —
MY BRAIN: — but wear clothes you don’t care about so they have enough of a selection to dress you nicely for the funeral. Very clever.

This is a seriously good read by talia jane on Medium. Excellent article. (Medium is going downhill fairly rapidly, but still has good stuff from time to time.) I haven’t watched the show, because I basically watch no TV or movies, but the key thing to remember here is that this show is NOT about helping anyone with anything besides helping them spend money on Netflix in order to make the creators money. That’s the basic premise of all shows, and if it tips a few more kids into offing themselves, then that’s a bit of bad luck, isn’t it? They made the decision! Happens all the time anyway! What really matters is that enough people watch it and talk about it in order for the writer, producers, etc., to make bank.

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