Review(ish): 6 Reasons I’m on the Fence about 13 Reasons Why

Last night, I finished a show called “13 Reasons Why.” Now that it’s all said and done, I’m frankly not sure I should have watched it. And I’m not sure how I feel about it. Did I like it? Not really. Did I hate it? Nah. Too harsh. Did I need to watch it? Not sure. Is it topically important? Yes. Absofuckinglutely. Was said topic handled properly? Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. On the fence here.

Before I begin: If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out. Right now. Right. Fucking. Now. You aren’t alone, and there are people who are fucking eager to help you. Don’t wanna talk to anybody? How about texting? Some awesome people who realize phone calls can be scary have set up a texting crisis line. Go. You’ve got nothing to lose if you’re at that point.

The Premise:

High school girl commits suicide. She leaves thirteen cassette tapes (well, thirteen sides) explaining why she chose to end her life, hence the title. The show follows one particular student as he listens to the tapes, which leads to at least half of the show being presented as flashbacks to when the girl – Hannah Baker – was still alive.

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13 Reasons Why I’m on the Fence (spoilers ahead):

  1. The blame game. No sense in saving this one for last; it needs to be addressed right away. Hannah (and therefore the show) strongly asserts that there are thirteen people responsible for Hannah taking her own life. Not Hannah, the girl who sat down in the bathtub and opened her wrists. Not Hannah, the girl who baited her guidance counselor into failing her. Not Hannah, the girl whose mom asked more than once if anything was wrong. The reason I’m on the fence? Well, that’s easy: it’s realistic. It’s extremely realistic for troubled people, regardless of age and stage in the whole hormones and puberty thing, to seek out people to blame. I think it’s more realistic for us to blame ourselves, but we do point fingers. If only that motherfucker hadn’t… If only she’d listen… If only he’d stay… If only they would pay attention… If only… They all hate me… They’re better off without me… Why do they all treat me like shit?… It’s so. Fucking. Realistic. The problem lies in the fact that teenagers and other people who are in highly susceptible states of mind are watching this show (based off of a book that I didn’t know existed until the end of the show), and they’re thinking…yeah! Fuck those guys! I’ll show them! So where do we draw the line between depicting realistic scenarios and being socially responsible? Do we only show one type of suicidal narrative? Do we avoid it altogether? Do we allow the conversation to occur in all forms? Was the show irresponsible? Or was it honest? Or…was it both? I’d say both. It was honest to the narrative of some and irresponsible to all. Does that mean it should be censored? See what I mean? Fence-rider.
  2. Dangerous implications that are never addressed. There are things shown or implied in the show that never get proper treatment. For example, toward the end, the boy who plays a photographer / stalker is shown stockpiling weapons in a secret compartment at the bottom of a clothing trunk. This is never addressed, but the implications are clear. There isn’t one gun. There are several. And the picture the mind paints in this post-Columbine society is one of an impending black trench coat and a troubled, bullier / bullied boy, going out in a “blaze of glory” in the middle of school, taking out as many students and teachers as he can before he aims the muzzle at his own head. Again, these are conversations that need to be had. The problem is that we are shown one or two images that imply these things, but there is never any discussion about it. It’s merely displayed there and left to you to understand that this is yet another terrible type of fallout from bullying and exploitation.
  3. Soft-core pornification of rape. Two girls in the show are raped: Hannah and her one-time best friend, Jess. As with the previous two points I broached, I’ll also say that this is yet another topic that needs to be addressed. It’s all too often swept under the rug, hidden away as something shameful and secret. So I’m okay with the fact that the show discussed rape, the rape mentality and the conflicted emotions felt by victims and witnesses. What I’m not okay with is the way one scene in particular was drawn out. When it gets to Hannah’s rape, it seemed like the scene would never end. Were producers trying to convey the endlessness of victims’ experiences? Were they trying to make viewers feel as much discomfort as possible without showing rape-porn? Perhaps. And I understand that – we need to be uncomfortable. We need to be confronted with shit we try to hide from; otherwise, it will never be addressed. But the soft lighting? The endless slapping sounds as he took her from behind? The close-up camera zoom on Hannah’s breasts as the perpetrator fondled her and slipped her bra down? Or the zoom on her ass as he pulled her panties down? Was that really fucking necessary? “Hey guys, I need you to get a better shot of her ass! Wait, hang on, there’s not enough tit in this scene! If we’re gonna show a real rape, we need to show WHY THE FUCKING RAPIST WANTED HER?!?!?!” What. The. Fuck. And how long are we supposed to sit there while we watch her body rocking back and forth, back and forth, as she’s being raped? I sincerely think this was mishandled. And that isn’t me saying we shouldn’t talk about rape. We should.
