So I gave it a watch, and I don’t know whether I regret it or not. I liked the first few episodes, as it built up an interesting premise. But halfway in, I started to question it a lot, and the last episode really made me wonder what actually happened. This post is not a review, but more of a thought-dump, so expect nothing but spoilers. First off, I’d like to state, that the show is only good for some high school drama, but not for educational purposes. It might seem like it is a good thing to watch with your teenager, in order for them to learn that bullying has consequences, but it’s simply terrible at delivering that message properly.
Where to start… Well, let’s start at the beginning. Hannah killed herself, and according to her, it’s because of the bullying going on at her school, and the way she’s been treated by her fellow students. It’s relatable up until that point. After the few first episodes, I started to wonder why she killed herself because of the bullying, because the things they did to her were pretty weak, so I thought it would get worse with time. And it did get worse, but at that point, it was Hannah’s own fault.
The girl is dumb beyond reason, and while the first few things done to her were not her fault, she sure started to seek out trouble on her own pretty darn fast. After witnessing a friend getting raped, without doing anything about it at all, she gets raped by the same person later, because she’s sitting in a tub in the guy’s home, almost naked. Who on earth would do that? And why even go to a party filled with people whom she thinks have done her wrong, and are at fault for her suicide?
The only person who never did anything to her, besides being kind, loving her, and wanting to be there for her is Clay, the main character besides already dead Hannah. And guess what she did to him in an intimate moment? She tells him to fuck off and leave her alone, which he does. She says on her tapes, that it’s because she was projecting every bad guy onto him, but how is that fair towards the one person who is being nice to her? Why not talk to him at that point, and tell him what is wrong? And while we’re at it, let’s jump to the last episode.
So Hannah decides to give her life one last chance, but instead of taking matters into her own hand, she throws it all on the school counselor. He is now her only hope of survival in this cruel world, but does she tell him anything about what is wrong? Well, partially. She does state that she is tired of life, and that she was raped by an older student from the school, but when he gives her the option of telling him who it was, so that he can inform the police and start a case, she tells him not to. He then goes on to tell her, that the only thing she can do then, is to try and get over it, after which she snaps. She leaves his office, and stands outside to wait for him to come after her; rescue her. For fucks sake Hannah… The man just gave you the opportunity to ruin the life of the one who raped both you and your friend, and you decide to take your own life instead, and even have the nerves to blame the counselor for it?
At this point, where she talks with the counselor about what she can do now, she has absolutely nothing to lose, but so much to gain. But she decides to throw it all away, and act like she has done throughout the entire series; like a narcissistic drama queen! Instead of helping herself, her friend who got raped, and every student who gets bullied at school, she decides to run home and slit her wrists, leaving behind some recorded tapes about how all other people but her are to blame.
And let’s not begin on how docile all the grownups in this series are, because it only adds fuel to the bonfire of stupidity. I’m well aware that the series is based on a book, and that there are differences between the two, but I can only talk about what I thought of the series. There is a season 2 coming out at some point, and I might watch it for the drama about Hannah’s parents, but I sure as heck won’t take anything seriously anymore.
The same day I finished the series, I also watched the anime <harmony/>, which is partially about suicide too, but in a very different setting, and with much better reason as to why one of the characters decided to kill herself. I won’t review it here, as it was a re-watch after buying it on Blu-Ray, but I do recommend it over 13 Reasons Why, if you’re looking to get your brain melted in a good and entertaining way, instead of a bad and cringeworthy one.