In March 2017, Netflix was consumed by the TV series 13 Reasons Why. As an avid Netflix- watcher, I obviously had to binge watch the series and, as a reader of the book I was highly disappointed. But I am not here to JUST speak ill of the series. I am worshipping and comparing the new movie released by the network; To the Bone.
As I pressed play I was dreading to see the repeated horrific incidents that occurred in 13 Reasons; hopelessness, despair, and tragedy are three words that come to mind. But as I plugged in my headphones, I was immediately hit with humor in the first twenty seconds. An odd start to a movie about eating disorders, but it certainly grabbed, and kept, my attention.
In 13 Reasons throughout the whole series, there is an overcast of depression that never seems to let up. Yes, I know it's a movie about suicide it is not supposed to convey unicorns and rainbows. But as a person diagnosed with anxiety and not depression, this series made me second guess living. As Hannah listed off the reasons she didn't want to live, I agreed. As she demonstrated how easy it was to take one's life, it was a considerable option. And as I saw inside of Hannah's dark thoughts, her thoughts seemed to become my own. I can only imagine what those struggling with depression thought of the series. Long story short, I do not believe in any way, shape, or form, this is how suicide prevention needed to be brought to attention.
HOWEVER. Netflix completely redeemed itself within the movie, To the Bone. Is it a movie about eating disorders? Yes. But is it also a movie about suicide? Absolutely. Although those affected may not have the intent of ending their life, unfortunately, it is where they are headed; and this movie not only brings attention to the seriousness of eating disorders but MOST IMPORTANTLY gives the audience a feeling of hope. That of which was not once experienced in 13 Reasons. To the Bone certainly has its heart-wrenching, tear-jerker scenes (which could not be more accurately portrayed), but amidst these moments is hope and a willingness to live. I also quite enjoyed how Eli's (Lily Collins) feelings were the main focus of the hour. The movie orbited around her own struggles, emotions, and victories and really showed how one's mind processes suicide and having this disease. In 13 Reasons, I felt the series more so orbited around how Hannah's suicide affected those around her; not how she felt during her obstacles, which is absolutely not what people should focus on when someone passes. The show should not have focused on how Hannah is now affecting others, but how they affected her. But that is exactly what To the Bone did.
At the end of To the Bone I felt optimistic, buoyant and elated; a feeling that anything was possible, and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. At the end of 13 Reasons I felt suicidal. After the dreadful TV series (I can't believe there is a season two), I am so proud of Netflix for shedding light on such an important topic in today's society; the right way.