  4. Okay so I’m not done with the blame bit. How many times are we told that Clay, the main character who listens to Hannah’s tapes, is responsible for Hannah’s death? Sometimes he’s told, “We’re all responsible.” Okay, fair enough. Fine. But right before Clay begins his own tape, he asks Tony something like, “Did I kill Hannah Baker?” And Tony tells him that yes, he did kill Hannah Baker. A few fucking minutes into the tape, Hannah says YOU SHOULDN’T BE ON THESE TAPES, CLAY, BECAUSE WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN US WAS MY FAULT. And yet, the narrative through the rest of the damn show is that yes, Clay did kill Hannah Baker. Is being shy, nervous around girls and somewhat introverted a crime? He didn’t kill Hannah Baker; he only hurt her by his inaction sometimes. Yes, he could have stood up for her a couple times. But fucking hell, is there zero room for “mistake” in life? Not according to this show. You so much as breathe around someone who dies the next day, and it’s your fault. Yeah, we need to have discussions about our roles in each others’ lives. About how we treat each other. About compassion and empathy. But you fucking killed Hannah Baker because you left the room AFTER SHE TOLD YOU TO LIKE A HALF-DOZEN TIMES? Piss right off.
  5. The treatment of authority figures. Throughout the show, the students / kids are taught a myriad of lessons. Whether they stick or not isn’t my issue – it’s realistic that most people aren’t gonna fucking change. And it adds to the true story of how horribly we treat each other, and how we all need to do a gut-check. The kids are shown discussing these matters, though. They at least get chances at redemption, telling the viewers that they deserve another chance. The authority figures? Hmm. Let’s see. Over the course of the show, we watch as Hannah’s perception of her parents grows more and more negative, though I will say they are treated the kindest. Them and Clay’s dad (though he is a bit oblivious, but not criminally so). (Oh, and by the way, of fucking course the victim’s parents – victims themselves – are painted with a soft brush. God forbid they have flaws aside from extremely common arguments over finances. No, let’s save the flaws for everyone else in the show – every last one of them are murderers! Until they kill themselves, then Hannah’s parents morph into villains, too.) Alex’s dad, the police officer, has no redeeming qualities. He’s proud that his sons fight people. He let’s them break the law, regularly. He’s constantly looking for a way to escape responsibility, for himself and his boys. Is this realistic? Yeah, for a lot of people it is. But he’s not even a three-dimensional character. There’s no depth to him and no opportunity for reflection or growth. He’s a stock stereotype. (Oh, and by the way? Alex shoots himself in the head at the end of the show. With one of his dad’s guns. AND WE DON’T TALK ABOUT IT AT ALL.) Justin’s mom and her boyfriend, another set of stock stereotypes: abusive, neglectful drug addicts. Yes, these people exist. But in the show – all the kids get a chance to own up to shit they did and change their ways. Repeatedly, in fact. “Oh you won’t be reasonable in this episode? Well, you’ll get a chance IN EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE REMAINING TWELVE EPISODES! Your parents? Man, fuck them. Adults suck.” The guidance counselor? He never fully accepts his responsibility and his role in his students’ lives. Realistic for a lot of people, fine. But again, young and susceptible viewers are validated, “SEE! THIS is EXACTLY why I won’t go see Mr. Smith. Guidance Counselors are a fucking joke. AND SO ARE ALMOST ALL ADULTS IN THE HISTORY OF EVER.” There are a lot of shitty adults. Because, all too often, shitty kids turn into shitty adults. But a show that claims to want to help the suicide epidemic is making it worse by telling kids that adults are useless.
  6. How peaceful they made the act of suicide look. When it came time for Hannah’s suicide scene in the denouement? It shows the whole scene set-up, from start…to finish. And it fucking wrecked me. That part, I’m not gonna take umbrage with. It should have wrecked me. People need to be wrecked to take this shit seriously. It’s fucking serious, and people are in danger. The problem I have is that, once Hannah slits her wrists (which it shows – explicitly), there’s no real demonstration of pain. Maybe there is no pain – maybe she’s too numb and in a state of shock to feel it or express it. But you know what’s fucked up? How g-damn peaceful they made it look. I even thought, “Damn. Maybe…I mean, look how easy that was… WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU, STEPHANIE.” I knew right then they’d fucked that part up. She shivered. Hannah shivered. She fucking shivered, then closed her eyes, slid down a little, and peacefully went to sleep while the bathwater turned a warm shade of pink. Yes, suicide is a private thing. Probably often done in silence. And there’s a complete sense of being abjectly alone. But I think creators of a show like this had a responsibility to make it not look like you’re TAKING A FUCKING NAP IN THE BATHTUB. Look. Just LOOK at how EASY it is: a momentary wince and then a nice little nap. <—THAT is irresponsible.

