Netflix fictional drama series, 13 Reasons Why, begins its second season this Friday, May 18. The show takes a graphic look at the tough real-life issues experienced by teens today including bullying, depression, sexual assault, substance abuse and suicide.
13 Reasons Why hoped to spark important conversations about issues that concern teens — from sexual assault to suicide. It appears that the show took the criticism regarding the last season (most notably, the graphic depiction of Hannah’s death by suicide and its glorification could be dangerous to young viewers) and has added trigger warnings and resources for viewers this season.
Early reviews have pointed out that the second season is as controversial as the first, with more graphic depictions of teen issues such as bullying, depression, sexual assault, gun violence and substance abuse and addiction. Research found that 79% of 13-15 year olds felt that season one was beneficial to watch, but 44% felt that the content was too graphic. No matter how it is presented, parents may want to take the opportunity to talk about the scenes and the issues within them to help young viewers have a true understanding of the issue.
While many teens may binge watch it on their own, let them know that if something feels uncomfortable or disturbing, tell them to reach out to a trusted adult to talk about it – a counselor, coach, teacher or family member. Sometimes, just having a conversation can make all the difference in helping them to feel connected and supported. For additional tips on how to discuss the show’s topics, check out the 13 Reasons Why Discussion Guide.
13 Reasons Why aims to highlight how the behaviors we show others and that are shown to us can be very impactful, the importance of having empathy and compassion for others, even when their struggles aren’t obvious, and that everyone matters to many, even when it doesn’t feel that way.
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