13 Reasons Why
STREAMING Age 16+ Disturbing book adaptation sheds light on teen suicide.
“13 Reasons Why” is an intense, dark Netflix drama based on the popular young adult novel “Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher. This is definitely not a light watch or for younger kids. The disturbing story explores a troubled teen’s motivations for committing suicide, opening after the fatal event, with all appearances by the deceased Hannah in the reflections of a boy who harbored a secret crush on her. Messages about treating people with respect and not taking others for granted are prominent, but the fact that Hannah blames others for her suicide is problematic and may send the wrong messages to some sensitive teens. The series doesn’t shy away from mature issues, as Hannah’s suicide is shown in great detail, as is more than one graphic rape scene involving a teenager. There’s teen drinking, voyeurism (a boy circulates a picture of a girl in a compromising position after a sexual encounter) and lots of swearing (“f---,” “s---” and “a-holes”). Although this challenging story could help parents start conversations with teens about such issues as bullying, isolation and depression, the way the series addresses these issues is complex and may be confusing for impressionable viewers. (13 60minute episodes) Via Netflix streaming.