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13 reasons not to watch Netflix’s offensive series ’13 Reasons Why’

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Netflix is accustomed to launching watercooler programs: binge-worthy series such as Stranger Things or House of Cards that get tongues wagging. But its controversial new mystery/drama 13 Reasons Why, adapted from a 2007 novel of the same name, is sparking conversation for the wrong reasons.

The series tells the story of high school student Hannah (Perth actor Katherine Langford) who dies by suicide then posthumously seeks justice, even revenge on the people she believes caused her death, via a series of revelatory cassette tapes. It includes a very graphic and utterly gratuitous suicide sequence in the final episode.

A glowing review on calls it “smart and compelling“.  I call it monstrously offensive and in extremely poor taste, from people who should have known better – including Spotlight director Tom McCarthy, who helmed the first two episodes. 13 Reasons Why premieres in front of a grim real-life backdrop, last year’s ABS figures revealing approximately eight young people suicide every week in Australia. SupportBadge


Earlier this week ABC News and several other outlets reported that 13 Reasons Why has prompted a growing number of calls to counselling services, leading Australian youth mental health foundation Headspace to speak out against it. According to Kirsten Douglas, national manager for school support, “people have said the show has triggered their own vulnerabilities and made them consider whether suicide is a possible option for them”.

I watched all 13 episodes – so you don’t have to – and compiled 13 reasons how the series gets it so wrong as an exploration of suicide. In a former life I worked for a suicide prevention initiative called Living is For Everybody.

1. Showing graphic depictions of suicide is not brave; it’s ignorant

There is so much research about the dangers of showing content depicting suicidal methods that it is difficult to believe we are still having this conversation. Much of the research leans on the social learning theory: that vulnerable people may identify with a suicide victim and be triggered by their behaviour.

As Mindframe’s Suicide and Mental Illness in the Media resource puts it: “Studies have found a relationship between the method of suicide portrayed in a fictional film or television program, and increased rates of suicide attempts using this method”.

2. People do not live on through notes or tapes or anything else left behind

Death is final. In the show, however, Hannah feels very much alive. She is visualised in moments based in the past and even in present-day sequences when people imagine her there. We hear her voice throughout the series; her narration includes lines such as “we’ll get through this step by step”,  The impression is that you can live, post-death, maintaining communication with your friends. You can’t.

Some people find comfort in the idea they will live on after death in the hearts and minds of loved ones. However it is through our life, not our death, that we define purpose and meaning. 13 Reasons Why suggests it is the other way around.

3. Warnings of graphic content are not enough

Prior to certain episodes, a warning appears advising viewers of graphic content. Many experts, including Fincina Hopgood from University of New England, believe this is not adequate. The messaging should contain referral information (including phone numbers) for local support services such as Lifeline and Kids Helpline. Netflix needs to improve its one-size-fits-all approach to international distribution.

4. Suicide is not cool or chic or nostalgic or fashionable

Hannah leaves her friends and acquaintances a series of cassette tapes. Late in the series, she numbers them by applying nail polish. It’s as if the creators consider her choice of using old tapes to be Stranger Things-esque retro cool. It isn’t.

5. Suicide is not a game

Hannah reads out the ‘rules’ of her tapes (which sometimes prompt the listener to go to certain places and look at certain things) as if she were the mastermind in a popcorn movie. Like Dennis Hopper’s character from Speed, laying out the framework for an entertaining round of cat-and-mouse.

6. Bereavement is not a nifty way to add dramatic sizzle

The moral centre of the show, Clay (Dylan Minnette) is told to keep listening to Hannah’s tapes by the person she entrusted to distribute them. In one scene Clay asks: “What if I don’t? What if I can’t?” The keeper of the tapes responds: “Then it’ll get worse”.  Like much of the story, the tone here is unsettling, but not like an effective thriller – instead it feels callous. People grieve in their own way, in their own time.

7. Suicide is not a way to gain power

Hannah was bullied and mistreated when she was alive. Her suicide and the tapes she left change that: through death she has been given agency. What a terrible (and patently untrue) message to send to young people.

8. The show wastes the opportunity to discuss mental illness

Not everybody who takes their own life has a mental illness, but mental illness is a significant risk factor for suicide. It is also common among young people. According to Mindframe, fourteen percent of Australians aged 4-17 have mental health or behavioural problems, and adolescents with mental health problems have a high rate of suicidal thoughts.

