13 Reasons Why – Is it glorifying teen suicide?

If you have been on the internet since March 31st, 2017 you have probably heard of the show 13 Reasons Why. The show that depicts the life of Hannah Baker, a high school student that takes her own life and leaves behind a series of tapes that tell all the reasons why she did it. If you haven’t seen it then please don’t read on – SPOILERS AHEAD.

13 Reasons Why is now the most successful show in Netflix history – people are addicted. The show immediately had me hooked. I had never seen anything that had a story line quite like it. Every episode made me want to keep watching but as Hannah’s story continued to unfold it became harder and harder to watch. In the last couple of episodes Hannah watches a friend get raped at a party, gets raped herself, and finally commits suicide. Many critics are applauding the producers for not shying away from depicting these graphic situations but others are saying it’s too much and are accusing the show of glorifying teen suicide.

It has gotten to the point where schools have now gotten involved all of over the country and are sending home letters to parents warning them not to let their children watch the show due to its graphic content.

13 reasons

I personally think it does the opposite of glorify suicide. I think shows glorify suicide when it is only talked about, not shown. Typically cinema will show what happens before a suicide and the aftermath, but not the act itself. I think by not showing the suicide, it romanticizes it. The scene from the final episode of 13 Reasons Why is extremely real and graphic and shows people just how painful and how very real suicide is.

Overall, I think the show does a great job highlighting very real issues that people tend to shy away from like bullying, rape, suicide, and depression. I think it also does an incredible job of accurately depicting how high school students act and what they really do. Too often you see a very unrealistic depiction of high school students – they all look way too old and do things that high school students would never do in real life. Watching 13 Reasons Why reminded me of me and my friends in high school and what it was really like.

Below are some articles talking about the controversy surrounding the show. Definitely worth a read if you enjoyed it!


Why Schools Are Warning Parents About Netflix’s Series 13 Reasons Why


2 thoughts on “13 Reasons Why – Is it glorifying teen suicide?

  1. I saw another post just like this with the opposing opinion earlier today. I think the most important thing is it is bringing the topic of suicide in teens into the conversation. I am with you in the fact that the show lays out the terrible things that Hannah had to go through in order to get to that point, but I also agree that the fact that they showed it was important. During the actual suicide scene I had to turn away it was something that I struggled to watch. That is not glorifying death, it was gruesome and chilling. You really felt for this girl and the terrible things she had been through. I am intrigued where they go from here for season 2 but I thought the show raised some important ideas.

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