7 Things That Happen When You Watch 'Thirteen Reasons Why'

When I heard about this new Netflix show, I honestly didn’t really know what it was all about.  I never read the book (but I had heard of it) and I expected it to be something geared towards people more my younger sibling’s age.  Well I was wrong.  My expectations were thrown out the window and I was pulled into an emotional roller coaster I wasn’t prepared for when I started watching Thirteen Reasons Why.  For those of you thinking about watching it, be prepared.  This is what will happen (but don’t be scared, it’s worth it).  

You’ll binge watch it.

I started the show on a whim during a break I had from class.  That was my first mistake.  I almost considered skipping class so I wouldn’t have to tear my eyes away from the screen.  A little more than 24 hours later I was done will all 13 episodes.  Yeah.  I watched it that fast.  And trust me, you will too once you start it.  It’s addicting and you won’t want it to end.  

You’ll cry.

Yes, I said it.  You will cry.  There is no doubt about it.  I’m not a crier and usually crying makes me more uncomfortable than anything else, but I sobbed like a baby.  Over and over again.  You’ll cry at the story.  You’ll cry at the bullying.  You’ll cry at the fact that people can be so cruel.  And, you’ll cry at the fact that love is still there throughout the whole thing.  You’ll cry for Clay, for Hannah, for Jeff.  You’ll cry for yourself at the end because everything about the show is emotional and real.  

You’ll question “why.”  

If you’ve made it this far and don’t know what the show is about, just know that it’s about a girl who was bullied to the point that she committed suicide.  She leaves behind tapes detailing why she did it.  With that in mind, you’ll question what drives people to do this.  What drives people to treat others so unkindly.  And, why we’re not stopping it.  Now more than ever change needs to be made and it really makes you question your actions, the actions of others and the actions that we need to be making.  

You’ll cry again.

Yeah, again, I know.  It just doesn’t stop.  

You’ll be awed by cinematic elements.

Throughout the show we’re presented with flashes between the past and present as Clay listens to all 13 tapes.  Buzzfeed said it best that these were some of the most powerful parts of the show.  We see Clay looking at places Hannah once was, where Jeff once was, where his old self once was.  We see Hannah’s parents looking at the world differently without their daughter.  And, we’ll see how all of the other characters are moving through the world differently than they were before Hannah’s death.  

You’ll recommend it to ALL your friends.

As soon as I finished the show, I tweeted about it and knew all my friends had to watch this.  I recommended it to my boyfriend, my mom, my little brother and everyone I could possibly recommend it to.  It’s that good.  It’s something everyone needs to see–for better or for worse.  It makes people think and to me that’s important in any book or TV show.  

And lastly, you’ll want to make a change.

I came away from watching this show with a really strong desire to do something.  Bullying will always be around (as unfortunate as that is) but by being aware of your actions you can make small changes that have HUGE effects.  Being nice isn’t hard.  Not being rude isn’t hard.  Doing things for others isn’t hard.  It’s not hard to be a good person.  And that’s what it made me want to do more of.  It also made me want to look at campaigns that were doing things to stop bullying and sexual assault.  The “It’s On US” campaign is one of those, and with this month being Sexual Assault Awareness Month it’s even more relevant than ever.  The fact that people are committing suicide so rapidly is something we need to change, and we can change it by looking at the things that lead them to it.  

Selena Gomez’s production of Thirteen Reasons Why was not in any way what I expected it to be–it was better.  I hope everyone takes some time (or 13 hours all in a row) to watch this show and listen to it’s message.  There’s much to take away from it and hopefully you’ll be able to get what I did out of watching this (and yes, that means the crying too).