13 Reasons Why is A Bad Show | Kati Morton

Hey everybody, happy Thursday! Now todays video, as you saw from the title
and that’s why you clicked on this video is: I’m gonna talk about 13 Reasons Why. And if you don’t know what 13RW is, it is a Netflix series that dropped on March 31:st, I believe. About a girl, Hannah, and the 13 reasons why she committed suicide. So, as you can see todays video is just a little bit different, and I’m gonna give you my thoughts. And as always, these are just my opinions. You can leave in the comments your opinions you can totally disagree with me, that is fine. But I’m just gonna give you my take on this TV-show as a whole and at the end I’m going to tell you whether or not I recommend it for you. And what I would’ve liked to have seen them do maybe instead. Because there are some things that I found a little disheartening or upsetting about the show. Now, the first thing that I want to address is the thought that suicide is something that is done as revenge. This may be the case for some people. In my personal experience with clients who struggle with suicidal thoughts and suicidally as a whole… Suicide more often than not comes out of a place of extreme hopelessness, feeling like things are not ever gonna get better no matter how hard we try. We see no light at the end of the tunnel. I have not, in my experience, I have not
seen it used as revenge. And I really do not like the fact that they paint this picture of suicide looking like it’s something that’s done for revenge. Now, before I get in to the other reasons, I think it’s important to kind of tell you a little bit
about the show, so what I’m talking to you about makes sense. Okay? The show is structured so that this girl, Hannah, who kills herself leaves 13 reasons why she did so. And these 13 reasons she recorded via a little microphone on cassette tapes. And she leaves them with a friend, Tony, and tells him to kinda make sure they get to the people who’s names and, uhm, the
reasons why they caused her to want to do this. Uhm. He make sure they get to those people, and in the order with which they fall on the tapes. Meaning that if “Kati” was on the first tape, I was one of the reasons why she killed herself, then I would get it first. I’d pass it along to “Suzy”, who’s on tape two, and so on and so forth. All the way through all 13 reasons. And so that kind of gives you a little bit of structure of how it works. And we’re following this boy, Clay, as he listens to these tapes in order. Okay? So now I’m gonna roll into my second concern. I’m looking down, because I made notes while I watched, all 13 episodes. For you, because I love you! The second one that I have an issue with is, and I understand that this happens a lot, but I just didn’t like the amount that it happened, was all of the students who were on the tapes getting upset about being on the tapes. Which I understand, but then instead saying, you know: “Hannah is such a Drama queen! And she
just did this for attention.” I understand that some people might respond that way. And maybe it’s an important thing that we hear. But then there was no combative measure. Clay said a few things argumentatively back to it, but lot of the times they just let it hang. And it felt really invalidating and just kind of icky to me. Now. The third issue, I guess, that I have with it is that many of the “reasons” that she leaves on these tapes as to why she decided to kill herself. Or felt so hopeless or at the end of the rope that she did this, were really blown out of proportion. There’s one in particular, I think his name was Seth {Zach} if I remember it correctly. He’s the guy who was super nice to her and he wanted to ask her out. He thought that she liked him and she just shouts
at him for no reason. And in her tapes she’s saying it’s because you were just like all the other guys. But he hadn’t really done anything and then because his feelings were hurt he took her compliments out of her compliment bag in her communication class. I don’t want to get into the nitty gritty, but he did something because his feelings were hurt. Then she used that as another reason. And a lot of these things are just really overdone and overexaggerated. When I think there were plenty of other reasons and other things that were going on that are valid enough, or would’ve been enough, to get the point across. And I think the reason that I’m even saying this, that this is one of the issues I have with it, is that it made it really hard for me to like Hannah. And I feel that in order to get the point across that suicide is serious, that it happens to teens, that people are bullied. Like all of the things they were trying to, I would assume, get across or bring awareness to. It made it really hard because I didn’t like her, she lashed out at a lot of people, she was really aggressive. I didn’t always understand why, and
yeah, you felt bad for her in certain instances. But there were some times were it just, it was hard for me to follow along and, like, hope for better for her and like root for her. Because I was like: “What are you doing? Why are you screaming? He’s trying to be nice.” So I felt like by adding those extra reasons in they kinda lost what they could’ve gained with this whole show. The fourth thing and something that I want all of you to hear if you don’t watch any farther. If you, you know, completely disagree on it all, like I can’t watch any of this. At least hear me out on this: This is an extremely triggering show! There are so many episodes, I can’t even tell you how many times, uhm, assault and rape are in it. Graphically. And suicide is in it. Graphically. And I understand the need to show some things to keep the story going. To let you know what is actually happening in it. But, like any good TV-show, if you show… Say show a couple going to bed to have sex, right, they’re kissing, they’re making out, clothes are falling. They fall in to bed, boom! You cut to another scene. Maybe you let it last for a couple seconds, it’s extra kissy-kissy, whatever. So you understand were the plot is going, what is happening with these characters. They held on to these rape instances and her actually committing suicide for way, way, way, way, way longer then they needed to to get the point across. And I found it, even as a person who hasn’t gone through that myself, I couldn’t keep watching it. I had to look away, it was way to much for way to long and I didn’t feel it was necessary to get the point across. I felt it was really gratuitous and it was kind of done for shock value. Which overall just frustrates me because those are real issues and we need to bring light to them in a way that helps people understand what the ramifications of that are, and also, you know, maybe offering some help or some resources for those who suffer thems.. that are watching this. The fifth issue that I have with this is that a lot of the reasons that she gives, there were many opportunities for her to express herself and let people know that she was upset and try to talk to them. Because a lot of these students are actually really communicative with each other, and yeah it may not go the way that they want, this is also teenage-land and I understand. But a lot of the reasons I feel could’ve been helped by her just communicating what was going on and not just expecting people to read her mind. And I know that that’s hard to hear, but I also think that’s an important point and I think that’s how they could’ve tied in mental health care, therapy and all the treatment options that are available. She could’ve worked to try to talk about this and I think that could’ve brought more light, to not only clear communication skills and how important those are and how healing they can be, but also:
Mental Health! Anybody? Have they heard about it?