You know what? I’ve just talked myself out of almost any redeeming quality about this show. It’s irresponsible and dangerous. Hell, I knew what it was about going in – and my reaction when it was over? “I should not have watched that show.” I even said that same thing to two people: “I should not have watched that show. I really shouldn’t have watched it.” I was a fucking wreck. And I’m a grown-ass woman with at least like, one or two coping mechanisms. And it fucked me up at the end. I can’t imagine what it’s doing to kids. No, I won’t go so far as to say: ban it. Not gonna do it. But is the show irresponsible? Fucking right it is.

P.S. I’m fine now, by the way. At least from the effects of the show. I’m more concerned with the impact it’s having on kids – or adults who aren’t currently strong enough to fight.

 

Cryogenically-Frozen Chicken

When I think about you, I MasturDate?

I took myself to a movie last night. Masturdation, yay!? Yeah, no. You’d think this would be cause for celebration. Alas, no, for I watched a “film” that I never intended to see. One of those where you see a teensy snippet of a preview, and you go…”That looks stupid as fuck.” You scornfully scoff at the screen, because your cinematic tastes are far too refined for such drivel. So why, pray-tell, did I take myself out to see Passengers?

passengers
Even the poster is lame. Oh. Yay. I can’t wait to gleefully sit through two hours of this movie now that I’ve been pseudo-intensely stared at by the headshots of these two. Where do I sign up?

The Build-Up

Why. The Fuck. Would I do this to myself? I’ll tell you why. One of my besties (yes, I said “besties,” because I’m pretty sure it will annoy the shit out of him) is a bully. That’s right. The author of stupidityhole bullied me into going to see this “film.” You see, he wanted me to be enlightened by the…no. I just snorted. No. I can’t even finish that sentence. He wanted me to share in his misery about this film, because that’s how bullies behave!

I wasn’t gonna do it. No. Fucking. Way. I’ve been wanting to take myself to a movie, but not this…this thing.

I refused. I outright refused.

And then he said the three magic words. You guessed it. “Cryognically-frozen chicken.” Motherfuck. I was undone, and he knew it. He refused to tell me what that meant. I’d simply have to see the film now in order to understand that. So. Over the course of, I dunno…a couple days. (He says it was more like an hour. Pfft.) He tormented me by randomly blurting out, “cryogenically-frozen chicken”…or…”ice-cold bock-bock if you prefer.”

And I caved. WHO WOULDN’T?! I had to know what the fuck he was on about. Look, I’m weak, okay? I mean. What the fuck is he talking about?! ARE THERE CHICKENS IN CRYO-CHAMBERS?! WILL THEY FROLIC AROUND IN SPACE?! IS THIS A MOVIE ABOUT SPACE-CHICKENS?! OHMYFUCK I’VE SEEN THE FUTURE, AND IT’S CRYOGENICALLY-FROZEN CHICKEN! Fucking hell. This is what happened to my brain after being bullied for days. Weeks. Months. (Maybe two hours.)

