(A Review of Netflix TV Series RE Teen Suicide)
“13 Reasons Why” is the controversial Netflix TV Series about Teen Suicide. The producers claim the purpose of the series is to promote a dialogue amongst teens, and encourage them to seek help to prevent suicide. One of the Executive Producers is Pop Singer Selena Gomez.
The 14 Episode TV Series portrays teens as vulgar self-indulgent individuals who do not under any circumstances communicate with their parents… because their parents are so “out of touch” they couldn’t possibly understand what their teen children are going through. A common theme is parents are blind to their teen’s needs, and are simply unable to help.
The main characters are Clay Jensen and Hannah Baker.
Hannah Baker is a pretty teen who comes from a stable home with loving, middle class parents. Her father is the owner/operator of a Pharmacy. It is a family business, and her mother works there.
Clay Jensen is a nerdy handsome introverted teen, who also comes from a stable home. His father is a university professor. His mother is a lawyer.
Apparently none of these parents are smart enough to help their children, because none of the children will confide in a parent or any other adult.
The basic premise is that through an escalating series of traumatic events, Hannah finally decides to take her life, but before she does, she records a series of tapes that explains what people have done to her that has brought her to this drastic place in her life’s journey.
The plot device used to tell the story is Clay Jensen listening to the tapes she has made, each tape describes a perpetrator, and is an episode in the series.
I can only speculate that the writer is probably very vulgar in his everyday speech, and his circle of friends are probably likewise, and he assumes it is normal that teens are vulgar and drug addled… or he is suggesting they should be.
The problem is that parents are mostly ignored, or at best, tolerated by the teen characters. The producers say they want to promote a dialogue, and encourage teens to ask for help… but from who? Every adult depicted in the series is incompetent and powerless… Not once is an adult shown as having a satisfactory answer for any of the teens, or solutions to their problems.
Teachers seem to be sincere in their desire to want to understand and help, but, alas, they are still adults who sadly do not understand their own limitations, and in some cases, are just as guilty at contributing to the main character’s suicide.
For Christian content, there is only one portrayal of a family praying before dinner, and their high school age daughter is portrayed as committing sex acts on her jock boyfriend, she is raped at a party, but she is too drunk to know it, and descends into alcoholism due to her confusion, and because of her inability to control her boyfriend, or cope with life.
From a Christian point of view, this is “the world” in all its downfallen confusion.