After my friend Jen recommended that I examine the new Netflix series “13 Reasons Why”, I dove into the program with an open mind.
The teenage drama is not my normal cup of tea, but I binge watched the series over the course of 3 days.
I don’t want to totally spoil the show, the differing storylines, or the controversial manner in which the program delivers it’s message.
I instead will provide a very brief overview of my feelings.
13 Reasons Why tackles some very serious subjects, none bigger than sexual assault, and suicide.
Not many programs have provided such commentary with unflinching honesty.
The show is at it’s best when it strips the characters down to their bare essence through unspeakable events, or tragedy.
The show is at it’s worst when vilifies administrators within the school that the kids attend, or makes odd suggestions about the tragedy of teen suicide.
Coping with loss, rape, being bullied, the images depicting these emotions can be very unsettling to the viewer, and that makes the message that much more powerful.
The show gives the appearance that typical protocol at high schools is still capable of marginalizing the different plights that high school students face, and that is certainly true in some cases, but the show is very harsh on educators, and support systems, that was difficult to stomach at times.
The majority of the students featured in the show come from an upper middle class lifestyle with every advantage in the world laid at their feet.
They have money, comfort, and two parents, so some of the show will not really make much sense to kids of the same age that live in much harsher conditions with minimal support systems and broken homes.
The show at times also seems to glorify teen suicide, to the point that I almost turned it off, but after doing some light reading on the show, the message became a little more clear.
The program is brilliant as it relates to plot points being dictated by a series of recordings that take viewers inside the mind of the character that leads the show.
13 Reasons Why is fascinating social commentary, the program is in possession of strong performances from the talented casts, and it provides perspective on many of the tragedies we hear about everyday and don’t think twice about.
13 Reasons Why forces to truly confront these problems facing society.
The real life plague of sexual assault makes 13 Reasons Why that much more poignant, and the concept of teen suicide has not seen a show like this in years.
13 Reasons Why does drag, and is somewhat ambiguous at key points of the narrative, but anyone looking to get more than entertainment out of television programming, check out this show.
It’s a trip.