TRIGGER WARNING: Rape, Suicide, Depression
Note: This post is inspired from: this themighty.com article (Go read this article, it’s helpful and important). This post may also contain spoilers from both the Netflix show and novel.
As a fan of the novel (13 Reasons Why), I have always researched about it being adapted into either a movie or a TV show. Well, around 2013 or 2014, there was this hearsay that Selena Gomez will star the upcoming movie for 13 Reasons Why. As a matter of fact, I was a little disappointed at the rumor; because, out of all people, why Selena Gomez? It’s like she didn’t seem fit to play the role. But then, last year, in the late 2016, I heard this news about 13 Reasons Why getting its own show on Netflix. And guess what? Being the “fan girl” that I am, I was hyped. And, as it turns out, Selena Gomez does have a role in it–only, she was an executive producer,and does not have a lead role.
13 Reasons Why is a novel written by Jay Asher and was published around 2007. The story circles around Hannah Baker, a high school student, who killed herself; and also Clay Jensen, a friend of Hannah Baker, who is the protagonist and the one telling the entire story from scratch. Hannah Baker was a student who was battling depression and bullying–which drove her to suicide. And in a series of cassette tapes, she tells the 13 Reasons Why she killed herself, including Clay Jensen himself.
Now, I’ve read the novel way back 2013, a time where only a few people knew it because it wasn’t much of a popular novel, yet. I recall finishing the book in one sitting, just because it was very intriguing and I liked it. It was the first time I’ve read a book that contained something so cold, icy and had a little spice up to it. I felt like I was feeling what Clay Jensen was feeling. It was raw. Another reason is that Hannah Baker and I happen to share the same attitude and personality, which is why this book is close to me. (Which is, I know for a fact, a low reason).
The book ended in a cliffhanger way. At the last part of the novel, Clay Jensen shouted “Skye!” (Skye happens to be Clay Jensen’s friend and schoolmate, that showed the same signs of depression as Hannah). I immediately knew the message behind it–it was because Clay was trying to prevent the same thing that happened to Hannah (because Hannah’s signs of depression was constantly ignored or shoved down in the novel), and I was fond of that ending. I was like, “That’s good. Helping another person based on past experiences.”
So….what about the Netflix show? Or the adaptation of the book?
To be honest, yes, I was very excited to see it. Because, hello? My favorite novel was getting a show of its own after 10 years. It deserves it. But, for those who plan to see it, I tell you; it is EASILY triggering. The show tackles suicide, rape, depression, misogyny, sexism, bullying and all that. I think the show lacked trigger warnings at the very beginning. And if a person who is diagnosed with depression and has done things, please do not let them see it alone. The show will make them vulnerable and it’s pretty toxic.
The show vividly showed how rape was done, how Hannah Baker did her suicide (which was not mentioned in the book, if I remember correctly); showing how she slit her wrists in the bathtub, how sexual assault was done, and others. So, it can be really quite frustrating. The good thing about it is that people will become aware and they’ll have knowledge about how they can help and address the issue properly. The show also shared this message of how justice isn’t served to the right people, because there was an involved lawsuit between the Baker family and the school; and that’s a pretty powerful message to send to the fucked up system of the government.
The show followed the novel accurately enough. Still, the show is triggering and will leave you with a lot of negative emotions; it did it to me. I suggest, if you decide to watch the show, to just be prepared for the worst and don’t let it get to you. Just remember to adapt the positive messages and lessons you can take. But if you’re really easily triggered or bothered, and especially if you’re actually mentally ill, please do not see it.
What do you think? Have you seen or read 13 Reasons Why? Comment below.