13 Reasons Why: Tape 1, Side A

Let me just say up front, these posts about one of Netflix’s latest original series 13 Reasons Why aren’t reviews, per se. I won’t be scoring them; I’ll only be writing really impressions and thoughts. And I won’t likely be writing about all 13 episodes either.

The other note I want to make before continuing on about the show itself, and something I’ll amend to each post, is if you yourself or you personally know someone who is considering self-harm, ending their own life… whatever. It doesn’t matter go 13reasonswhy.info for some resources on how and where to find help.

You’re not alone; no one is ever alone, never ever forget that.

At the time of me writing this post, I’ve only seen episode one of 13 Reasons Why. I can’t remember the last time anything has given me the creative jolt to immediately sit down and just write. I very much love to give advice and am thinking of more helpful life posts to share. I started with motivation recently and back in the fall I wrote about life’s transitions. I strayed away from that kind of content because I thought too selflessly. I thought well no one is going to care that this is coming from me, but I see it differently now. All we need in our lives is that one person to reach out to us. Those people are becoming harder and harder to find in 2017 and beyond and technology continues to advance exponentially.

This is exactly why 13 Reasons Why is so relevant and the most important show for people to watch right now. I think this is the message the show is hoping to send by using newer media to attract attention to such a key topic: teen suicide. Unfortunately, many people don’t read. I’d be willing to take a guess that most had never even heard of 13 Reasons Why until Netflix made it into a series. I’ll admit it, I never did. It was actually originally a book by Jay Asher that came out in 2007. His message was maybe not as relevant then as it is now but it’s something that needs to be addressed.

We always talk about generational differences in culture and society. Our parents, my generation and now my younger brother’s generation. It all starts with how we’re raised, yes, but… a ton of it also has to do with what we’re surrounded by daily: people, entertainment, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, binge-watching, selfies, lit… you name it. Those terms were either not mainstream just yet or nonexistent just 10 years ago. I was raised in the time of transition where there were cellphones but not everyone carried one to now no one can lift their head and hold a simple conversation even at the dinner table.

Something the character Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) mocks to Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) of in one scene is of how their communications teacher suggested confronting one’s problems head and not avoiding conflict. See, that ‘s exactly the problem the current generation faces. They don’t know how to step away from their cellphone for even a second, let alone a minute. Due to that, there’s no room for conversation or discussion about answering a simple question that Clay’s dad asks of him at an earlier point in the episode, “How are you?” To which he responded with, “Fine. Good.” It’s an epidemic that isn’t slowing down and is going to get worse. Kids, teens are becoming so dependent and less independent it’s scary. Once pressure mounts they don’t know what to do.

It’s not a spoiler because it’s in the promotions of the show, but Hannah commits suicide and every episode is a reason why she decided to do so. She does something clever to explain why too. She doesn’t use technology. She even says she could’ve made it easy by emailing everyone an MP3 but that’s just it: it’s easy. She instead uses casette tapes that forces Clay to use a boombox or walkman. She has him also follow an actual physical map instead of Google Maps, which she even points out. What the scary part is is what she’s talking about is likely foreign to most. I told a friend 13 Reasons Why is a voyeur into what we’ve become, what we’ve made ourselves into. It’s simply a must watch for everyone. It’ll make you cringe, but that’s exactly the point; you should feel that way.

*Removes Tape 1 and turns it over to Side B*

Are you watching 13 Reasons Why? What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet me @werdynerdy.