AshTrenwith

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    13 Reasons Why: Informative or Offensive?

    Since 13 Reasons Why Season 2 was released on Netflix a few days ago, there has been many conflicting opinions on the show. Some say it is informative and applaud it for raising awareness in ways no other show dares to do while many find the show extremely offensive, saying it glorifies and misrepresents mental illness as well as showing graphic scenes concerning matters such a suicide and rape that can be incredibly triggering for those suffering. What are your thoughts?

    • I've watched both seasons of this show and as a fan, I admire that it's tackling serious issues that teens struggle with in high school. I personally find that it raises awareness of those issues. It's one of those shows were some people will enjoy it, while others might hate it for exposing too much. – nomfyrocks 2 years ago
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    • I have to agree with nomfyrocks. I think a lot of people judge 13 Reasons Why too harshly, and are too critical of what it brings to the table. Yes, there are absolutely things which could have been done more sensitively, more politically correct, more appropriately. However, I think the people critiquing the show are not bothering to understand the entire purpose of a show like 13 Reasons Why in the first place. It is not a show everyone will be comfortable watching, but it is a show that brings awareness to a difficult topic and teachers viewers a wildly important lesson. Many of the people who originally watched and took issue with the show are individuals who have suffered from mental health or considered suicide, or at least individuals who already understood mental health and what it is like to be bullied to some extent. Meanwhile, many of the people who praise the show also suffer from mental health or have considered suicide. I think it really depends the lens you the view the show in, and how you interpret the meaning and purpose of it. In my opinion, the major purpose of the show is to teach people (who maybe do or do not understand/suffer from mental health) that their actions have consequences, and that all people will react and feel differently to the things they do. The major theme they are contending with here is that people kill people (or drive them to death) with cruelty and ignorance. The purpose of the show is not to teach individuals suffering with mental health or individuals being bullied how to cope or what to do. The purpose is to teach people to be more considerate and aware, and not to do things which will eventually make people feel they have no other choice but suicide. Obviously individuals who already understand mental health and what it is like to be bullied may have different responses, based on their individual perspectives and experiences. However, although the show can be interesting or beneficial to those people, it is not intended to those people. It is intended for the people who have or could become the reasons why someone else considered suicide, to make them accountable and aware of their actions. I think when faced with the prospect that your cruelty or ignorance could result in driving someone to suicide, majority of people will rethink the way they behave. The show might not be perfect, but I think some of the more difficult scenes to watch might actually drive this message home to people who are or could become one of the reasons why. – nicdanex 2 years ago
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    • I would like to start off by asking what does a glorified and misrepresentation of a mental illness look like? What does a accurate representation of a mental illness look like? I personally believe that season 2 of "13 Reasons Why" would have not had a better time to be released. The "glorified representation of mental illness" was shining light on issues that are present in someone's life. The great thing about art is, it brings awareness to a bigger picture, awareness that people don't seem to get when watching the news or reading a news paper. Art is the only way to get peoples attention, to show that we are more alike then we know, to show not to take life for granted even if you're dealing with similar circumstances as the characters. There was a reason why "13 Reasons Why" had its warnings before explicit scenes showed, to give audience the choice of following through with the program and shunning away from it. Everyone should have an option, because I understand why people may feel uncomfortable to watch it. But I don't find the season offensive because there is no right or wrong way a person with a mental illness behaves. Everyone has their own triggers and circumstances. – Arispeaks 2 years ago
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    Latest Comments

    I feel like Netflix has normalised the practice of binge watching- I find it practically impossible to JUST watch one episode of anything nowadays and I know I’m not the only one.

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    I really like how you broke down the antagonists by books in the series. Furthermore, I 100% agree with your analysis of Umbridge- she in some ways is even worse than Voldemort and there is definitely a reason that she is quite often more hated than Voldemort in the fandom.

    Harry Potter: The Importance of Antagonists