Pros of 13 Reasons Why

Maddie Dufault, Reporter

The American on-demand streaming company, Netflix, has released many original shows that have been very successful, so it came to no surprise that the show 13 Reasons Why, a show based on Jay Asher’s 2007 novel, did incredibly well. The show received 83 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and has introduced a controversial topic that influenced many people to talk about serious issues that is too often ignored. The show proved itself to be different from most of the entertainment today by having a focus on the suicide of a teen.

The plot of the show focuses on a teenage girl that had friends, a job, and went to school just like the majority of the high school population. A lesson of how much others have an impact on how one self reflects is put on a platform by the show. It showcases the reality of suicide and brings forward the point that it must be discussed, not forgotten. The show has benefited society by influencing people, especially teenagers, to openly talk about the controversial topic of suicide.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 44,193 Americans commit suicide per year. There has been a need to talk about suicide and discuss how to decrease the amount the recurring event of suicide takes place. The show has proved itself successful in raising awareness. Ignoring the topic of conversation is not a way to decrease the casualties due to suicide each year. CNN stated in an article about the disputed show that since the start of the show the online searches for “suicide prevention” went up 23%; and “suicide hotline number” climbed 21%. Suicide is often committed by people that it would not be expected.

The Netflix series also provides comfort for viewers in knowing that everyone has had some experience that changed their life either through suicide, bullying or harassment. No matter the age, everyone has either been around bullying, been bullied or faced some type of abuse. The show resonates with people in a way that no show ever has before due to the way it makes the audience feel and think. There is no denying that the show has started conversations, whether they have a positive or negative focus on the series. People need to realize that as long as a conversation has been started, the topic of suicide and abuse has been brought up.

The show based on Jay Asher’s 2007 novel will make people think before they do something to someone else. They now have another reason to ask themselves: “How will this make someone feel? Will it change how they are viewed by others and themselves?” Even though many viewers believe that the show glorified the topic, it’s bringing attention to a topic that is not discussed in the media enough.

When media outlets put out shows that focus on issues that are important to teenagers it brings up the opporunity for discussion. As many viewers enjoyed the show and it’s message, Netflix announced that the show would be coming back with a second season.

Season two of 13 Reasons Why will be coming out Spring 2018 and hopefully continue to raise awareness as well spark the conversation about difficult topics.