Critics of 13 reasons why

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critics of 13 reasons why

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

You can’t stop the future.
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.


Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.
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Published 24.07.2019

The biggest problem with "13 Reasons Why"

It's complicated, but it all comes down to one question: Does the show handle its intensive depiction of suicide responsibly? With Season 2 just around the corner on May 18, let's examine why people feel the show is problematic, and how producers—including Selena Gomez—have responded.
Jay Asher

Hannah Baker

Many psychologists raised concerns that one specific scene depicting how Hannah did it which was removed several years later could spark a contagion effect. While it was always overwrought, the first season of 13 Reasons Why was punctuated with moments of sincerity that rang true, especially in scenes that illustrated the friendship and connection between Hannah and her exceptionally earnest friend Clay. In contrast, the subsequent two seasons have routinely missed the mark, depicting adolescence as a time of cloying sweetness and unbearable cruelty. In the recently released third season, it continues to traffic in cliche, presenting a teen drama that is one-part soap opera and one part after-school special. The result is a show that comes across as slapdash and careless about the very problems it proclaims to take seriously. The series reboots itself as a supposedly less inflammatory teen murder-mystery that manages somehow to be boring, manipulative and toxic all at once. But instead, the new season confirms how the series has no moral compass at all.

Told in voiceover from Hannah's perspective, 13 Reasons Why was celebrated for daring to look at teenage mental health yet sharply criticized.
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13 Reasons Why

Sometimes a TV show should not continue beyond its first season. For indisputable proof, look no further than 13 Reasons Why , a Netflix drama about teen suicide that was controversial but often compelling in its first season, and should have ended immediately after that season concluded. Bryce Walker: Perhaps the least liked character on 13 Reasons Why. In a lot of ways, season three of 13 Reasons Why is a redemption tour for Bryce, played by Justin Prentice, who we learn via flashbacks was, prior to his death, trying to learn from his bad behavior and become a better person, albeit with mixed results. The Bryce through line allows the 13 Reasons Why showrunner, Pulitzer Prize—winner Brian Yorkey, and his writers to double down on what has been a theme in 13 Reasons all along: the idea that everyone is fighting a hard battle that may not be apparent on the surface. In season three, those battles affect multiple characters and involve almost every social issue that currently may affect the youth and non-youth of America: bullying, sexual assault, suicide, abortion, steroid abuse, the opioid crisis, gun violence, marginalization based on sexual identity, and the crackdown on illegal immigration.

Deithorn believed the show could be harmful for her daughter, who was being treated for bipolar disorder and other mental health—related issues. But Deithorn could only do so much. A few weeks later, on June 24, , Emily killed herself — in the exact same manner as Hannah, the central character on the show. The causes behind a suicide can be complex, and experts caution against trying to find a single motivation for someone taking their own life. But mental health professionals have also warned viewers with mental health illnesses not to engage with the show , which some of them have criticized as glamorizing suicide. And 13 Reasons Why writer Nic Sheff wrote in a guest column for Vanity Fair that his own experience with mental health and a suicide attempt shaped his desire to include the scene on the show. Victor Schwartz, chief medical officer of the Jed Foundation , told BuzzFeed News in that the 13 Reasons Why team reached out a few days before the show premiered and asked the nonprofit organization — which focuses on teen mental health and suicide prevention — to review it.

Hannah Baker is a fictional character created by American author Jay Asher. She is the subject of his young adult fiction mystery novel Thirteen Reasons Why , which was adapted by the media company Netflix as 13 Reasons Why. Hannah is introduced as a sophomore at the fictional Liberty High School, where she struggles to adjust to living in an unsympathetic school environment. In the television series, Hannah is portrayed by Australian actress Katherine Langford , who returned for the show's second season, which was released in Although critics were split on several aspects of the show, in particular how it handled mental health and its depictions of rape and suicide, they highly praised Langford's performance.

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