And yet mental illness is never explicitly addressed in 13 Reasons Why, which feels like a wasted opportunity. The show includes a moment when Clay reaches out to help another potentially at-risk person, but because mental illness is not explored at all, it feels like an arbitrary gesture.

9. The idea of BLAME is problematic and complicated – not black and white

13 Reasons Why contains characters who behave in deeply immoral ways. In an attempt to hold them accountable for their actions, they are blamed for Hannah’s death (one character even says “we all killed Hannah Baker”). Propagating the idea that there is always somebody to blame when a person dies by suicide is inaccurate and unhelpful.

10. Suicide is not a variety show

In one episode Hannah’s voice on the cassette tape says: “Welcome back, thank you for listening.” Enough said.

11. Suicide is not a way of getting even or righting wrongs

This is clearly Hannah’s plan: to use her death as a means of delivering comeuppance. The series suggests suicide can be an effective way of exposing wrongs and restoring a moral equilibrium. I doubt that was intentional, but it’s outrageous nonetheless.

12. Advocating community resilience is ignored

Suicide rates are countered in part through community and resilience building initiatives. We are all in this together and each of us can do something to help. Again from Mindframe: it is a myth that mental illness is a life sentence; most people fully recover. 13 Reasons Why does little to inspire that important positive message. No matter who you are or whatever you’re going through: you are not alone.

13. The creators did not adequately consult the suicide prevention community 

If they had, this article would never have been written.

If you or someone you know is in need of support, help is available. Contact Lifeline on 13 11 14. A detailed list of support services can be found here.


61 responses to “13 reasons not to watch Netflix’s offensive series ’13 Reasons Why’

  1. Completely nailed it – so many aspects of this series just felt plain wrong. Thank you for putting it into words so well.

  2. As a psychologist and mother of two teenagers, I thank you for this article. Graphically televising teen rape (or rape of any kind for a youthful audience) and a completed suicide is not what our youth need to be watching. Couldn’t they have left those scenes out and still have a successful show?

  3. I read the book version of this a few years ago and thought the exact same things when I had finished it. Totally agree!

  4. I strongly believe in this series. At least parents get answers why and not always have to wonder. Most parents do not listen to their kids, so catch a wake up and stop the negative posts, this is the best series created in a very long time

  5. Shrinks today only care about their bank balance and not to help anyone that is suicidal or depressed. I know from experience. Are they scared they will lose business, which mean less money?

    1. Disagree. When I had depression and was suffering from severe panic attacks, I was seeing my long term psychologist and an integrative psychiatrist who were both amazing! They worked with me to get off anti-depressants and explored every facet of my work, diet, exercise and social life to find ways to make me feel better and it worked!
      The mental health sector is woefully under funded and over burdened leading to SOME psychologists and psychiatrists who don’t do their job properly and are only in it for th money. Brilliant ones who care about getting you through such a tough time do exist.

    2. Completely disagree; such a trite and uninformed comment. There are 34,000+ clinical psychologists in Australia, and 7,500+ with an area of practice endorsement in clinical psychology. How much experience do you have to tar them all with one brush? (
      In addition there are 2,800+ clinical psychiatrists. (

      Like any professional, there are duds, and there are personality clashes, but I guarantee you will find someone helpful for you by trying a very small number of these. Curing/helping depression and similar symptoms is a specialist skill. It is complex and a bespoke process. These people are highly trained in this process and have the skills required. This is a proven fact – the evidence is the vast number of people that use the skills that these professionals have, and are able to manage their symptoms because of it.

      It might not seem like it if one only looks at Facebook, but psychologists & psychiatrists are very open to therapy techniques that aren’t the usual “sit in a chair and talk” or “take these pills”. I have seen things such as massage, aromatherapy, nutrition, exercise and other similar techniques “prescribed” by these professionals; and that is with only a very small number of data points for people I know who have had or have depression.

      1. I have to basically agree with Margaret. Both myself and one of my immediate family members have gone through numerous psychologists and psychiatrists (to treat mental illness) and found this basically true. While I’d never tell someone not to seek their help we have had very poor experiences with many of them. When I sought help from one physcologist distraught and looking for guidance when this family member was suicidal she simply shrugged her shoulders and said “you can’t help anybody unless the want help, so don’t blame yourself if it happens and don’t worry about it” and was not really concerned about this persons welfare at all. Also one psychiatrist who we were told to see because they were the “best” charged $150 just to have the formal diagnosis in writing. Rorting people in their most desperate hour is how I see it. Many others are well meaning but basically clueless. Count yourself lucky if you’ve actually found the right help on the first couple of goes. Strip their wages down to something more average and that’ll soon sort the “humanitarians” from those paying off their Porsche.

