13 Reasons Why is one of the latest Netflix Originals available since the 31st of March, which is in my opinion, the best series of 2017 and one of the best I have seen, in general, so far.
It is an American television series based on the 2007 novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I haven’t read the book so I didn’t know anything about it when, one evening, a few weeks ago, totally out of curiosity, I picked this series and I started watching it. Well, I watched the whole thing in 2 evenings: I couldn’t stop. I was feeling angry, sad, uncomfortable and sometimes even disgusted by the world we live in but I couldn’t stop watching it.
I just loved it, Why? For these 13 reasons:
1.It is real. Bullysm exists among us, every day, everywhere but very rarely we recognise the severity and the risks of this problem.
It was, for sure, a problem nobody cared about when I was a kid. The Internet and mobile phones didn’t exist yet but there, at secondary school, in this very remote small town in the country side in Italy, at 12 years old, I was suddenly a “whore” with absolutely no reason and I became someone my classmates had to have fun about for 2 years straight. Any my movement or word was an excuse to make me a target, just because they were bored. Did the teachers know? Yes, they did. Did the teachers do anything about? No, they didn’t. But in the 90es this kind of behaviour was quickly justified with “They are are just kids, they don’t know what they are saying, they don’t mean it”. At that time, my only consolation, it was the bell at the end of the school day.
But now, it is different. There is no bell to save kids. Bullysm doesn’t stop at school, it carries on on social media all day long and it stays there, potentially for years and years, hidden from the adults that, too busy with their lives, don’t give the right priority to certain attitudes.
Guess what, kids know very well what they are saying when they call someone a “whore”, they know very well that they want to hurt that person.
2.It is not cheesy. It tells a story of few teenagers treating them like young adults more than kids with useless dramas about a dress or a pair of shoes. It is very much focused on their lives underlining quite heavy problems and topics. It gives you a real pulse about what kind of risks there are in schools right now, very far away from “What Shall we do this Saturday night?”
3.Sexual assaults. Another topic nobody wants to talk about because nobody thinks it can happen between teenagers or classmates. There is still somehow the very sad belief that if you go to a party wearing a short dress and you get drunk, then “you asked to be sexually assaulted or it was your fault”.
Guess what, your 17 years old perfect son, last Saturday, raped his second victim at a party but nobody dares to call him a rapist and to report him so he will keep doing it thinking he has got the right to.
4.Sexual identity. Still, in 2017, being gay or lesbian is a taboo in most schools and it sadly seems, that a sexual preference defines the person more than anything else.
5.Being popular is the most important thing. Nowadays it looks like this is the only thing human beings are seeking. I don’t blame the kids to try to do their best to make it in the “cool group”. It is a problem of our entire society and what these kids do at school, it is most probably what they see at home and everywhere else around them. I am not justifying them, but honestly, this is all our fault. The pressure of being perfect is way too high.
6.Communication. We are so used to use our mobile phone and social media to communicate, that a simple conversation face to face, seems now very hard to carry on, especially for kids that deal with cyberbullysm and they don’t how to ask for help anymore.
7.Relationship with parents. I don’t know why parents, in this era, keep insisting on being their kids best mates. I mean, I do understand leaving space and learn through the kids experiences, but I think that at 13, 14, 15, 16,17 years old, if you have a problem that is bigger than you, you want to go and ask for help to someone who can actually handle these things for you.
Now, at 15/16 years old, would you go to your best friend to find a valid solution if the idiot at point 3 raped you during a party? I don’t think so, but you would go to someone with authority that you trust he is going to protect you and do something about it without putting you through other stress. This is called a parent. Kids need parents, not best friends, they have plenty of mates but there is a very dangerous lack of parenting around.
8.If you are not rich, you are nothing.
Ah, I feel this topic. Not because I personally had any issue in my past about this but because of my father, an adult, had a very big issue about not being rich like his friends and so he would fake it buying for himself expensive items to show around. I can imagine what it could do to a kid but I still, at my age, struggle to understand why society pushes us to want to be rich.
But again, this is all our fault.
It is the dream of the promising 80es and 90es crushed in the early 2000 but yet, they forgot to tell us that we don’t need to be rich to be happy. The adverts are still on, it is part of being perfect, if you don’t have money, you cannot have and do cool stuff and you are nobody, therefore, you cannot be happy.
9.Depression. I am an adult and sometimes I have been depressed. I don’t mean down, I mean totally depressed, that kind of depression that leave you in bed for days crying. If I get depressed and I go to the doctor asking for help, I get questioned about my intentions of hurting myself right away but if a kid feels depressed, everybody just thinks straight away that it is a hormonal problem or that the issues he is dealing with are not serious.
Now, supposing your 17 years old daughter is constantly bullied at school and cyber-bullied during the rest of the day on social media, raped by someone among her friends, betrayed over and over again by her friends, getting no support at all from the authorities at school, witnessed to a rape of one of her friends at a party, depressed, thinking that life as it is, it is not worth to be lived and going home every day after school to see you, her parents, constantly arguing over money or other issues, would you still consider her problems as “hormonal or not serious”?
We are overloading kids with expectations without even being aware of what we are doing.
10. Responsibility. As I have already mentioned before, this series treats teens like young adults giving them a certain amount of responsibility from society..to themselves, their teammates, their friends, their families, their school.
We just assume that at that age they have to take responsibilities but we forget sometimes that biologic age and actual maturity are not the same. Not being ready for certain type of responsibilities is not a bad thing….we are all different and pushing someone too early when they haven’t got the maturity to deal with certain issues yet, it could be very dangerous.
11.Being afraid of failure. This is an adult issue. We always push ourselves to do more because we are afraid to fail…and so they are kids.
12.Betrays. How many times, as adults, we have dealt with a friend stabbing us in our back? How did we take it? Not very well, right? So kids do.
13. The micro world of the teens is very similar to the macro world of the adults.
I don’t think we realise sometimes that the world in which the kids are living now, has got a lot of similarities with the adults world, and so even the reactions are very similar but because we are adults, we think that we gained the right to suffer and complain more about that than the teens living around us.
- They go to school every day dealing with not very nice people or people that they don’t actually like trying anyway to get along with them, so do we, the adults, going to work.
- They get up in the morning obsessed with their appearance trying to be accepted by society, so do we, the adults, going to work or out.
- They deal with teachers and parents asking always for more and more, so do we, the adults, going to work and coming home to our families.
- They lie about themselves to try to be accepted by society, so do we, the adults, every day at work and when we meet new people.
- They have homework to do, we have housework to do.
- They have very little time to enjoy themselves, so do we, the adults.
We were once teens in a very different era, I don’t blame the kids of today for feeling overwhelmed because of the world, now, is a very bad place.
I really hope this series is going to help to keep our eyes wide open before the next Hannah Baker finds 13 reasons why suicide is better than life.
#life #13reasonswhy #netflix #hannahbaker