13 Confessions After Watching "13 Reasons Why"
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13 Confessions After Watching "13 Reasons Why"

My random, profound, and humorous thoughts after viewing the Netflix series.

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13 Confessions After Watching "13 Reasons Why"
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I was initially excited to see that "Thirteen Reasons Why" was going to be on Netflix. Then there were the controversies surrounding the series such as how triggering it can be, or what messages should or shouldn't have been portrayed. I was then hesitant to watch, but also extremely curious. Ultimately I hit play because I thought, "Hey, I'll probably get some article ideas from it." I did. The best way to organize them was through 13 confessions.

1. I was super impressed with the cinematography

I loved the way the story was told with an automatic narrator. We see Clay standing in memories for the perfect amount of time, and always with that band aid or cut on his forehead to easily tell the difference between past and present. Then we have the way Hannah would vanish? It was powerful.

2. The series really stuck with me

Prepare to think about this series for days and days afterward. You'll analyze what characters did... and didn't do. You'll wonder what you would have done in those situations. You'll think about the times you've had experiences like Hannah's and ultimately wonder if you would show up on someone else's tape.

3. I was upset to hear Joy Division in the first episode

I love “Donnie Darko,” and the soundtrack has a special and specific place in my heart. I didn’t want to associate anything else with “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” It's one of my favorite songs and I've always listen to it through a “Donnie Darko” playlist. Then near the end of the series there’s a cover of “The Killing Moon”! It’s like they were doing it on purpose.

4. I didn't believe Courtney's story arc

She’s in the closet but she has two dads? I know she literally addresses that question when Clay asks, but I still find it unbelievable. Yes, she’s experienced homophobia up close, but that means she’s also seen “it gets better” right before her eyes. Wouldn’t she at least tell her parents? Are her parents friends with any lesbian couples that could mentor her?

For all the problems at Liberty High School, homophobia didn’t appear to be one of them. If it was, it should have been emphasized more. It just feels like the writers gave Courtney two dads to make her fear of coming out more believable, but I think it had the opposite effect.

5. There needed to be a stronger message

To me the message was less of “Hannah shouldn’t have committed suicide,” and more of, “everyone she interacted with should have treated her better.” This is a message of anti-bullying and paying attention to the little things you do for each person, but I wish there was an even stronger message of “Hannah shouldn’t have done it.” Because she shouldn’t have. Even when absolutely everything was broken there could have been help for Hannah. I think this message was muddled. There's also the factor of mental health, and chemical imbalances in the brain when it comes to teen suicide. This should have had a place in the story, because without it too much power rested on the actions of others.

6. If there's a sequel I predict Bryce gets away with it

Mr. Porter did not handle things well, and I wish Hannah had told her parents what happened. Or Clay. He would have had the same strategy he did for Jessica. Hannah could have told any number of people that would have taken her seriously. Of course if she tried to press charges there would have been that narrative that the rape allegations could “destroy” Bryce’s career. Boo hoo, he was a star athlete, and all that nonsense. It would be noted that neither girl that Bryce raped said, “no.” And guess what? Neither of them had to. It’s still rape. If this is confusing for you consider how Clay always asked, "is this okay?"

7. The rumors are true; the rape scene was difficult to watch

It’s loud. Turning your volume off rather than down might work better, but there's a bit of narration. If you turn the close captions on and cover all but that on the screen you'll probably still see Hannah's face. If the scene might be triggering for you, forget about the closed captions, and just skip over it. I can’t even remember what Hannah’s narration was, so I’m sure it didn’t make or break the story.

8. I hate how easy it was to binge watch

If I got Hannah’s tapes I would have listened immediately and nonstop until they were finished. That’s what this series felt like; being handed Hannah’s tapes. It took over my weekend, and it was a surreal experience. For two days, even when I wasn't watching I felt like I went to Liberty High School. Don’t press play unless you don’t have any responsibilities for the next 24 hours.

9. It made me nostalgic for high school

What, how? I know that's why it’s a confessional article. With all the drama Liberty High does not seem like a fun place to be. My high school experience was nothing in comparison, but not free of drama either. That being said, it made me want to do things over. It made me want to go back and stop being friends with the people who brought me down. It made me want to be better friends with the wonderful people and let them know I appreciated them. Also we get to see a high school dance and a pep rally from gym bleachers, and everyone lives with their parents, and have great room decorations, okay? These things are missed when you're in college.

10. The absence of parents would have made a different narrative… I would have liked it better

The book had much less emphasis on the parents. If translated to the Netflix version we might have seen a world of high school social dynamics that parents just didn’t understand and couldn’t help with. Kids would have been on their own when parents maybe didn’t care. Instead we get a world of parents that really want to help, but students brush them off. It’s frustrating. Yes, we see the importance of how Hannah’s suicide affected her parents, but Clay’s parents are a bit distracting at times. Overall I think I would have liked a near-parentless Liberty High narrative better.

11. Wow, I really want Hannah’s haircut

How long do I have to wait so people don’t associate my new hair with Hannah? Would being blonde help? I have curly hair, so I just might be able to get it to look just like that. What products did she use?

12. I hope this starts conversations on rape culture

Ranking the sophomore girls on a list, grabbing Hannah in public, thinking dates owe sex, and endless objectifying comments are not separate from Bryce raping more than one girl. Events like these exist together in a pyramid. The less extreme offenses contribute to the culture that make men like Bryce think they can do whatever they want to women's bodies. Rape jokes, for instance are a part of this pyramid. I hope this series helps someone see these connections if they hadn't believed in them before.

13. I would love a sequel, but then again maybe not

There are so many unanswered questions! If a series is good of course you want more. At the same time, it’s nice to have a complete little package of one book turning into thirteen episodes. A sequel might not be done right, and has the tricky job of introducing itself. Will Alex leave behind another set of tapes? Will the writers say, "Just kidding Hannah left 13 more tapes!" Maybe it would be better to have a spinoff series. Maybe we could finish the unanswered questioned for Liberty High, but follow a completely different group of students.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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