  6. You felt this series was too graphic?? What do you think we see everyday on our own? on the web and other places. WTH

    Spoken like true older adults…knowing so much and still can’t see a thing.

    This series is more helpful then you think.

    Great article dude. ????????

  7. Honestly as I watching, instead of focusing on the suicide i was focusing on how people should treat others cause we really don’t know what they are going through. The series isn’t about suicide, it’s about how people treat people. The suicide was to make people realize that it might be used by people who negatively copes up with bad happenings in life.

    1. Good points, but I don’t think most people will have that take away message. In the show, the kids that are shown to be “responsible for Hannah’s suicide” (as if that could really be the case) are not characters that most people would think “gee that person is like me and does things that I do – if their actions are causing someone else pain maybe my actions would cause pain too”. Instead I got a real “baddies” vibe from them. Since I don’t consider myself to be a baddie, I won’t learn from their mistakes. Because only bad people would make those mistakes.

      I think it would be better if we are shown how characters that we relate to can cause unintended consequences from seemingly minor offences.

      1. Some of them weren’t bad people based on my perspective. They definitely had reasons why they did what they did. Some are bad but doesn’t those people exist in real life? It just shows that people can be so cruel wether consciously or unconsciously. People just have to be open minded to really know the message of the show is.

  8. Luke Buckmaster…Boooooooo. did you watch the 14th episode??????
    I wish this show was around when i was suicidal a year ago!! Would have helped me through a lot easier to recovery.
    13 reasons why…. 10/10!!!!!!
    Hats off to you Selena Gomez!!
    #Project semi colon ????????????

  9. As someone with depression, having previously had suicidal thoughts, I believe this show is exactly as it was supposed to be. It shows that a person does not know what goes on in another’s head. It shows that these things – suicide, rape – are not pretty. Are not to be glorified. It is painful, it is uncomfortable to watch. My parents were fighting constantly, as were Hannah’s during her time of need, which made her and I feel like we could not burden them with our problems. My friends seemed to have it worse than me. She felt she had no friends who would understand.
    She went to an adult and they effectively told her to ‘get over it’. For her, she did not know how. She felt she had not the tools. She wasn’t perfect. Sure, there were things she could have done. But at that point, she had no will to even try. Like she says, it feels like nothing. A huge, great big nothing. Swallowing you whole.

    Let me respond to you however, in your own format, to each of your own statements. Please understand I do not necessarily mean offense, but I do believe your opinion is not the only one, and would like to state my own, as a girl Hannah’s age, having battled depression and suicidal thoughts. Thankfully, with the help of parents, friends, a psychiatrist and antidepressants, I’ve come out the other side. This war is by no means over for me, but the hardest battle so far has been won.

