How '13 Reasons Why' Romanticizes Monsters
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How '13 Reasons Why' Romanticizes Monsters

Spoiler Alert: They really went too far.

How '13 Reasons Why' Romanticizes Monsters

When the show "13 reasons Why" produced by beloved pop star, Selena Gomez was released Last April it took the world by storm. It quickly became the most tweeted show of 2017! If you don't frequent Netflix or participate in the all consuming culture of binge watching, then allow me to catch you up.

The show depicts a teenage girl's story of trauma and heartbreak that led her to eventually take her own life. While this might sound like any other soapy teen drama saturating the market, this selection takes a much darker approach in attempt to shed light onto major issues such as bullying, sexual harassment, and a range of mental health issues, which just so happens to include suicide. The plot of Season 1 follows the aftermath of Hannah Baker's suicide and the aftermath of her friends and family being given tapes explaining why they were one of the many reasons she killed herself, thirteen to be exact.

The show is no stranger to controversy as we have come to understand after the graphic depictions of Rape and suicide in the last two chapters of season one. Like many of my peers. my fragile young mind was left shocked and wanting more answers to all the unanswered questions in season one. I had planned on participating in a proper binge- watch when Netflix dropped Season 2 on May 18th.

As fate would have it I had other engagements that prevented me from viewing the episodes as soon as I may have wished. By Sunday, May 20th the internet was exploding with rage over lines that had been crossed in the second installment of the series. There were grave warnings urging parents to keep their children away and for people with mental illnesses to steer clear, in the case it might be too much for them, or trigger their traumatic experiences.

I was not concerned about the warnings for the following reasons

1. Over the years I've come to accept that people love to hate things, and just about anybody is going to claim to be an expert at any topic that may be trending in the moment.

2. Although the tweets and Facebook posts with warning were full of good intentions it only seemed like a ditch effort of censorship, which only intrigued me more. I mean, it's a classic red button effect. You tell me to STAY AWAY and it is only adding to the publicity and ultimate hype of the show.


After a rainy, snack filled, Sunday Binge watching session of Season 2, I have to admit I am really pissed. However, it's not for the same reasons that most of twitter was enraged about. In fact the very problems I had with the show, it appeared as though no one else found fault in. The reason Twitter was mad is because of the graphic depiction of the beloved quirky character Tyler being Physically and Sexually Assaulted with a broomstick.

Yep. They went there. Tyler had just returned from a type of rehabilitation program fro anger management when was attacked in the boys bathroom at school.While this scene was disturbing and volatile, it is not what inspired me to write this article. Later in the episode the show displays Tyler at home crying and being hugged by his mother, who was not made aware of the assault. The audience is being conditioned to have compassion for Tyler.

Flashback to season one when we all were unsettled by the images of Tyler ominously standing over his blanket chest full of guns after he was being bullied by other characters in season one. Remember how his parents found it and took it away? Well they didn't dispose of the weapons completely. They only hid them under lock and key in the basement. Flash forward to Tyler post- assault. He is angry so he takes it upon himself to look for the guns.

Of course he finds them, because they are in plain sight in the basement under not so safe lock and key. When the trunk flashed across the screen once again my heart dropped, because I knew what was in store, or at least I thought I I did. Tyler was going to the dance to commit a school shooting. I watched frantically as the guns were loaded into the trunk and an eerily clam Tyler drove himself to the school.

Just as the viewers believe that all hope is lost, Cyrus, one of Tyler's former friends receives a warning from him to leave the dance so that he won't get hurt. In comes Clay Jensen, the shows hero to save the day and talk Tyler down from "making a big mistake", and he is able to convince Tyler to hand him the gun. The police are on their way and sirens can be heard roaring in the background when Tony slings his car to rescue Tyler from being captured. The final Episode is capped with Clay being left holding the gun when the police arrive.

Once again a psychopathic monster is being given the grace and freedom of rescue, because he has been bullied. Hundreds of innocent kids were almost killed at his hands without so much of a second thought and we as the audience are supposed to feel bad for the shooter? No. While what happened to Tyler was disgusting and inhumane, the act was not committed by all those who were attending the dance that night. It is a dangerous narrative to suggest that an entire student body is responsible for the mental stability of one student to ensure that he won't lash out and kill someone.

The warning signs were splattered all throughout Season one and two from Tyler's stalking habit to the shooting of the innocent bird in the woods when bottles were supposed to be used for target practice. This narrative that Tyler may not have tried to shoot up the school, if only he was accepted is utter crap. Warning signs like these that have been ignored and excused int he past have led to several other mass shootings such as Columbine and the most recent being at Stoneman Douglas.

Those students were there to cultivate their love of learning and receive a n education, not to be another students punching bag or psychiatrist. A lot of children are bullied, but most are not born withe capability to savagely murder their classmates without remorse. The kind of people, people like Tyler, that would and have commit such heinous acts should have been given proper Psychological help, but the warning sign were not only ignored, but blatantly swept under the rug in the name of saving officials an uncomfortable and honest conversation about what is truly best for the child. So, the mentally unstable child is forced to fit in with their level headed peers, and heads turn when all does not turn out ok in the end?

Only when a dangerous situation becomes fatal, and innocent lives are taken in school shootings is when people want to advocate for mental illness. By then it is too late. As a student I will not sit back and watch mentally ill teen after disgruntled adults kill my peers. We are tired of our lives being the payment to your ignorance. I am tired of constantly looking over my shoulder, fearing that I am next, because nothing is being done to stop these tragedies from occurring. Hashtags are not enough. A television show is not enough. How many lives have to be lost before common sense gun laws are set in place? I'm not willing to be the cause of the next trending topic on Twitter. That is why I no longer am a fan of the show and why I will no longer be viewing it. They did not go too far when they showed Hannah Baker killing herself or when they showed Tyler being assaulted in the bathroom; it went to far when they started making excuses for a cold blooded killer.

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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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