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“13 Reasons Why” Controversies Leave Fans With Mixed Emotions

Jillian Broskey

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The year of 2017 could be called the year of controversy; between politics and social issues, our developing generation is becoming more aware and less fazed by the unique situations that are now being broadcasted globally.

One of the most controversial shows that we have been introduced to this past year is “Thirteen Reasons Why.” Within the first 24 hours of the release, critics were split across the board. Some were claiming that the show promoted suicide and glorified depression, while others praised the show for bringing awareness to the spreading issue of depression across our youth.

The creators of the show noted that they developed the show to highlight the growing issue of adolescent depression that affects a majority of our youth currently to date. Most youth took to social media to share their opinion on the controversial show; and as expected…there was a divide even among them.

Kevin Amos, a 23-year-old student at Bucks who is spending his time studying psychology believes that the show brings much needed awareness to the overwhelming depression that many of our generation face everyday. As Amos watched the show, he said he believed that society could and would become more in-tune with the affects and symptoms of depression through watching the show.

Amos did claim that the show might normalize depression and suicide, which in the end may prove to do more harm then good. Yet all in all, he still believes that the show is more beneficial than detrimental to our society and especially the younger members of our world.

Amos, like others, realizes that the show may actually be able to save lives. Before, young people felt alienated by their depression because they felt that they were all-alone and had no one to turn to. However, upon the release of the show, they now have an outlet where they can say I am just like them. Amos feels that “13 Reasons” and shows similar to it “may actually save lives”, because they allow for the unrelated to become relatable.

When we spoke to Bridgette Smith, 24, a Temple graduate, she shared the same thoughts as Amos. She views “13 Reasons Why” as a place for the younger generation to turn to in a time of need. Interestingly enough she also shared that currently her teenage sister, who is in high school, has to read the book version as an assignment. So it’s overly apparent that our society sees adolescent depression to be a pressing matter that needs to be dealt with at an early age in order to prevent it from affecting anyone else.

Smith feels that the show reveals almost the new normal to our society, not in a way that makes suicide ok, but in a way that shows the normalcy of battling depression, so that again…no child feels alone and thinks that ending it all is the only option.

“13 Reasons Why” and shows similar to it serve to educate our youth in that it’s normal to be or feel depressed, you are not weird, and most importantly, you are not alone.

On the contrary, a student here at Bucks, Josh Urofskey, 18, had a completely different view than either Smith or Amos. Josh felt that the show overreacted and showed the extreme effects of depression. However, even with that in mind, he still believed that the show was more beneficial to our society. Not because it revealed the effects of depression, but because it exposed the true and current bullying that occurs in this day in age.

Not only did the show allow for the older generations to realize what millenials have to go through on a day-to-day basis. But it also depicted an accurate representation of the real contributors and factors that cause the younger generations to develop psychological issues and disorders. Across the board it appears that our generation and the generations to come connect with the characters of “13 Reasons Why” and overall gain more from watching shows of the same nature, than not.

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The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College
“13 Reasons Why” Controversies Leave Fans With Mixed Emotions