    1. They showed suicide as it was. When I was contemplating suicide, I mostly thought of cliffs, as razors scared me. A suicidal person is going to gravitate to what they have on hand, and what they feel is the simplest, quickest exit. Showing a suicide may allow people a certain method, yes. But this show left no thought that suicide was easy or painless. What they showed was horrible. Absolutely horrible. They did not hide that. And that was the point.
    2. When someone dies, those who knew them, who care for them, see them in that which reminds them of it. For the one who died, yes, they are gone. For those who remain, it is harder to say ‘they are gone’. Because when someone dies, it creates a ripple, or, probably more accurately, a tidal wave. Clay envisioned what he heard. The same way one might envisage the state or mood they were in when they wrote a page in their journal. Some things he saw simply because he was grieving, and he blamed himself for her death, as many who care for one would do after they die, regardless of whether they had anything to do with it or not.
    3. They gave warnings. When it is an international show, giving direct helplines for each location that might be watching is difficult, and as the show’s influence spreads, or as time goes on, those helplines will become unusable. Perhaps they should have advised seeking help if a viewer finds themselves distressed or disturbed. I know of no other show that does so, however distressing they might be.
    4. This comment leads me to believe you missed the entire point of the show. Suicide isn’t fashionable. It is horrible, uncomfortable, distressing, with consequence and of great distress to friends and family. It has lasting effects on those around you. This show, well, it shows that.
    5. No it’s not. For Hannah, at first the tapes were a way of verbalising what happened to her, where her pain had begun and festered. And then, they were basically her suicide note. Being at the places where certain things happened helps one visualise a situation. She wanted those on the tapes to see, to feel her thoughts. To understand what she went through. She wanted to be understood.
    6. Clay did grieve in his own way, in his own time. Alex listened to ll thirteen tapes in one night. Clay listened to them over a series of nights, because he had to take what she said in. It’s why he did struggle. But as it was what Hannah wanted, as he wanted to know what went through her mind, he did listen.
    7. I think you misunderstand the power something as terrible as suicide can have. Acting out like that has a certain way of making people who make bad choices realise the influence of their actions. I remember once in middle school, I was being bullied openly in front of the teacher, with no one to stand up for me. After excusing myself, I ran home. It took them (a rather small school of 300 students, where my father was a teacher) half the day to realise I was gone. Everyone in my year knew what I’d done. With the exception of one girl, none of those kids bullied me again. In Hannah’s story, those kids on her tapes, they knew what they’d done to lead to her death. And none of them would have done those same actions again without thinking of the outcomes it could produce.
    It’s not a nice thing. It’s not right. But it is what happens when a terrible thing occurs.
    8. The show never explicitly labels a mental illness, that’s true. However, it is clear that Hannah became depressed in her final weeks. Looking back over the show, Alex gives off so many warning signs that he is becoming suicidal. That he is depressed. Hannah’s parents, Clay, they are all experiencing extreme grief. Jessica, even without Justin confirming it, is clearly experiencing PTSD. Her alcoholism is proof of that. Sometimes, mental illness is not labeled outright. Sometimes, it’s not addressed in time.
    9. Blame. Ever heard the saying about the butterfly’s wingbeat? 13 Reasons depicts how it’s not just one reason. How Tony said ‘We all killed Hannah Baker.’ is a highly accurate statement. And what the show depicts. A suicide is hardly ever a simple matter. The reasons are complex. Hannah narrows it down to 13. The sheet her mum finds is proof that they weren’t the only ones. Those main thirteen combined to lead to her suicide. Sometimes something does have a direct cause to something else. Sometimes there isn’t. Usually, there will be a catalyst to an event however. These thirteen reasons, were the thirteen biggest for Hannah.
    10. Hannah was a teenager of modern times. She did make thirteen tapes. Is her speech, her way of recording, not going to include some reintroduction in at least one of the next twelve tapes?
    11. No. Suicide is an end to present pain. If a person had been driven to the point of wanting to die, and she could trace that feeling back to certain others, it is natural for them to feel bitter towards those others, or at least a semblance to that feeling amongst the nothingness, don’t you think?
    An ‘effective way’? It’s a means of getting to an end, if that’s what you are insinuating. ‘Effective’ is a relative term. Suicide means the end to a life. In my book, at least so long as I’m not swallowed by that black cloud, I would not believe the loss of a life was worth the end Hannah achieved. Nevertheless, that’s not the point. Hannah was not thinking clearly by this point. She ended her life because it was unbearable, and she couldn’t see a future. Not because she wanted revenge.
    12. This is one story. Not every story. If you watch episode 14, or 13 Reasons Why; Behind the Reasons, which plays immediately after Episode 13, you will hear how this show is intended to show the reality of suicide, of sexual assault. Hannah’s mental illness is not dealt with effectively or picked up by the adults around her, and she is unable to properly communicate it. This results in her death. Alex also shows many warning signs leading up to his attempted suicide, which also was not picked up, despite it being well-known that those who know a person who committed suicide are more likely to commit suicide themselves. And the school, the community, did attempt to help prevent further loss after her death by holding information sessions with parents, sending out emails and letters and encouraging students to seek help. One of the reasons for suicide is that the person can no longer see a future for themselves. They cannot stand another second, another minute, or day or week or month or year with the pain, the longing, the nothing they are feeling. You seem to miss this point. Yes, many people recover. Clearly there are those that don’t. Those with PTSD often retain those memories, those traumas for the rest of their life, whether it be from sexual assault, war, or something else. Jessica’s life has been changed because she was raped. She survived. She didn’t commit suicide. But the show didn’t hide that it wasn’t going to be easy. There is nothing easy about recovering from mental illness. So we need to stop flufling over it. That’s what this show has done. It hasn’t glossed over, or fluffed over, anything. It’s laid it bare.
    13. The producers of the show consulted many. many organisations. And they consulted many, many victims and survivors.