In the show yet? I haven’t. And that rolls right into my sixth reason which is: there’s no talk about therapy. None! No talk of mental health. No talk of depression. No talk of anything like this. At all! There were so many ways to bring it up. The only ways it was ever, like, brought in to the show in any way was through Clays mother. Who said he used to have, I think, night terrors or nightmares or something so he was on medication. And she said that maybe we take him back to see him even if just the talk therapy helps. That’s the only time it was ever mentioned. Hannahs situation, the girl who actually killed herself, there was never any mention of her actually going to therapy, her asking for help. There is one at the very, very end where she says she’s reaching out, but I’ll get to that at the very end because
I’m kinda trying to go in order. But why is there no mention of mental health issues. What could’ve led up to it, what it can feel like for her and what treatment options are available. Maybe she could’ve even pulled out her phone and tried some crisis text lines? I don’t know! There are so many resources now, why didn’t you use any? Why didn’t you add any of them in? It would’ve been so simple! Netflix! What gives? So another little note I wanted to add in was they talked about how the school sent out emails to the parents telling them to talk to their children. But why didn’t they have a therapist, a psychiatrist, a psychologist, anybody available to the children all day, five days a week, whenever they need? I know, so I was in high school from 1998-2002. It was actually in middle school, in 1997, one of my best friends sisters got in a car accident and was killed. And when that happened, even though we were younger, I was four years younger than her, at our middle school and all the schools they
offered a psychiatrist, a psychologist and therapist. Five days a week, whenever wanted to go. We just had to write down our names on this list and they would schedule us in and we could take time out of class and we could go see them. Why was there no mention of that? That would be such an easy add-in. And something that in a very rural
community where I grew up, that was available and that was over, like, 15 years ago. So… What?! Ugh… And the seventh comment I want to make is that it really just felt like way to many issues shoved into one show. And I know what you’re thinking:
Hey Kati! A lot happens in high school and this is a show so suspension of disbelief, your supposed to just go with it. But I don’t feel like we needed all of the things they tried to cram in to this TV-show in order to give us a “reason” why someone would kill themselves. A lot of it felt like a big stretch, like her friend that knocked the stop sign over and then didn’t want to call the police and she was upset about it. But by the time Hannah walked from that “accident”,
knocking the stop sign over, to their local 7-11 or Stop’n’GO to call 911 to let them know. One of their friends had already been killed in a car accident at that intersection. And that, there was just a lot of
instances that were like, “ehhh”, that’s really terrible but you’re really just adding more than you need to. And the eighth comment that I have and the one were I honestly was so angry and frustrated with the way the show had progressed and what had come to pass and what was happening now, I was like: “Fuck this show! I don’t wanna watch this anymore!” But it was the last episode, so… yay, I guess, was when she recorded her going to her school counselor. And the reason why I don’t like this isn’t because the school counselor, you know, should’ve done a bunch of things, or didn’t do
something, or did too much. It’s not even anything about that. It’s the fact that she states, so she’s already recorded all twelve of the cassettes. She’s on her final cassette and she starts that cassette, or it’s the end of the other one, I don’t know, saying that she’s going to give life one more chance. And at this point I was like: I really like this, I hope that, you know, I mean obviously you kinda understand when you watch the show that you know she’s gonna kill herself. But you’re like, this is good! A lot of people do this, they feel really, really hopeless at the end of the rope and then they give it one more shot, and they try things and they reach out. She says: “I’m gonna reach out.” And I was like, Hallelujah! Mental health professionals coming at you! She’s gonna get some help, she’s gonna talk to her parents! This is gonna be cool! It wasn’t. Instead she went to her school counselor and tried to open up to him, which was wonderful, and he should’ve been a little warmer and I think should’ve been a little bit nicer to her. But it was their first meeting, he didn’t really know her more than her coming in to talk about college and stuff. So he was like, tell me a little about that and she was saying she’d been raped. But she didn’t use those terms and then he was like, I really would like to, you know, help you but in order to report something like this I’m gonna need to know the name. And we’re gonna have to know some details. Which is true, and I’m kind of mentioning this because I think it’s important for all of us to understand that is part of the protocol. If you’re gonna go and say that someone raped you or assaulted you or did something to you, in order for me to report it and in