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“13 Reasons Why” Review and Prevention

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Sabrina Stevens, staff writer

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The new Netflix original, “13 Reasons Why,” quickly became popular after it debuted on Mar. 31.

The show tells the story of Hannah Baker, mostly discussing the reasons she killed herself through flashbacks and the aftermath of her death. The story involves some harsh topics, such as sexual assault and depression. However, the episodes which show and deal with these topics give warnings for those who wouldn’t want to see those events.

“13 Reasons Why” is based on the novel by Jay Asher, and it spares no details when depicting the lives of a teenager in high school. There’s writing on the walls of the bathroom which is discovered by the principal, bullying of students who aren’t considered to be normal and spreading of risque photos in order to tarnish a girl’s reputation.

The episodes of the show run in chronological order of the events, which are portrayed on the tapes Hannah leaves behind, telling her story. This allows for the audience to see how everything connected in her mind, leading to why she ended her life.

Hannah and Clay taking their break while working at the Crestmont Movie Theatre

But the show does more than tell a story of a depressed teenage girl. The show also brings up real world issues that the writers want to make the audience aware of. One of the last people Hannah talked to was her guidance counsellor. This draws attention to the way most schools claim to have a system to stop bullying, but when someone comes to them about bullying, not much is ever done about it. Hannah talks to Mr. Porter about the sexual assault she had experienced from a fellow student, and he tells her there isn’t much they could do because the student was graduating soon.

Throughout the show, the parents are filing a lawsuit against the school for not doing more to prevent their daughter’s death. During some of the students’ depositions, a date is shown in the bottom corner of the screen. That date is Nov. 10, 2017. This is a few months after Hannah died, which happened a few weeks after the school year started. There’s a theory this date and the date the show was released are more than just two random dates. Since the date of the depositions is set in the current future, the theory is this means Hannah has not committed suicide yet. It means there is still a chance to save her (or someone in your own life who may be struggling).

Marcus, one of the 13 in the Tapes Team, interviewing during his deposition

Now, this is where I include some spoilers, so if you haven’t finished the show, stop reading here.

At the end of the show, it is revealed that Alex Standall, one of the 13 on the tapes, has shot himself in the head and is in critical condition. It is assumed it is an attempted suicide.

While we see Hannah’s reasons for killing herself, we hear about the signs people need to look out for if they want to save someone from falling down the same path. For most, we don’t realize that Alex has been showing all of the same signs in the present day scenes after Hannah’s death.

This is a wake up call for the audience. This lets the audience know they need to be paying attention to others and be considerate of everyone. This shows bullying needs to end. And most importantly, this shows the bystander effect is real and needs to end.

We can’t stand around, hoping someone else takes action. We need to take action. We need to be the change we want to see. And here’s how you can help.

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“13 Reasons Why” Review and Prevention