The Show That Tells the Truth

“13 Reasons Why” A Netflix Original


Julia Yost, Contributing Writer

A recently released Netflix original show called “13 Reasons Why” has everyone talking.  The show is based on a book by Jay Asher, about a 17 year old girl named Hannah Baker. In the story Hannah Baker takes her own life and then explains why she did it through a series of cassette tapes. Thirteen tapes to be exact. This show is being interpreted in many ways. Some people think this show is perfection because it brings up things that happen everyday that no one wants to talk about or see.  These topics include bullying, drug abuse, underage drinking, and rape. The main purpose of this show is to educate those who don’t know the signs of someone struggling, and to also raise awareness of the effect your actions have on others. However, some don’t feel this is the case. Many teens and adults are speaking out to say the show is in fact glorifying suicide, making it look desirable or making it look easy and fun. Some even want the show to be shut down. However, with the overpowering votes of the viewers, the show has been renewed for a second season. The cast and crew all say this show is out there to prevent suicide and to send a message to those who are struggling. Katherine Langford, who plays Hannah Baker, said in an interview, “The first thing is that one of the biggest goals of making this series was to keep it as truthful as possible, because we knew that the story we were telling was important.”

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and the 2nd leading cause of death for those between the ages of 10 and 24. Far too high.  “13 Reasons Why” is bringing this to the surface and raising awareness. A senior at GHS states she enjoyed the show and how it brought a lot of things to her attention, but some scenes made her feel sick to her stomach. A GHS sophomore says the show is in fact a show and shouldn’t be getting this much attention, and that if we reacted to all shows like this one, it would be madness.

This show, “13 Reasons Why,” is a show that makes me feel uncomfortable, and vulnerable . Uncomfortable in a way that I wish I didn’t know the events being portrayed are events that actually happen. However, I believe the show is made to do exactly that- to bring all these difficult topics, good or bad, to light. I don’t think this show is inappropriate, nor do I believe it should be shut down. “13 Reasons Why” is making strides, and I’m hopeful for a more honest dialogue in our communities.


If you or someone you know is struggling please reach out or call 1-800-273-8255 (Suicide Prevention Hotline).