The on-going debate over the impact of Netflix’s popular show ’13 Reasons Why’

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The famous Netflix series ’13 Reasons Why’ that released it’s second season this May, has been getting mixed reviews from all over the world. The show gained popularity last year when it was released in March, 2017. It had a mysterious appeal to the audience and the youth in particular with relatable personal and social issues. But with the release of the show, there were extreme reactions given to it. Where some people were able to relate, understand and emerge stronger and aware after watching the show, there were others who found the content of the show highly disturbing. Many critics claimed the show to be unfit for all audiences and triggering matters carelessly. 

The show revolves around the suicide of Hannah Baker, a young high school girl, who left behind precisely 13 tapes which contain 13 reasons as to why she killed herself. The show, on one hand, is criticized for possibly glorifying suicide. It shows how helpless Hannah was, creating a feeling of hopelessness to those going through troubled times. On the other hand, the show dramatically emphasizes the painful aftermath of suicide to those affected by it. It is said to have helped many teens identify and speak up with the similar issues. It left a harsh impact on the audience when the ignored issues like bullying, rape, suicide were brought to light.

I asked 3 people, 3 questions about the show and this is their response.

  1. 1 Have you watched the show? What was your initial reaction to it?

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    Interviewee 1: I watched the show the day it came out last year. I was completely taken aback by the content but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found the actors fantastic and the storyline engaging.

    Interviewee 2: I watched the show after a few months of it's release as I heard about the hype and popularity it was receiving. I found the show very interesting initially, although now my opinion has changed.

    Interviewee 3: I watched the show this year before the release of it's second season. As I wanted to keep up with the latest shows, I watched it so very enthusiastically. I found the show making me curious but not leaving a lasting impact on me.  

  2. 2 Did you follow up with the second season? What was your reaction to it?

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    Interviewee 1: Yes I followed up with the second season as I was left with many questions that I wanted answers to. I quite liked the second season as well but found it a little dragged. 

    Interviewee 2: Yes I watched season 2 as well but I did not like it. I found it far too stretched and unnecessary as I do not exactly support the show.

    Interviewee 3: No, I did not follow up with the second season as the first season itself did not appeal to me. I have heard great reviews about it though.

  3. 3 What is your overall take on the show?

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    Interviewee 1: I enjoyed the show a lot as the audience. I feel like it was a great story to be put forth. I also appreciate the fact that sensitive matters that nobody likes talking about, were brought to our attention. I feel like it makes you more aware and careful about every word we speak and every action we make.

    Interviewee 2: I found the show disturbing on many levels. I feel like it made Hannah look like a 'hero' as she may have unknowingly taught her offenders a lesson. I do not appreciate the hopelessness portrayed in the show.  The show conveyed way too many issues in the wrong sense causing a different impact on all.

    Interviewee 3: I don't exactly have a take on the show, I just don't have a for or against opinion on it. I found the show fun to watch for starters but it did not have a lasting impact on me. I do not necessarily support any claims as to if the show is helpful or harmful.


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