Why Netflix's '13 Reasons Why' Is So Important

The following article may be triggering for some.

In case you don’t know; 13 Reasons Why is a new Netflix show based on the book of the same name. It’s about a girl who kills herself, and leaves 13 tapes behind, explaining how each of the people in the tapes had led her to her eventual death. The show explores a number of harsh realities for young people; such as suicide, sexual assault, abusive homes, drunk driving, and shines a light on them without romanticising it. It shows a lot of young people that they aren’t alone.

The show also explores a range of different types of characters, portraying a number of stereotypical archetypes such as the “popular jock” and his cheerleader girlfriend, but it delves so much more into the actual characters themselves. Every character has a significant story behind them, not every antagonist is entirely hateable, not every protagonist is completely likeable and good. The show reveals the humanity of the whole situation; the small bad decisions which led to huge bad decisions, the reasoning behind some of the characters’ choices.

13 Reasons Why also has a heap of representation. From many different races, to many different sexualities, the series reveals the diversity of high school, and what it’s actually like, rather than what people think it’s actually like. There’s a little bit of everybody in it, which makes it all the more real, as though you yourself could have been part of it, or you yourself could have been one of the 13 reasons why, which makes it that much more confronting.

Every character just seems to cruel and ruthless, and amongst all the unkindness, all the crude behaviour, is a message. 13 Reasons Why shows you why you need to be more attentive to people, why you need to be kinder to people. How your one action could save someone’s life, or end it. That simply typing “kys” to someone on Twitter could have a massive effect on someone’s life. We should be nicer, kinder, more attentive, because some people need it more than we know, because we don’t know what the other person is going through.