Hit Show Returns with Warnings


Warning this article may contain spoilers

On August 23, 2019 fans anticipating the return of the Netflix show “13 Reasons Why” found a new feature, a response to the first two seasons causing worry among parents and other viewers because of the graphic images and sensitive topics throughout the series.

This season, before each episode began, members of the cast addressed viewers, providing resources for those who may need them and reminding viewers that it’s better to watch the episodes with company. Each episode also contains a warning for viewers and reminds them of the graphic images that are soon to come.   

Thousands of students are fans of this show, and while most of them are fully aware of the issues the show focuses on–depression, suicide, and sexual harassment–that doesn’t mean the new warnings are unimportant. Two viewers, one a victim of harassment and the other a parent of a high school student, provided their impressions of the show and the issues it discusses.

Victim of Harassment 

As a victim of harassment, what was your response to the show? 

“I was harassed in a school bathroom just like Tyler, and I think that showing that kind of situation in the show helps people who watch the show understand and realize that things like that happen, and the schools don’t always know that it does and sometimes don’t even help.” 

Do you believe this helps victims cope? 

“I think it does help them cope because they realize they’re not alone.”

Would you recommend this show? 

“I would but then again no. Yes, because it teaches people who don’t know about these things to see what it’s like and no because it can trigger someone’s emotions in a bad way.” 


What is your opinion on the show?  

“I never knew what really went on in the show until one of my coworkers mentioned it to me. Then I asked my daughter, and she told me all about it. I think it is scary to know your child watches that kind of show, but I was a high school student once, and I understand a couple of the topics they choose to cover.” 

Does this show concern you? 

“At first it did, but I’ve noticed that they have a lot of resources to help people, so I think it’s good to watch shows like that because we learn more about what people go through, and it helps parents teach their kids a lot of lessons. 

What kinds of lessons do you believe you can teach your children from watching this show? 

“I told my daughter to be careful what she says to people because you never know what goes on outside of school. I’ve always wanted my children to stand up for others because I know I would want someone to do the same for them.” 

Are you okay with your child watching this show? 

“I do allow them to watch this show but I also like to watch it myself and we like to talk about the issues because it really helps us learn a little more and try our best to prevent those things to happen.” 

In response to these participants, one can conclude that the show provides viewers with a better understanding of the issues. As stated in an article by Ade Onibada, Ade quoted a spokesperson for the Samaritans: “While covering difficult topics in drama can help to increase understanding and encourage people to seek help, it’s important this is done in a responsible way, due to the evidenced risks associated with covering this topic in the media. Programe makers should always seek advice from experts on the portrayal of suicide, to ensure any risk to vulnerable viewers is minimized.” This shows the viewers that the producers of the show are doing their best to make sure they can ensure the safety of its audience. As a fan of the show myself, I’m hoping to see further improvements in the upcoming seasons to come. 

For more information visit 13reasonswhy.info. If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.