    I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with you. As a adolescent, I found this show comforting, despite how uncomfortable, how horrible certain scenes were. Because it laid it bare. And honestly, I am just sick of how often things are not. Being told everything’s okay is not helpful. Sometimes, you need others to tell the truth. You can find comfort in realising that your situation is actually serious, and you’re not the only one experiencing your pain. Saying that you’re not okay is alright. Admitting that you’re broken, that you’re hurting, that’s not just alright, it’s healthy. It’s the first step to moving forward.
    Thankyou, to anyone who has read this far. I am happy to reply further, or to acknowledge my opinion is not the only one. I just believe it needs to be acknowledged that there is a reason teenagers are watching this show. And there is a reason it has good reviews.

    1. You put your point of view very well and it’s obvious you have a good intellect and are well educated,which may explain why you got so much out of the show – you are a deep thinker,whereas many don’t have your intellect/education to think things through clearly,rather,suffer mental anguish and just want to end it – will this show help them?

    2. Excellent post, but I disagree with one of the central points that you make. It is only my personal opinion, but I think in this show suicide IS glorified; it is what gives Hannah power, agency, and relevance. The gruesome element of the suicide may have been portrayed well (although evidence suggests it would still have a net positive effect on the number of future suicides), but there is an element of justice porn about the whole show, and I think that is dangerous and unappealing.

      I’m not against dangerous art, and I think in a world where suicide was less of an issue and less widespread I’d appreciate this show a lot more than I do now (suicide is such an unfathomably massive issue right now, it can’t be understated). It isn’t empowering to the depressed; that’s the type of suicide based show I’d prefer. Obviously given the ratings I am not in the majority on that though.

  10. I haven’t watched the show yet, but yet again in his wisdom Luke deigns to tell us what we should or should not watch.

    1. What a ridiculous comment. Sorry I don’t mean to demean you but Luke has a right to say what he thinks and you have the right to disagree or as in my case agree.

    2. And you feel right in laying into him about a programme he has watched through the eyes of professional experience and which you say you have not yet seen at all. Rrrrright.

  11. Its incredible to me that while psychologists and mental health experts – who have to work with suicide and suicidal teens every day – say this series is dangerous, there are still those who insist that they are overreacting.

    I think it is an important conversation to have – clearly, according to the science – this series gets it wrong on several levels. It’s important to listen.

  12. Advancing the idea to young people (or anyone) that suicide gives power to an otherwise powerless victim to gain retribution against persecutors is dangerous and stupid.

  13. Can’t help thinking that ABC’s ‘You Can’t Ask That’ 30 minute program on April 19th, talking to survivors of attempted suicide, was more educational, perceptive AND entertaining than hours of ’13 Reasons Why’. Rather than hype, it gave you real people depicting real-life dramas, and expressing real thoughts and emotions.

  14. My advice: Watch the excellent series on ABC TV called “You can’t ask that!” (see particularly the episode on suicide – those who survived their attempts – moving beyond belief!

    1. I just watched that tonight (straight after Broadchurch, which dealt with similar themes). I think they are good, though I don’t get the “think of the people left behind” argument- and they call suicides selfish? I don’t know if I ideate on the the idea- I was mildly traumatized last year by the Please Like Me episode that dealt with the same subject- I find myself rejecting the entire premise, that other people are traumatized and wrecked by the act. When I finally find the courage or will to do it myself.. well, I need to believe that I’ll sink without trace. I need to deal with it all myself.

      1. Death is completely impersonal and has nothing to do with you. You can’t ‘deal with it’ yourself. It deals you.

      2. I am assuming you don’t know anyone who has killed themselves? It doesn’t do the friends and family the world of good.

