The Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” is about teenager, Hannah Baker, who faces many struggles in her young life and sadly ends it.
Some have said the show is depressing, it does not portray the typical, happy high school teen, and it controversially depicts suicide.
However, some University of Mississippi students believe “13 Reason Why” accurately depicts some negative aspects of the high school experience.
“I think ’13 Reasons Why’ gives viewers a harsh reality of what really goes on inside a person who is suicidal,” said Sophie Straub, a UM freshman psychology major from Ames, Iowa. “The thoughts, feelings, and emotions of someone who is suicidal are rarely shown or portrayed correctly.”
Straub said “13 Reasons Why” demonstrates how all the little events in someone’s life can add up to bigger ones.
“Everything that happens to Hannah goes to show that no one really knows how their actions will affect another person,” she said. “The tapes and events in the show demonstrate that up until the very end.”
Straub said the show is powerful because producers did not shy away from showing the true reality of what it is like to be suicidal.
Davenport Williams, a UM ROTC freshman, said ’13 Reasons Why’ took a creative approach to television adaption by splitting up the episodes over 13 tapes.
“Hannah took her revenge by making everyone she held responsible for her death feel her pain and filling them with dread guilt and sorrow,” said Williams, who said it was a different angle on a book Williams enjoyed in high school, and it has a powerful and important message for everyone.
Nekia Summers, a UM freshman psychology major from Byram, viewed the show positively.
“13 Reasons Why is one of the best Netflix shows I have watched in a long time,” she said. “Every episode caught me by surprise, because I never knew what was going to happen next. The show made me have multiple emotions all the time. At times, I would laugh, cry or be angry.”
Summer said the show taught her to be cautious about how she speaks to people, because you never know what a person is going through.
“Overall, I loved the show,” she said, “and I can’t wait until season two comes out.”
Hannah Woods, a UM freshman majoring in integrated marketing communications and English from Yazoo City, enjoyed the series.
“I read the book when I was 14,” she said, “and it is still one of my favorite to this day. I never really got along with a lot of kids in my class and was feeling pretty lonely at the time, so I related to Hannah Baker’s character.
“For me, it was exciting to see my favorite character come to life on the screen, and since they turned it into a TV show instead of a movie, they had time to fit in most of the details from the book.”
Woods said the TV show underscores the message of suicide prevention.
“Everything you do affects someone, whether you realize it or not,” she said. “I know that there has been a lot of controversy over some of the scenes from the show, especially the suicide scene, but I think that it is important not to shy away from the fact that Hannah killed herself. Netflix did put several trigger warnings at the beginning of the episodes with sensitive content, warning the audience.”
Baker said she’s glad Netflix included the suicide scene because it made the show feel more realistic.
“If we can’t get past our discomfort to talk about it, then it will never get better,” she said.