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Is 13 Reasons Why more harmful or helpful to viewers?

cosmopolitan.com

cosmopolitan.com

Madison Drage

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As of March 31, 2017, 13 Reasons Why has been released on Netflix. 13 Reasons Why is a popular show based off of a novel by Jay Asher. It’s about a 17-year-old girl named Hannah Baker who commits suicide and leaves behind 7 cassette tapes listing the thirteen reasons why she did what she did. Clay Jensen, a friend of Hannah’s, receives the package of tapes and on the first one finds out he’s one of the reasons. On May 18, 2018 the second season came out-and edgier than ever. As well as suicide, the show tackles substance abuse, child neglect, bullying, self harm and rape. In this article I’ll be talking about how the show is helpful and harmful to viewers.

I talked to my friend Leah Harper, who has also watched the show, just to get her opinion. On how it can be helpful, she said, “It’s saying that it’s okay to tell someone if you’re thinking about taking your life instead of just throwing away everything you’ve accomplished. I think it is a great show, because it could help other people to make them talk to a trusted adult such as a school counselor, therapist or even just a great friend.” Leah could understand Hannah’s pain, as she’s been through it before.

On the contrary, I talked to my other friend Zakiyah Harmon on how 13 Reasons Why can be harmful to viewers and she said, “People could have just gotten over their problems or are still going through them and the show can trigger them.” She brings up a good point but the show does have warnings before every episode and places you can go to get help if you need it. The show is problematic with it’s graphic suicide scene, sexual assault scenes and slut shaming. But it does bring up important messages like,” you don’t know what’s going on in someone’s life so you shouldn’t judge them”, and “you can’t blame other people for your decisions.”

In conclusion, 13 Reasons Why is a show that you must watch even if you aren’t going through any of the issues covered in the show. It’s good to be informed of what some people may be going through. With that being said, be cautious as the show is really dark and might trigger you. Happy (or not so happy) watching!

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Is 13 Reasons Why more harmful or helpful to viewers?