      3. To Matt Cardier:
        What a horrible insensitive comment you made! Have you ever had a close friend or family member take their own life? I’m guessing no. I unfortunately have had both happen (brother; age 16 in 1985 & friend age 26 in 2015) . The loss of my brother (my only sibling) impacted my life immensely. I went from a cheerful motivated university student to a depressed reckless girl in no time flat. Life plan changed completely – and not for the better. To this day the results of poor decisions made at that point in time (32 years ago) – STILL impact my life.
        While losing my friend did not have as dramatic an effect on me; (by the time you are in your 50’s you usually have been through a great deal and so are more used to coping with loss and grief) it had a HORRIFIC effect on the best friend of this person; who is agood friend of mine.In a nutshell he will never ever again be the same person he was before this loss. It is as if a large part of him has died along with his friend. Every time I look at him I can see what that loss has done to him. If you doubt that people are as you put it “traumatized and wrecked” you should spend some time with someone who has the misfortune to have lost a loved one to suicide – it changes people in a permanent way.
        You say “I was mildly traumatized last year by the Please Like Me episode that dealt with the same subject”…. What on earth do you mean by that? Do you actually realize that people in this comments section are referring to REAL LIFE suicide ?? So you think it is reasonable to compare that to how you feel about an episode of a show? Really?
        You go on to say “I find myself rejecting the entire premise, that other people are traumatized and wrecked by the act.” You feel this way because……why?
        You really need to think your comments through before posting on a sensitive issue such as this. I will not go into detail on just how myself and my friend reacted to these horrible losses, but suffice to say traumatized is just the tip of the iceberg. Loss of hope, anger, deep deep depression, massive amounts of regret and endless “what ifs”, realizing that things you had always believed in don’t matter anymore, no longer caring about what happens to yourself……. I could go on & on. But I won’t.
        You are very fortunate to never have experienced a loss this deep – but please don’t assume that you know what people feel. If you don’t know what you are talking about – don’t bother posting.

        1. The point of argument is ; the portrayal of suicide in these particular tapes is far from correct. No need to take offense , I believe it wasn’t meant to cause harm. Yes, people do commit suicide that’s a fact and who are we to judge? However , just like the tapes show; we must not justify the act. So sorry, not sorry! This is a platform to discuss the insidiousness of the Thirteen Reasons Why Tapes, not to narrate your events in relation to the topic. 😉

  15. I am guilty for not having seen the show, then commenting. However, using some of your guide lines, couldn’t a case be made for banning the opera Tosca? Not only does the heroine commit suicide but, heavens to Betsy, she reappears after death to take all those curtain calls.

  16. Suicide is definitely not something to be taken lightly. I have only gone up to episode 7 so far and since I’ve not yet completed the series I guess I don’t know the full story and while it’s true people are mean (sad but so is the world) her leaving all these tapes behind to haunt those she believes did her wrong (we don’t know if she over exaggerated the impact of certain situations) is in itself bullying. Imagine how mental Clay was acting, hallucinating and everything, then the Alex kid, I’m no mental expert but how is that supposed to help? It just makes them come up with more lies as they freak out along the way and even look for ways to punish themselves in ways they think they deserve and hence the cycle may contine. I guess the show wanted to shine a light on the suicide and urges us to tell the signs and be more assertive i guess. But the way she laid out that suicide plan and took time to make those tapes just makes me furious and probably does not send a good image to the teenagers who feel they’re not getting the attention they deserve.

  17. This article is a ridiculous, extreme interpretation that someone has written to complain and slate yet another incredible, smart and true fine art of our modern day performing arts industry. 13 reasons why tells the story of Hannah’s life and why she could see no way out but to end her life in suicide. Each tape is designated to one person and why their story is one of the reasons why she killed herself. In the series, Hannah doesn’t blame these people but shows how their actions have a knock on affect and why society’s attitude nowadays is to ignore how other people are feeling and how this can seem harmless and normal. 13 reasons why is the story of Hannah’s life and mirrors what happens inside the minds of young teens who feel it is necessary to commit suicide. This show is a whole lot more than what this article is calling it, as what this show is trying to do is to get people to understand why things end in these situation and why people do do what Hannah in this series did. As the series goes on, we understand more and more why things in Hannah’s life escalated to her death. The show is portrayed from Clay and Hannah’s perspective and from these two characters it conveys the gravity of what Hannah feels, making each episode intenser and intenser. This is what makes the show so gripping and overall: amazing. Whoever wrote this article sees things in just black and white as Hannah doesn’t point out ‘rules’ as if life is game? Hannah shows her story and the director and producers have made it feel like she is telling a story from Hannah and Clay’s point of view.

    1. Watching Hannah Baker cut her wrists in high definition isn’t doing anything for youth suicide prevention. These tapes are basically a revenge fantasy. A completely wrong portrayal of what suicide really is. this is basically a step back for the film industry at large. Such poor graphical depiction of primary and delicate topics mustn’t be allowed to be viewed. why justify an act so wrong?! Is this what TV is these days? A medium of justification so that people can find content in the things they are doing no matter how wrong they may be?!

