I watched "13 Reasons Why" two weeks ago. I was amazed by the show. It is not easy to make a show that deals with such a difficult topic, and they wonderfully highlighted the issue of bullying and student suicides. Even the critics have praised this show. But while I have heard positive things about this show, I have also heard a lot of negative things. Many people think that this show has "glorified" suicide. I read a lot of articles giving reasons to not watch this show.
This reminds me of the time when the Bollywood movie "3 Idiots" was released. This movie was highly praised, but there were also some who criticized the movie due to a scene that shows a college student committing suicide. One week after the movie's release, there were some suicide cases, which some people blamed on the movie. I felt this was unfair, as it taught us to deal with college pressures, and it advises us not to commit suicide. But people just saw that one suicide scene, and they took this as encouragement to do the same. Similarly, all "13 Reasons Why" tried to do was to convey a message to create awareness for students who are bullied and for those who might take this extreme step. Why is it that when someone makes a movie or a TV show about a real issue, people think they are "glorifying" it?
If you think "13 Reasons Why" glorified suicide, then that is only because you chose to see it that way. The main character's suicide was just one part of the show. One should see the main point the show is trying to convey. The show has portrayed the reality! Bullying and student suicides are still an issue! There are so many high school kids who are being bullied, who are still being constantly judged and labelled. They feel lonely and if they don't get the support they need, some may choose to take this extreme step. The show is trying to raise awareness of this.
At the end of the day, "13 Reasons Why" is just a TV show. Yes, it was shot in a very realistic way, but after all, it is just something we watch. TV producers try to make shows that resonate with us, some of which are meant to raise awareness of the realities around difficult subjects. We need to separate art from reality: the actors are just acting, all those graphic scenes were just props and effects. We shouldn't take it too seriously. There are a lot of movies that show murder and kidnapping, does that mean they are glorifying violence? We should relate to the story, and be moved by it, but we should remember it is fiction.
So no, "13 Reasons Why" didn't glorify suicide. People chose to see it that way. A lot of people saw her committing suicide in the show, and jumped to conclusions. But why can't people see the positives instead? Instead of complaining about the show, we can try to stop bullying! We can teach people to love and accept each other! We can teach people to not judge someone by their appearance, to not divide them by cliques. For all those students who take this extreme step, we can give them a lot of love and support. These students feel under a lot of pressure, they feel hopeless. We need to be there for them, we need to encourage them, so that they can learn to trust, and open up to people. They want to be loved, and by giving them love and care, we can try to prevent them from taking such a step. Instead of complaining, people should be taking action to prevent suicides.
Please watch the show if you haven't yet! Also, please see what the show is trying to convey, and let's work towards on being more kinder! Let's be more loving and accepting. Say no to suicide and stop Bullying!