1.) How did you hear about the show?
2.) If you’re willing to share, do you personally suffer from a mental Illness or have a family member/friend that suffers from one? If yes, feel free to elaborate?
I suffer from severe anxiety and still have bouts where it is hard to breathe, and I begin to have a panic attack. It’s why I related so much to Clay and how situations made him extra anxious or would trigger panic attacks/hallucinations.
3.) Were you aware of the subject matter before going into the show? If yes, were you hesitant at all?
I was. My cousin read the book the show is based on and informed me of the tough/controversial subject matters. I was worried they would romanticize these topics, but in my opinion, they didn’t at all.
4.) What about the series did you like?
They didn’t shy away from how brutal high school can be. I was fortunate I went to a high school were very little bullying took place, but I am well aware of how bad it can get. I also like that they painted Bryce the way they did. Sadly, I’ve known 4 or 5 Bryce’s in my life, and many guys like him don’t see what they’re doing as rape.
5.) What about the series didn’t you like or felt was difficult to watch?
It was extremely difficult to watch the rape scenes and ultimately Hannah’s suicide. While I understand people’s reservations, I appreciate they didn’t shy away from the harsh reality of these subject matters. These things happen, and they need to be talked about, not ignored or toned down.
6.) Do you think they reflected the material accurately?
I can’t say. I never read the entire book, just enough to grasp the differences from book to show. From everything I read though, it seems they captured the material wonderfully.
7.) Do you feel like anything was missing or could have been added to the series?
I would have loved if they had shown more of Alex’s struggle and his blossoming friendship with Zach. I also would have liked if they explored more of Skye’s struggle with cutting as I have known many people who do this.
8.) How did you feel after finishing the series?
It was an emotional roller coaster, and I felt everything from anger, to sadness, to hope. I was also reminded of the student I went to school with who committed suicide and how devastated everyone was whom he left behind. I did feel hope because I think if people choose to they can learn from their mistakes and do better.
9.) Do you feel like mental health and sexual assault education should be just as important as other aspects of health/sex education?
ABSOLUTELY. I feel like these subjects are glossed over or ignored entirely, and that’s unacceptable. The more it’s talked about, the less taboo it is.
10.) What would you tell someone suffering from a mental illness if they were considering watching the show?
Be careful and watch with care. Take the warnings before episodes very seriously, and if at any point it is uncomfortable for you it’s okay to stop watching.
Be sure to catch the rest of my interviews posting Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.