1.) How did you hear about the show?
My coworkers were talking about it.
2.) Were you aware of the subject matter?
Yes I was.
3.) If you’re willing to share, do you personally suffer from a mental illness or do you have a friend or family member who suffers from one?
All of the above: My father suffered from depression and attempted to commit suicide on a number of occasions and was hospitalized for it, I suffer from depression and anxiety disorder and tried to commit suicide once, no hospitalization, and I have a number of friends who also suffer from either depression, PTSD, anxiety, etc. I also have an uncle who has bi-polar and some other things who has been in a mental institution for over 15 years. Safe to say it runs in the family.
4.) Were you hesitant about watching the show because of your family history or did you just sort of dive in?
Not hesitant at all.
5.) What did you like about it?
I liked that it brought teen depression and suicide to the forefront of the conversation right now. It is something that people know about but do not want to talk about. The show is a good way to make it okay to talk about and possibly help those who struggle with it to feel less shame and be able to ask for help. I also am a sucker for addicting TV shows and this one did a great job of leaving you wanting more after an episode.
6.) Was there anything about the series you didn’t like or was difficult to watch?
There were three scenes that were difficult to watch for me: the two rape scenes and the scene where she actually takes her life.
7.) Yeah those have come up in most of the interviews. do you think showing such raw/real scenes added to the message and the gravity of rape and mental health or did it hinder the overall message?
I don’t think they hindered the message at all. I understand the importance of showing them, especially the rape scenes, as they were not your typical violent rape you might think about normally. They show two girls in very different situations and different types of rape. Showing the different kinds of rape is a good message a) for men out there who are using the girl not saying no as an excuse for it not being rape (both girls in the show did not explicitly say no, one was unconscious and the other just so depressed and emotionless that she couldn’t), and b) for girls who have been in a similar situations to know that it was not okay and in fact was rape.
I think that the producers of the show chose such a gruesome way for Hannah to take her own life was a way to deter teens watching the show who might be needing guidance in the matter. The books leave how she took her own life open to interpretation.
8.) Do you think they reflected the material accurately?
I do think they reflected the material accurately.
9.) What do you feel was missing or could have been added?
Mhmm I’m not sure.
10.) How do you feel by the end of the series?
They left a lot of questions open ended so I felt unsatisfied. I am hopeful for a season two. I was also mad at the guidance counselor by the end.
11.) What do you feel like was left open or could benefit from another season?
Alex was shot in the last episode, we don’t know by who just that he is dead. Nothing has happened to Bryce for what he has done. Jessica never came forward to tell her story. The majority of the kids were still lying to the investigators. Tyler may or may not shoot everyone at the school/mass murder. The counselor/Hannah’s parents/ and Clay’s mom have the tapes now. I want to know what they think and what will happen with the lawsuit. Justin left, where did he go? Will he come back? BRYCE NEEDS TO GO TO JAIL. The show took the time to develop all these side stories that are not featured in the book then they damn well better finish them.
12.) You enjoyed the series and are hoping for a Season 2, would you recommend this series to other people who have a history of mental illness or sexual assault?
Yes, depending on their state. I think a person should be in a good place with what happened to them or their mental illness in order to take the show for what it is, a piece of fiction that they can relate to.
This interview was conducted prior to finding out that 13 Reasons Why was renewed for a 13-episode second season to premiere in 2018.
Be sure to catch the last three interviews next week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
You can read the previous articles in the links below: