13 Reasons Why: Netflix’s Most Problematic Original Yet

Elissa El-Tayib, Features Reporter

13 Reasons Why is a Netflix Orignal series that targets things that are wrong with today’s world such as suicide, racism, sexual assault, and bullying, however, it has caused a lot of controversy because of how these messages are portrayed in the show. The story is about Hannah Baker, a high school sophomore who committed suicide and left 13 tapes for the people who were the reasons why, and in the tapes she exposes the dark truths behind her death.

      The show is targeted towards tweens and teenagers, a very impressionable audience — but there is little to no discussion on mental health throughout the series. Isabella Garza says; “It’s so weird how the writers don’t provide like, resources and stuff.  It’s just a bunch of teenagers struggling with their problems, not dealing with them by talking to someone or getting help.” 

       So should 13 Reasons Why be directed to younger people? Oakley Pastoor says, “I don’t think it should be honest. It is important to have information on things like mental health, but the show has none of that, just very graphic scenes that can trigger people who are vulnerable. It’s so problematic that it shouldn’t exist in the first place.”

      One of the biggest problems with the show that many people overlook is that Hannah committed suicide as some kind of way to punish the people who bullied her. According to Annie Barraza, “Hannah didn’t take any precaution as to what events her death might lead to, like in the show there was another student who killed themself after her death and one planning to shoot up the school. It’s mentally damaging especially to Clay her love interest, he blamed himself and was blamed by others for her death because he didn’t love her back. As if his love would have saved her.”

      Netflix is coming up with a 4th season to 13 Reasons Why when the show started with only 13 episodes. It has been dragged out a little too much. The visuals aren’t even the same after Hannah’s death, the colors are washed out and dull.