      An attempt to arouse empathy among viewers and not provide solutions. Gibberish ! Nonsense!

  18. People have romanticised suicide and rape , it’s not supposed to pretty.This show may have been gruesome to some but I feel as though it showed people what its really like .It may not seem appealing but thats what its like and people need to know.

  19. After the first episode I was disturbed by most things this article lays out – it’s simply a horrible premise but worse yet, dramatically broken.

    Hannah’s narration from the tapes displays absolutely NO traits of a suicidal mentally depressed person. None. Shes cool and witty and inventive and fucking sprightly. I’ll watch all of it but honestly it won’t make sense unless she faked her death- which she doesn’t. Already her motivation is dead to me.

    The writers Propose we learn a lesson from her? She killed herself! how does she have such deep insight into the whole affair but not enough to seek an objective solution outside of death? It makes no sense. She’s a malignant narcissist for torturing Dylan for minor infractions yet she still kills herself. HANNAH is bullshit.

  20. There will be some people who suicide after seeing this show. How could the producers be so reckless and irresponsible. Troubled teenagers are such a vulnerable audience. The producers have blood on their hands. Shameful!

  21. I feel the same way as the article I must admit. While Hannah was wronged in many ways and rape and stalking are seriously damaging and illegal acts I don’t agree with the way the show handled blame for the rest of the characters. While certain characters had lines here and there that seemed to say ‘hey, while we could have done better, no one can be blamed for Hannah’s suicide’, Clay is always portrayed as speaking in such a way as he is the voice of reason the audience is meant to be listening to, who we take the lessons of the show from. This is troubling because Hannah’s inclusion of Clay on the tapes has clearly driven him to a PTSD like state and instigated his mission to be some kind of avenger for Hannah’s death, often lashing out at people before their actions are verified as the truth or even finishing listening to their tape! Hannah turns into a martyred goddess in his eyes and to me he loses all proper reason, he’s not someone we should be listening to for advice for the future and yet in his poignant words to Mr Porter in episode 13 and to others that’s how he’s portrayed. I agreed with Mr Porter, while people have failed her, no one killed her and it is wrong to me that Clay is on those tapes at all, let alone how long he had to wait to hear his story. It’s revealed as Hannah walks out of Mr Porter’s office that she’s been recording the whole time! She leaves after he tells her not to go as when she yells at Clay to leave her alone that night at the party. Yet she records that she doesn’t follow him. Hannah had already made up her mind she wanted to kill herself. To me she went searching for 1 more reason to do it and 1 more person to blame. Mr Porter lacked training and needed to do better, but his part of the tape, much like Clay’s and tbh many others was wrong.

  22. I find it interesting that everyone is focussing on the end result, the suicide, and not the situation that got her there.

    This girl was consistently sexually objectified by boys and men raised in a patriarchal society that disempowers women and celebrates the male ego. Kat, her best friend that left town, put it all so eloquently in the last episode. “You trying going to school with a bunch of neanderthals who are told they’re the only thing of value at school, and that the rest of us are merely there to cheer them on”.

    This is the story of so many women, who spend their lives dodging sexism, misogyny and sexual objectification on a daily basis. The issue here isn’t the suicide, it’s the fact that people are upset that this show is on air, yet find no issue with the plethora of other shows on tv that tell our brothers and sons that treating women this way has no consequences.

    1. The target audience is not focusing on what made her kill herself or anyone for that matter because the end result is harmful to vulnerable teenagers. “Welcome to your tape” is used as a joke in high schools when someone wrongs someone and they say it as if saying ‘if you’re mean to me I’ll commit suicide’. It’s the end result that matters and there have been reports of teenagers attempting and committing suicide because the series had encouraged them to take their own lives, either because it glamorized being remembered in death or because the graphic depiction of Hannah’s suicide drove them over the edge.

      yes, there were 13 reasons as to why she committed suicide, but the unintended moral that came out of this is ‘if you have enough reasons, it’s okay to commit suicide’. If Hannah lived, this would be a story of how sexism, assault, and rape broke someone to the point of attempted suicide and focused on that instead. Hannah was in the original draft supposed to have been saved last minute and had her stomach pumped but the writer believed that killing Hannah would have been more impactful, but instead undercut the reasons at to what brought her to commit suicide instead.