So I acquiesced: I’d see the “film.” I’d resist the urge(s) to walk out before it was over. And I’d sit through at least forty-five seconds of the end-credits. I already knew, going in, that this was probably all some big trick. One of the many schemes I’m subjected to on the regular.

In Dreams become…

Two or three days ago. Maybe last week. Look, we already know I’m shit with time, okay? At some point in the not-so-distant past, I even dreamed about this shit.

In the dream, I saw the damn cryobock movie and never understood the cryochicken reference. I panicked. In the dream. Because I knew what this would mean. That shit would make me watch it again!

Also in the dream, Laurence Fishburne looked just like his Morpheus character from The Matrix and simply wandered around, shaking his head and muttering “damn” at random, unexpected intervals. (We can also blame this one on stupidityhole, who told me “Morpheus is in the movie. And he says, “damn.” Now you have to see it.”) (What is wrong with me?)

At another point in the dream, Laurence Fishburne was actually more like HAL in 2001. And all throughout the ship, anytime something pseudo-dramatic happened, his voice would echo throughout the ship…”Daaaamn.”

I woke in a cold sweat. Holy fuck. Okay. The Fishburne/Morpheus/HAL shit was funny. But missing out on cryobock and being heckled eternally until I watched it again? Fuck. This can’t happen.

…Reality (Spoilers ahead and blah blah)

It was all I could do to stay awake during this…this thing. But I knew falling asleep would be signing my death warrant (aka: having to see this fucker again). And oh did I get restless. I even messaged stupidityhole shit like this randomly during the movie:

MAY I PLEASE WALK OUT

FUCKINGBAUXIENENSLJDBWIXKSN

OHMYFUCKINGPLEASE

-Something about punching his face off.

And, SHOCKER, he didn’t reply to any of those. He was reveling in my misery. Fucker.

Space Ghost Notes

I entertained myself by jotting little notes on my phone. Would you like a sampling? Sure you would!

Jock wakes after asteroid collision
Wonder how long it will be before they show his ass

Ship is to travel 120 years (total) and can’t get through a MFing asteroid belt?

CALLED IT. Jock boy nudie shower shot.

Oooo Bob Dylan music playing…while Jocky McGee models clothes?!
What the fuck am I watching

HOW COULD BOB DYLAN AGREE TO LEND HIS MUSIC TO THIS
Thank you for a moment of peace Bobby

Bartender android
Yay

He passenger not crew
Jim

I do like the scene where he wanders out in space, thinking, feeling, lost…adrift, afraid, alone, desperate, hopeless

Nearly suicides afterward w/o spacesuit
I would too if I was in this fucking movie

He woke blondie on purpose!
Year later

FUCKING SPACE-STALKER

Also WHERE’S THE FUCKING CRYOBOCK! I WANT CRYOGENICALLY-FROZEN CHICKEN RIGHT NOW I NEED TO LEAVE

He mechanic
She writer

“It’s the ultimate geographical suicide.” This is her line, and she’s a writer?! i’m gonna piss myself

Hm. I wonder when spacehumping begins

ohmyfuck
dance competetions
basketball
swimming
bar scenes
movies

I’M SORRY HE WENT WOMAN SHOPPING FOR FUCKS SAKE AND SHE HAD NO CHOICE

space flying yay

CUE SPACE HUMPING
CALLED IT
ugh lots of space humping

OH YAY! MORPHEUS!
“How long were you alone?”
~ A year
“Still…daaaaaaamn”

OKAY. I GOT MY DAAAAAMN. WHERE’S THE FUCKING CHICKEN?!

how many times do i have to watch blondie swim?!?!?!
crazy half-naked gravity field failure in pool
yay i get to watch blondie suspended in a spacebubble…dangling in her swimsuit
on the bigscreen

WHY AM I HERE

Ship falling apart
that wasn’t predictable at all
morpheus bites the dust
holes in the ship

“How’s that even happen? I thought this ship was supposed to be meteor-proof.”
“I guess one got through.”

who the hell wrote these lines

There was one other dude in the theater. He either fell asleep or slid down in his seat to whack it to spacehumping. Ew. He’s nasty. Nasty dude. Bad.

