Warning: Article may contain mild spoilers from 13 Reasons Why. Please only read on if you have seen the series.
The Netflix series 13 Reasons Why has the internet buzzing on so many different levels. The series takes a very raw look at teenage life within high school. The pressures, the bullying and the inability to cope. At times, however, the series takes things to a level of extreme.
It’s no secret that, at the very beginning of the series, we find out the main character, Hannah Baker, has killed herself and and left behind a set of 13 cassette tapes naming people and reasons as to why she did what she did. The tapes came with a very specific set of instructions and were to be passed, from person to person named on the tapes, until the cycle is complete and the reasons for her killing herself and heard by everyone involved.
It’s a pretty tragic story which really grabs viewers and pulls them into Hannah Baker’s tormented world. In many cases, the series is triggering emotions within viewers that they didn’t even know existed. Seriously, the series does that to you. It happened to me when I watched it.
Perhaps the most difficult scene to watch is when the series actually shows how Hannah Baker kills herself. This scene is graphic, extremely difficult to watch but, at the same time, extremely important to the creators of the series that it be that way.
Prior to the episode where this scene occurs and, prior to one other episode in the series, there is a trigger warning which appears stating: “The following episode contains scenes that some viewers may find disturbing and/or may not be suitable for younger audiences, including graphic depictions of violence and suicide. Viewer discretion is advised.” This warning, however, was only posted prior to those two episodes and, despite the rating of the series being TV-MA for Mature Audiences, many are calling for increased warning of the content involved in each episode.
In response to the many requests for further warnings, Netflix released a statement addressing the issue:
“There has been a tremendous amount of discussion about our series 13 Reasons Why. While many of our members find the show to be a valuable driver for starting important conversation with their families, we have also heard concern from those who feel the series should carry additional advisories. Currently the episodes that carry graphic content are identified as such and the series overall carries a TV-MA rating. Moving forward, we will add an additional viewer warning card before the first episode as an extra precaution for those about to start the series and have also strengthened the messaging and resource language in the existing cards for episodes that contain graphic subject matter, including the URL 13ReasonsWhy.info — a global resource center that provides information about professional organizations that support help around the serious matters addressed in the show.”
A representative for Netflix confirmed these changes could go into effect as early as next week.
Have you watched 13 Reasons Why yet? What did you think of the series? Did the realistic nature of the difficult scenes bother you? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
A karaoke obsessed, craft beer enthusiast and lover of all things pop culture, Denise enjoys all facets of entertainment from Broadway to box office blockbusters. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, concerts (lots and lots of concerts), volunteering, reading and playing with her rescue kitten, Samantha (who rescued who, right?).