“13 Reasons Why”

The Sixties

The first TV show I was kept from watching was “Hullabaloo” in 1965. It featured pop music and had “Go Go” dancers in short skirts. The second show was, “Laugh In” in 1967, and featured dancers in even shorter skirts. Both were deemed unsuitable for watching.

Are parents still restricting their kids from watching certain TV shows?

A Few Weeks Ago

I was surfing on Netflix and found, “13 Reasons Why.” I hoped it might offer some insights to families and to parenting in today’s declining moral climate. I was totally unprepared.

“13 Reason Why”

It’s 13-episodes about a girl named Hannah who’s a new student in the High School. She’s cute, outgoing, and has a sweet personality. But things quickly go south for her, and then get worse, and then turn terrible. In the end, she takes her life with a razor blade. Her parents come home from work and find her in a tub of bloody water. It’s graphically depicted.

Clay
Hannah records the reasons for taking her life so others can hear it.

The story unfolds episodically as the viewers learn what happened to her. We watch Hannah being bullied, see her reputation get trashed, feel each disturbing event, and cringe at the violence done to her in a graphic, gut-wrenching, rape scene.

If your kids are watching, or asking to watch, then you need to know:

  1. It’s “the show to watch” for Jr. High & High School kids.
  2. It’s dark and disturbing, with two scenes of rape.
  3. It portrays suicide as the only alternative to emotional pain.
  4. There are no references to spiritual guidance.
  5. Those who mistreated her tear each other apart in their guilt.
  6. The adults seem out of touch & unable to relate to teen problems.
  7. The show leaves you feeling hopeless, empty, and sad.
  8. Any teen who is struggling, depressed, or hurting should not watch.

A Serious Problem

One credible source states that suicide is the number two cause of death for people age 10-24. Can you imagine, age 10 and up? Go to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline to learn more, https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org

To Close

As a minister, I have served the spiritual needs of kids and families for 40 years. As a father, I have rasied two children who are now adults. Here is my advice and my opinions:

  1. “13 Reasons Why” isn’t for teens under sixteen, maybe not even then.
  2. If you choose to let your teen watch it:
  • Watch every episode with them.
  • Talk with them after each one.
  • Be prepared for two rape scenes.
  • Be prepared for a graphic suicide.
  1. Be smart and cautious. If your child is being bullied, or struggling emotionally, or is exhibiting signs of depression, then I strongly advise that you not let them watch it.

Finally

Your teens know about the show and their friends do too, and they will be talking about it. This is an opportunity to engage with them and discuss what life is like in their school.

Be prepared to hear about difficult and disturbing things that your kids may be exposed to at school, with friends, and on the internet. Be prepared to impart truth to them.

I think we are way beyond Go Go dancers in short skirts.

 

2 thoughts on ““13 Reasons Why”

  1. This show was actually the attention getting opening for a Commencement Address. Sad!!!! So, yes, it is a widely watched show.

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  2. This has come up in this past week in our home and has opened up a ton of discussion. Deer Park has had 7 deaths this year, 4 to cancer and 3 to suicide! We have to start talking to our children and reading between the lines!! So scary!

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