Netflix’s newest series, 13 Reasons Why, released last week hoping to make changes in the lives of it’s viewers. The show, based off of the book 13 Reasons Why written by Jay Asher tells the story of Clay Jensen, a high school student in his journey to listen to 13 cassette tapes left behind by his classmate and crush, Hannah Baker, who committed suicide. The tapes left behind name the 13 reasons why she decided to take her life and are sent to each person named on the tapes.
13 Reasons Why brings serious issues to life, such as rape, sexual assault, bullying, harassment, violence, depression and suicide in a graphic matter. The 13 episodes in the series address these issues with the hopes of bringing awareness to these issues and reminding viewers that their actions impact other people and that suicide is not the best option, there are ways to receive help.
At the beginning of episodes with graphic content, a warning message begins each episode for viewers who may be uncomfortable with the issue being shown in the episode. At the end of the series, producers encourage viewers who may feel depressed or suicidal or know of someone struggling with any of the issues depicted in the episodes to go to the show’s website for more information on hotlines and ways to receive help.
Concluding the series is an episode titled “Beyond the Reasons,” where cast and producers discuss why the show is so important in raising awareness and the impacts they hope it has on viewers. Executive Producer Brian Yorkey discusses why producers shot and filmed the show in such a graphic way, stating “We wanted to begin by telling the truth about what effect these events would have. We felt like if we could tell a story, not only with integrity, but hopefully one that had a chance to really resonate with young people who don’t necessarily get a steady diet of truth in their entertainment, and hopefully could stand as something that was an honest representation of their experience.”
13 Reasons Why is now streaming on Netflix.