“13 Reasons Why” or Why Not


by Abbie Millman, Reporter

Directed by: Tom McCarthy

Starring: Dylan Minnette, Katherine Langford, Alisha Boe, Christian Navarro, and Justin Prentice. (And many more)

Release Date: August 23, 2019

MPAA Rating: TV-MA

With most students going back to school this fall, it is expected that Netflix come out with another teen drama for everyone to pull an all-nighter binging through when they should be doing homework. This year, that desired (or in this case undesired) Netflix original is “13 Reasons Why”- Season 3.

“13 Reasons Why” is a teen drama and a Netflix Original that was created by Brian Yorkey and produced by Selena Gomez, Steve Golin, Diana Son, and many more. The show is based off of the 2007 novel “Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher.

Although this particular show has received a lot of attention, not all of it has been positive. In fact, the more content “13 Reasons Why” produces, the more backlash the show seems to receive.

Taking place in high school, the plot of the show revolves around a girl named Hannah Baker (played by Katherine Langford), who shows her story of how she was bullied and harassed through a series of cassette tapes that she left for classmates after she committed suicide.

Although the show surrounds the story of Hannah Baker, it is also told from the point of view of Clay Jenson (played by Dylan Minnette), a classmate who grew close to Hannah.

Since the show has a variety of controversial topics such as suicide, substance abuse, rape, bullying, self harm, and gun violence, many parents do not allow their children to watch the Netflix Original. Some even go as far to say that it glorifies suicide.

In fact, just this July, Netflix has removed the three minute long suicide scene from the first season of the show. In spite of this, many are still pushing to have Netflix remove the series as a whole.

While many can not stand the show, others choose to see the bright side of what the show has brought, like raising more awareness of these difficult topics.

Ethan Hsiao, a student at Palo, said “It definitely pushes the boundaries of television, but it did so with the intent to inform, keeping in mind that the topics were sensitive and treating them as such.”

In fact, it seems like most of the show’s criticism comes from adults and parents, while many high school students find the show enjoyable and partially relatable. Not only did these students enjoy the first two seasons, but they are looking forward to the third as well.

“I’m excited! The first day it premieres, I’m watching it!” said another Palo student, Faith Hayes.

Even though many people have different opinions on “13 Reasons Why” and what it stands for, there seems to be a common factor in what people learn from the show.

Palo student, Vanessa Coleman, said “People in high school do a lot of little things and they don’t realize how hard it affects someone, so watching that made not only me, but other people be like ‘wow, we need to watch what we say.’”.

With such a hard hitting lesson to be learned from the show, why should Netflix take it down? After all, the majority of this show’s audience consists of teenagers, so it is best to take advantage of that by using its platform to spread a powerful message.

In the end, the show might push boundaries, but it does so by addressing topics that people are afraid to talk about.

So far, the first two seasons of “13 Reasons Why” have affected countless lives in a positive way and have given people the courage to stand up for themselves and what they believe to be right. Hopefully, the third season will continue pushing limits to do the same.