What conversations will this gripping show bring up this season?
So as the highly anticipated second series of 13 Reasons Why is set to hit our screens (well Netflix screens anyway) I can’t help but wonder if it’s going to have the same public outcry as season one. How many parents will be forbidding their children to watch and how many psychologists will be up in arms about its current incarnation. I have written a lot about my feelings for this show before, so I won’t go into them all again.
However, what I am really looking forward to is seeing what conversations this show provokes. Whether you agree with what the show did or not, it started conversations about mental health, the like I have never seen before, and for the most part I think it left viewers a little more aware than before of the challenges young people do face and how messy, ugly and brutal it can all be.
It treated young adults with respect
Topics covered in 13 reason why are often steered away from in young adult entertainment, but this show didn’t do that and I think treated young adults with more respect than most shows.
Netflix produced supporting resources
I did notice that Netflix have now produced a supporting website and information pack to go with the show (I don’t know how recent this is) and for most part I think it probably silencing all of its critics. However, I think perhaps for the young people the information pack was aimed at, it is perhaps a little patronizing and for me felt like a poor attempt at trying to continue the conversation, but was a step in the right direction. The information pack covers topics such as depression, sexual assault and bullying but to say it states the obvious would be an understatement, The show treats young people like adults and the pack treats them like children, although it does have some good discussion points at the end.
Lets have some open and frank discussion
For me this show has allowed me to have open and frank discussion with my own children and the young people I work with. However I do think that the more specific these discussions can be, the more likely we are to have great conversations. Most of the discussion topics I have seen around this show have been very generalised and I think the true opportunity comes in taking one scene that depicts what you are trying to open discussion around and breaking it down. It is easier for us to talk when we can disassociate the topics from ourselves and talk in terms of what the character did or did not do. That is the beauty of some of the work I do around film, when people feel like they are not answering a question specially related to them they are much more able to be honest and forthcoming.
So I for one will be glued to Netflix on Friday and I commit to bringing you episode-by-episode talking points, so if you choose you can use this show to open up more and deeper discussions with young people.