13 Reasons Why premiered on March 31st on Netflix and to say it has been a proverbial blockbuster is putting it mildly. I’m not sure if the creators of the show expected all of the attention that the series is getting, but that’s how things go viral in today’s world- unexpectedly. Kind of like lightning in a bottle. You can hope for it all you want to but at the end of the day, it’s up to the world to determine what’s viral worthy.
And the world has spoken loud and clear about what they think of the show. Maybe clear isn’t the best word as I have yet to hear any 2 people say the exact same thing or have the same reaction to the show. There are the ones who love it and there are the ones who hate it and are afraid of it. This article is dedicated to the ones who are hating on it. But before I address that, I’d like to share some insight from Netflix with you.
While the show was in development and before the show even aired, Netflix did extensive research on how adults and their teens watched shows and found some pretty interesting things out:
Pretty interesting, huh? Turns out that your teens are looking for the same viewing experience with you as you are with them.
Whoda thunk it?
Look, I get it. This show is not an easy one to watch. It touches on intense topics that NO parent wants to think that their kid is going thru or has seen. And I hope that none of our teens has experienced these situations, but we have to arm them with the best information we can just in case it ever does. What did our parents and grandparents always say to us? Forewarned is forearmed?
There are people who think the series glorifies the act of suicide and that it shows teens how to do it. Objectively, I can see where they could get that impression however, there are a million other places teens can get that same information. What if those people were to look at it in a different way? What if they were to take each of those episodes and really take a deep-dive conversation with their kids based on the situation that Hannah faced? Topics such as:
- Coming to grips with homosexuality (Courtney’s tape)
- Sexual assault and its aftermath (Jessica’s tape)
- Accepting responsibility for a seemingly innocent wrong-doing (Sheri’s tape)
- Sending inappropriate pictures of others and the potential fallout (Justin’s tape)
I took the time to sit down with my own high school teen to discuss the things that we were hearing people say both for and against the show. Check out what she had to say from her perspective:
As Sydney said in the video, the chances that your teen is going to watch this show is pretty high – if not at your house because you forbid it, then they’ll get access to it some other way. It has always been my belief that I would much rather be the one to educate my kids than for them to be “educated” from an unreliable source. The bottom line is that I am not here to beg or convince you to watch 13 Reasons Why – that is you and your family’s decision to make. However, I would encourage you to find another show to help you have these difficult and potentially awkward conversations.
The bottom line is that I am not here to beg or convince you to watch 13 Reasons Why – that is you and your family’s decision to make. However, I would encourage you to find another show to help you have these difficult and potentially awkward conversations. Netflix has put together a chart that gives you ideas of other shows to watch that also encourage conversation. That’s my request at this point if you’re not going to watch 13 Reasons Why – choose one of these and watch it. But whatever you do, PLEASE start having these open discussions with your teens. They want you to.