Probably about once a decade we get a movie or show that completely stands a lone in terms of emotional content. Most series or movies have a few moments that are either gruesome or they leave in a seemingly impossible scenario. Most movies and TV over exaggerate death and even life itself. Very few even try and tackle some darker and deeper themes and when most do it is done incorrectly. One show has now changed the complete way in which stories can be told. Thirteen Reasons Why incorporated life, love, bullying, obession, secrets, lies, sex, partying, rape and even suicide into a little over 14 hours of story telling and it sure was an emotional rollercoaster as can be expected.
Within minutes of the series starting we already knew the outcome for Hannah Baker and we knew it was not going to be a good one or an easy one to handle. That itself creates a very knowingly emotional season finale while creating a mystery cloud around why. Within minutes of the series we knew that Hannah Baker the main protagonist of a new series we were watching takes her own life and we know that 13 people helped cause that in various forms. Thirteen Reasons Why immediately made us feel sad and that was the purpose but quickly through the flashbacks we learn it was a series of events for Hannah Baker that would either be wrong place wrong time or purely an outsider creating a world of pain for Hannah.
As we learn with Hannah taking your life is rarely ever a spur of the moment decision. It is a decision made over time when things begin to turn completely inversed to the point that the reality you once knew is now a dark place filling your head with the scenarios you wish you could take back. Suicide is devastaingly permanent and changes the life of everyone around you forever. Suicide is something we collectively need to start taking more seriously. Depression, bullying, secrets, lies, Rape and emotional manipulation are all things we as people need to begin to try and understand by speaking with those affected by it and not judge them.
Thirteen Reasons Why spends a lot of the series detailing the people and scenarios that are leading to the heartbreaking season finale but even though we know the outcome we still hold onto the hope that somehow Hannah was not dead and the tapes were just a cry for attention. However just like life the show has a very intense way of reminding us that just when we are beginning to accept the things we cannot change we finally have the ability to fully comprehend why they are even happening in the first place.
It was not until the episode that was centered around Justin for the second time and then Clay Jensen that definitely sealed why Hannah did what she did. Justin held onto a secret to keep his friend safe and Clay was afraid to love someone who had a reputation. Which leads me to the cast. Katherine Langford and Dylan Minnette have incredibly chemistry as Hannah and Clay. Minnnete’s Clay was quiet, reserved and introverted. Hannah was always mysterious, confident and definitely quirky. Clay and Hannah were just two people afraid of the world who could have been great together but just did not have the confidence to make it work. Langford and Minnette definitely helped propel the story forward and a long with the rest of the cast helped bring to life a story that perhaps is more culturally relevant than ever.
As a father of a beautiful 1 year old girl who is my entire world this show was the first show ever in my days of watching TV that actually broke me. It had me balling my eyes out more than once and understandbly so. There were two scenes in particular that broke my heart as a father. Those two scenes were Hannah Bakers rape and suicide. Langford’s look of hopelesness and lonliness during the rape scene was too much. It was never quite clear what to expect from the episode where we see the final moments of Hannahs life. The scene where Hannah steals the razor blades from her parents pharmacy is hard enough but it does not stop there and the show does not shy away from showing it. Again Langfords frantic and lonely look are what create an emotion so overwhelming that the natural reaction is merely to react emotionally. However I knew the scene and the outcome of the season but seeing Katherine Langford act out that scene was too much. When she slips in the tub I still had my eyes on the screen but it is the moment when the blood starts gushing that I could no longer watch. Never in the time that I have been watching movies and shows has any show been so emotionally debilitating that I simply closes my eyes, paused the show and I simply wept uncontrollably at 145 am in my living room. Perhaps it was being a father that made me feel for Hannah Baker. Perhaps it was knowing that people can make others feel that horribly about themselves. Its a shame that women everywhere are made to feel the way Hannah felt in Thirteen Reasons Why. The show is about Hannah Baker and the people that lead her to make that choice but the show is meant to show us that there are people everywhere like Hannah who feel they have lost their mind, spirit and body and the only way out to is to take their own life.
It’s a message to all of us watching to please be more perceptive of the people who are around us everyday and to acknowledge our feelings even when we are scared to do it. Its a message to all of us watching to be closer to the ones we love and embrace them when they are struggling. We should never shy away from telling someone we love them. We should never take someones soul from them. We are humans and built on emotions much stronger than any other life form can comprehend and yet we choose to use it to manipulate people. I just want to know the world is not capable of the things depicted in Thirteen Reasons Why but I already know they are because of the way the show made me feel.
Netflix you have created the most culturally relevant show in years. I definitely feel this needs to be shown and discussed within schools. This show is scripted but this stuff really happens and until it stops we cannot be afraid to discuss it and help those in need. We need to find a way to stop this in the real world and make sure our loved ones never feel a lone. Lonliness is a hard place to escape from. My daughter is my reason for life. Please find yours. In all seriousness to anyone feeling like taking their own life please reach out. Dont wait.