order for it to become a legal issue, we have to have more details. And we have to know who and she refuses to give any information, gets very upset. His phone keeps ringing which is frustrating, but then, she’s recording all of this. Which I hate, still. And then she walks out, she’s tearful in the room and then walks out and says to the microphone: “You heard it, he’s not gonna help me.” She’s all mad about it and I understand that the first time you meet with someone it may be, you know, she… It was just so frustrating! I can’t even tell you because it’s almost as she was using him as a scapegoat, to say: “Yeah, he’s the reason. I even reach out for help”. But I don’t feel like it was done in an honest way. What I would’ve loved for them to do with this TV-show, because remember it’s a TV-show, right, I would love for them to have had her talk to her mom and cry. Because her mom and dad were really there, they were around a lot. Obviously they were fighting about money and stuff, but that had nothing to do with her and there was no, like, abuse in her family. She had a good relationship with both her parents. I would’ve loved to have seen her come to her parents and say: “I’m having such a hard time” and then open up a little bit, and cry about it and maybe get in to a therapis, like, a therapy appointment that way. Have her parents find a therapist for her. That would’ve been so much better than this. That would’ve been so much better than this. This felt very icky, it felt very “blame the school counselor” he’s no good, and part of me was like, you didn’t even give him a chance. And so it kinda left me really disappointed in
whoever created this TV-show or wrote the book. Because that would’ve been such an easy way to insert, you know, in the script. Insert helpful tools, insert resources for those watching who may be suffering. And instead it was like they’re garbage, I’m
gonna do it anyways. And she left that appointment with him and went home to kill herself. And that just was such, it was like the worst ending to the worst show. And as you can imagine. I don’t recommend it. I love that they were showcasing mental health in traditional media, in a very big way. And I’m, I was hopeful because it got so much press and so many were watching it. I was hopeful that it would bring more awareness and also let people know how serious suicide is, how serious bullying is, how common rape and assault in high schools and college campuses, how common that is and how important that is that we talk about it. I thought that they could do all of these things, talking about drinking and drugs and alcoholism. There are so many ways they could’ve brought awareness and offered up tips and tools and have the kids getting different help and resources. I was so excited for it and it’s great that they we’re talking about mental health in a large platform. But the truth of it is that they didn’t succeed. If their goal was to put out sensational and possible dangerous material, then they totally were successful. However, if their goal was to bring awareness, offer up tips and tools and help those who are suffering feel more understood…
I truly believe that they failed, miserably. And so what I would’ve liked to have seen them do is add in little resources here and there. A mom checking in with her child, I did love that Clays mom was super-involved and super-aware. But we’re following Hannah. Hannah’s the one who’s having such a hard time going through all of these issues and ends up killing herself. I would’ve liked to see Hannah reach out for a little bit more support. Talk to more friends about it, reach out to someone else, talk to a teacher. Maybe she could’ve had a connection with a teacher? Anything! I wish they would’ve just given us something, some resources, maybe she’s texting crisis text line. Uhm. Anything like that. We know all those resources that are available. Maybe she’s online, in a chat room, talking with others who are struggling. Whatever it is, I would’ve liked to have seen more of that integrated into the show in order to make me feel good about it. And to feel it’s a resource and something I can recommend, but at this point, with how it stands, I don’t know if there will be a season 2. Maybe they will be more involved in that and they will add more. Hopefully. But where it stands right now I don’t recommend it. I think it’s really gratuitous and I think it
was done for shock value. And I was extremely disappointed with their lack of resources and tools for those who are watching it. And I’ve heard from many of you that you found it to be extremely triggering and one that’s left you with a lot of suicidal
thoughts of your own. And so I would encourage all of you, I will link in the description: Resources! If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or if you are just struggling with online bullying in general. Any kind of bullying! If you’re struggling in general check out some of the resources I link below. If you have one that you really love, I know “7 cups of tea” is super popular. Leave it in the comments and let me know your thoughts. You can completely disagree with me, those are
just my, it’s my feelings and my response based on my personal experience as a therapist. That’s all I can give you. I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you on Monday! Bye!

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