      1. Maybe the writer is trying to show that sometimes it can be too late to have “someone’s stomach pumped”. As a 15 yo teenager myself who survived watching this show , I believe the show’s message is that Young adults or Bullies like them need to think about the consequence that could arise from their actions and learn what their stupid pranks or ego can do. This is what the show is about even till the end if you focus on positive message that it’s trying to get across.

  23. I agree completely . Stronglt urge Netflix Netflix should pull this ‘show’ out. it can save lives

    1. I rather think airing this show can save lives.

      It may help people realise that their actions have consequences, how insignificant it may seem.

  24. The show is no more offensive than all those Hollywood movies that depict violence, rape and murder.

    This might not be the best written TV show (many dialogues were obviously written by a middle aged person, NOT like what teenagers would say), but it deals with some very serious issues like bullying, sexism, depression, anxiety, guilt, self-harm and internalized homophobia.

    I am deeply offended by this article, written by a privileged white man who probably doesn’t know anything about mental illness and being bullied. Shame on you.

    1. No Shame on YOU!
      I don’t know who you think you are to say that you’re offended by this article; to then blame your own ignorance on your stereotype disgusts me. I am a female whom suffers from depression and anxiety, I was bullied throughout my own schooling. My opinion of this show is that it is disgusting it is not an accurate or even reasonable depiction of mental illness and bullying. This article however perfectly explains why this show should never have aired.
      So Shame on you whoever you are, whatever niche you fit into, shame on you for not listening to those around you.

    2. I’m sorry to hear about the things you’ve had to deal with. But as a person who’ve had to deal with mental illness and suicidal thought for years I have to say that not every suicide is because of mental illness. In fact many who suffer from depression are so debilitated by the illness that they can’t find the power to do it. That is why medication often leads to suicidal thoughts, for the simple reason the people can muster the energy to take their life.

      What I can say is that suicide is always about taking control of your life. Whether it’s the banker who’s lost everything, the girls who’s suffered from depression for years or the man who was dumped by a girl he loved. In a strange way it’s a comforting thought, that has gotten me through lot of tough days, when I totally lost control because of the illness. At least I had control over this. I chose life everyday… Not death.
      I think that the more we can talk about these issues the easier it is get reaching out to someone who can help you. And I think that this is a very honest depiction of a suicidal teen. And my bad days are very rare these days, because I reached out and got help without feeling ashamed of my thoughts.

  25. Really enjoyed the show, the adticle here is very shallow and narrow minded. The comments from the author are condescending.

  26. “Because guys talk at our school and they do shit, they do things to girls that no-one ever talks about and no-one ever does things about.” “What happened to Hannah should never happen to another kid.” “The popular kids are always mean, that’s why they’re popular.” While there are some faults, e.g Hannah was bitchy too, I think it’s a powerful expose of life as it is. The coach yelling at the “skinny kid” to get out is a good example of teachers and the impact they have on things. Harvey Weinstein is the latest example of shit people do that no-one ever does anything about. Behind every girl with mental health issues is a daddy, uncle, brother, teacher, priest, or random arsehole guy that things he can do what he wants with impunity. Bring it on. Show the pain, show would-be suicide victims how their families and real friends will suffer, show the harsh reality of life. Only those who need suicide can understand why they need it. Make a difference. Be the nice kid!

  27. japanese drama “Blue Bird” is a very good drama abt suicide and bullying which handles the subject very well.It focuses more on the students who bullied their classmate without fully understanding the impact of their actions.They didn’t even notice what they were doing is bullying.The shocking fact is that viewers can really relate to those students,who are not really bad people.It makes us think abt how we should be aware of our actions and takes responsibility for them.And how we should try to understand people different from us.While giving a strong messege,this movie is quite “children friendly” that it can be watched by primary school students too.I think it’s a very good example of how a movie abt bullying should be made.

  28. Are people seriously stating that this show will cause more people to commit suicide? If someone was going to do it they would already believe they have valid reasons to commit suicide regardless of this show.

    I believe it’s better having a show like this then not having one.

  29. I have a 14 year old son who talks about suicide – a lot. I feel our current culture contributes to suicidal ideation as a way of making sense of pain and the real sorrows of not fitting in etc. All humans need a coherent life narrative within their social structure. When suicide is presented as an option, a path that gives social legitimacy to real trauma and injustice, an almost natural path from social isolation and stigmatisation – that is monstrously dangerous and does damage.

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