1.) How did you hear about the series?
I came across the book a while ago, maybe when I was about 16? I was on one of my reading kicks and I had heard that the book was really good. And then when I found out they were making it into a Netflix series I was super pumped because the book was incredible
2.) How do you think the show did as far as the book is concerned? Did it seem a lot different?
I thought the show did pretty well in regards to the book. Granted, I read the book a very long time ago, but as far as adaptations go I think the show did a fair job and representing the major issues at hand in the book.
3.) If you feel comfortable answering, do you personally suffer from mental health issues or do you know someone family/friend who suffers from mental health issues that have impacted your life?
Yeah, I suffer from major depression and anxiety, and many of my friends do as well
4.) Were you concerned with watching the series because of the subject matter and your own struggles?
I was a little wary about it, but I had actually used reading the book when I was younger to help me with my depression. By reading about a girl who had struggled with some of the same feelings I was going to, it helped me feel less alone and encouraged me to keep going. So I went into watching the show with that same kind of lens.
5.) What did you like about the show?
I really liked how they portrayed Hannah, and how they kind of hammered home this theme of “you don’t know what other people are going through”. And I also really like how it showed how differently Hannah’s suicide affected all of the different characters
6.) Was there something you didn’t like or felt was too difficult to watch?
There was a rape scene towards the end that was pretty hard to watch. And the scene where Hannah’s parents find her body was also a little hard to watch.
7.) I’ve been told they were awful scenes to try and get through. Do you think the having those very raw scenes depicted, helped or hurt the message of just how real suicide and sexual assault are in society today?
For me personally, I thought that though they were hard to watch, they were important and helped the message. Every episode that had a graphic or rough scene had a disclaimer at the very beginning of what kind of graphic content would be shown, so if someone felt that they really couldn’t watch it, they could skip over it. But I feel like to a lot of people in society, suicide and sexual assault aren’t “real” because they’ve never experienced it or been affected by it. And I think by forcing the audience to acknowledge that this is a real thing that happens, helped relay how serious of an issue this all is. It didn’t shy away from it or let people ignore it or pretend it didn’t actually happen. There was no ambiguousness to any of it, and I really thought that was important.
8.) Overall do you feel like they reflected the material accurately?
Yeah, I do. It’s hard material to deal with in general, but I think they did a good job in trying to stay true to real life as well as the book.
9.) Do you feel like anything was missing or could have been added?
I think they could have focused a little more on how everyone could have coped better, but the series also ends on a bunch of cliffhangers so I’m not sure if that’s something that’s gonna be explored in a season 2 or not.
10.) How did you feel by the end of the series?
I felt like I had also suffered the loss of Hannah Baker, but I also felt a sense of relief. I felt like my own feelings of depression and anxiety and mental illness were validated through the show.
11.) Do you feel like the show helped or hurt your struggles? How does seeing the pain Hannah went through and see the aftermath of her decisions make you feel?
I wouldn’t necessarily say the show helped my struggles, but it definitely did not hurt them. Seeing the pain Hannah went through, and hearing her say and feel things I myself have felt was definitely an emotional experience, and quite a few tears were shed when I watched the show. But ultimately I felt like it was a therapeutic experience. As someone who has experienced suicidal thoughts, watching the aftermath of Hannah’s death and seeing how people really did care about her and how it destroyed a lot of people was oddly comforting. It made me appreciate the fact that I am still here and still fighting a little bit more
12.) What would you tell other people suffering from similar thoughts or illnesses that are considering watching the show?
I think the most important thing for other people suffering from those kind of thoughts or other illnesses to do is to know their limit. The show is a great show that talks about things most people don’t want to talk about, but if at any point you’re watching it and you feel triggered, you need to understand that watching the show at that moment for you is probably not a good idea. I think as long as people are honest with themselves about what they can and can’t handle watching or feeling, then they’ll be good to go
Be sure to catch the rest of my interviews posting Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.