13 Reasons Why has become one of the biggest crazes in recent months. After its March 31 release on Netflix, the show has become very popular among teenagers. The rapid popularity of the show, however, does not overshadow the fact that it is very controversial. Bringing a very contentious issue to the forefront, it seems to me as though the drama really has the potential to do more harm than good.
The show follows Clay Jensen as he receives a box filled with 13 audio tapes of his recently deceased crush Hannah Baker, who explains the events which lead up to her suicide. Those who approve of the show argue that it doesn’t glorify suicide, rather it brings up the problem of suicide in today’s society. Although the argument does have some validity, that it is important to address this subject, the glaring hole that these proponents fail to address is that the show makes suicide seem a bit glorified, that suicide was the right choice for Hannah.
The glorification of suicide is not acceptable, especially in today’s society, where the discussion of suicide has become so much more rampant. Don’t get me wrong, I think that from a screen-lovers standpoint, the show was produced excellently. The producers were able to portray modern day bullying and other problems encountered by teens very realistically. But making suicide the main point of the show crosses a line.
It seems as though the show makes it evident that Hannah had many problems going on in her life, which all teenagers have. Except instead of trying to talk to Clay, the main character, or any of her friends or peers, Hannah decides to take her own life. If the message of the show is taken the wrong way, it could encourage teenagers who have had the same problems as Hannah to take their own lives instead of working out their problems. For anyone who may have mental health issues, this show is an even greater threat because it offers another option to someone who might be having suicidal thoughts and may encourage them to take their own life. Yes, 13 Reasons Why is very well done. Yet it has potential to become a major danger to our society by crossing a line through the glorification of suicide.