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13 Reasons Why season 2

Hope Davidson, Reporter

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On May 18th, Netflix released season 2 of their original series, 13 Reasons Why. Since its release, the show has received backlash from many people, claiming that the show does not portray suicide in an appropriate manner, and can be extremely triggering for those struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.

A suicide expert, whom Netflix hired to review the show, tells Vox he believes the show should not be released, however, “that wasn’t an option. that was made very clear.” Before the first episode of the show, there is a disclaimer from the cast where their intentions for the show were explained. The cast wanted to “help viewers start a conversation” about hard hitting topics such as rape and suicide. They also mention that the series may not be for everyone and suggest getting help if you are struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts “because the minute you start talking about it, it gets easier.”

While the show has sparked a conversation, it was not the one Netflix creators were hoping for. The show “glorifies” suicide and makes it appear as the only option to solving depression, a way to escape all your pain. The disclaimer testified that talking about the problem makes it easier, however, in the first season of the show, the main character goes to her counselor for help and he essentially does nothing to help her, contradicting the cast’s speech and making it appear as if counselors do nothing to help. 13 Reasons Why is also criticized for its very explicit scenes of rape and even an on-screen death in the first season. @lovesickpalaces on twitter created a list of potentially triggering scenes for those struggling with mental health, and the tallied a total of 42 instances throughout the show.

The show attempts to address the issue of mass shootings. In the later part of the season, Tyler, one of the main characters, is frequently bullied, and plans to shoot many of his classmates at an upcoming party, until he is convinced otherwise by an emotional speech given to him by his friend Clay. This scene promotes the myth that school shooters were bullied kids who had finally enough and retaliated, but could’ve been prevented. After the outbreak of school shootings in 2018, many organizations and students have been fighting against this myth, and the show undoes all of their work by portraying this myth as reality.

While the show did add disclaimers before explicit scenes, unlike in the first season, it still is far from perfect. Suicide experts strongly advise those struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts to avoid watching the show, as it is very triggering. They suggest talking with a counselor, trusted adults, friends, or calling the suicide hotline number.

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