Three chicks came in at some point. Looked like mom and two daughters. They laughed at the “serious” moments. That was entertaining.

In conclusion… NO. JUST. NO.

So remember that dream I told you about?’

Yeah.

Sometimes dreams do come true.

No. Fucking. Idea. What the hell he meant by “cryogenically-frozen chicken.”

Credits start, and I’m thinking…it better be in the forty-five seconds of this he told me to sit through.

I’m the last one in the theater. The others hauled ass.

I sit through half the credits.

Nada.

I get up. Walk down the aisle and am about to leave. But then, I think…what if this is part of the trick? I’ve sat through all this, no way am I leaving yet.

Prop myself against the wall (ewww, why is it sticky?) and watch – EVEN READ – the credits until it’s completely over. Screen goes black. Lights come on.

There’s a simple solution to all this.
I’m gonna kill him.

Aftermath

Best part?! My car is stranded there at the theater. The snowstorm that was supposed to start at 10 PM started several hours early.

Yeah. I called an uber, and he got me almost “home.” Then I walked the rest of the way. Only about half a mile. Was kind of fun, actually.

Car is still there, because there’s been over a foot of snow where I am, and I can’t get out.

But I got to be out and about in the snowstorm! Driving around Portland, chatting with a cool driver. Then walked the rest of the way in the snow!

AND I STILL DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK STUPIDITYHOLE MEANT BY CRYOGENICALLY-FROZEN CHICKEN.

You know what he said, right? Guess you’ll have to see it again, hey? Dreams do come true! Or something.

Expletives ensued.

Question for Peopleaneous

Did anyone see this movie and actually LIKE it? I’d love to know what the hell I missed that has like twelve people on earth raving about it.

 

Masturdation Take 2: Date Night with Deadpool

First, for my writing and your reading pleasure:

Friday the 15th, I took myself out for a date. A masturdate, that is. Since I was already scheduled to be off work that day, I decided to make the best of it. There was an afternoon showing of Deadpool, which was good…because my anxiety levels are nowhere near low enough to masturdate on a Friday night when the place is packed with touchy-feely couples.

Unlike my Date Night with Bill Murray, my Date Night with Deadpool had a few people in the theater aside from myself. So. Let’s see. There was me – the only solo chick there to watch Deadpool. Then there were about eight or so solo dudes there. And there were two couples: one young teenage couple, and one couple with what looked to be a seven or eight year old little boy. Y’all. This is Deadpool we’re talking about, not TMNT. It took them until halfway through to realize they’d made a mistake…in spite of the fact that it was obvious on the opening credits.

Anyway.

Deadpool.

Deadpool

I’ve never really gotten the appeal of Ryan Reynolds, as either an actor or as a hot piece of ass. But uhm. Yeah. Deadpool changed my mind. I’m not into Ryan Reynolds, but I definitely would fuck Deadpool to death. TO DEATH. That filthy mouth, the irreverence, the silliness, and yes the ass.

This isn’t going to be a review, because I’d rather talk to y’all about parks and shit. Not shit. I mean parks and shit. Not parks and poop. You know? Yeah, you know.

I laughed my ass off during the flick. It was interesting, because no one was laughing. So I felt self-conscious and tried to will myself not to laugh. Then I said fuck it. This shit is funny.

And you know what happened?

When I started laughing at funny shit, so did others. It’s as though we all had the same anxiety. The same reservation.

So me and this one dude in particular laughed at pretty much the exact same shit all throughout the movie.

The flick was filthy, vulgar, bloody, laden with sexual innuendo and overt sexual references. In other words, I wanted to marry it. Deadpool was so fucking funny I wanted to marry it.

I needed the humor. The filth. The irreverence. It made it worth striking out on my own. I didn’t even wear my hoodie, y’all. I laughed and had a blast and realized that when someone tries to tear you down, it’s best to realize it’s not about you. It really isn’t. So go out, masturdate and be like Deadpool.

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P.S. Guess what?! I totally wrote this from work. So if the site is working up here tomorrow, I’ll get to the one about my little park visits and share some piccies!