I read the book “13 Reasons Why”, back 2007 when it was fist released. I was 15 years old, in 10th grade, and stumbled upon it accidentally in Barnes and Noble. It wasn’t a best seller yet, nor was it a popular Netflix series. Netflix still sent you DVDs back then. I, having issues of my own, thought it was a good book and I related to it in a number of ways. But now I’m more or less of an adult, with a lot more knowledge and maturity. The girls and boys at the studio have been talking about this series for months, and I have decided I at least need to watch one episode. So here’s the deal. I’m essentially going to “live tweet” this first episode. Maybe this will become a series, maybe I’ll hate it so much I won’t be able to watch any more. Let’s see shall we?
I’m roughly 1.5 minutes in and I hate it.
High school teachers proposing and emphasizing mental health help outside in the halls and lobby of a high school. Oh and on the student website. Clay just told Hannah he likes her hair change and also telling her he doesn’t want to be so “wishy-washy” about liking the change.
There are a few, “IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE” outcries. Oh my god this is the worst.
Clay Jensen just received his tapes. I’m cringing.
There’s a guy in the boys bathroom TAKING FREAKING PICUTRES of a girls gym class or something else extremely inappropriate.
“It doesn’t make sense” “So true”
Dad just told Clay to “keep in touch”. A visual of Hannah recording the interlude of her tapes post hair cut. “You’re one of the reasons why”.
We get a flash of a playground full of children playing and enjoying life…really?
“Did she leave a note...the girl who killed herself.” Do we have to be this cliché?
“If you ever do something like that to your mother, I’ll kill you, do you understand me.” Suicide is not about other people it is an internal struggle about a single individual...
Clay slams his bike literally over a parked car…is this a metaphor for the way this is going?…
THIS IS NOT A HIGH SCHOOL PARTY
“I even decided to like basketball for you…”
I AM SO ANGRY
That bus scene was psycho move by all parties involved...no one does that and if they did it would not be cute or endearing...
Train math problems? And OMG THEY’RE MEETING UP. Mom why are you letting your child out at this time, it’s so freaking dark out, and you literally just moved here and you don't know the area or people yet, ugh
Of course they're going to take pictures in the dark in this random park...#instastory...I seriously hate the absurd amount of teen social media superficial culture...
Skip forward 48 hours. I’m coming back to these typed notes. I’m cringing and laughing and worried. Worried about the kids watching this. Worried that we’re still stereotyping and using clichés when dealing with such important issues. Not going to lie, I could barely watch that first episode. I had a lot of issues with it and I didn’t want to keep pausing the show to vent. Seriously. I watched it with Greg and every second minute of the first 20 minutes I had to pause the episode to yell and get up and pace or get a glass of wine.
The stupid thing is, I wanted to like this. I wanted this to be executed in a way that would actually have impact on this young generations of kids who deal with the most extreme cases of cyber bullying, anxiety, and depression. I wanted to feel relief that the girls were having a good source of information, an accurate depiction of what actually goes on in the mind of someone truly mentally unstable. But I’m not feeling confident. Give me less hashtags and selfies and more substance.
I think I’m going to do a reflective series on this. Every few weeks I’ll watch another episode, scramble down my thoughts, and reflect. This was just the first of 13 episodes. I’m hoping to not be let down…