TW: Rape, depression, suicide, bullying.
It sucked. It was terrible, it didn't move me. I know I run the risk of being seen as an insensitive bitch by posting this but life is too short to not speak my mind. And it got renewed for a second season so this post is in order. Tis needed.
When I first heard about the show, I didn't know much about it besides the fact that it was an adaptation of a book about a girl who committed suicide. I had no fucking idea that all this extra petty shit went down through the course of the story. Now, I really don't want to come off as outrageously callous when I write this post and I probably will anyway, but that show did not move me one bit. The only scenes that truly made me feel something was seeing Jeff and Hannah's parents grieving and still in utter dismay about the loss of their children. And the rape scenes. And the suicide scene a little bit. That was it. Everything else just had me staring at my Vizio smart TV with a bored expression going "girl what the fuck" every 23 seconds or rolling my eyes. Shit, half the time I was scrolling through twitter cause it was that boring sometimes. Everyone kept saying "I thought it was stupid too but wait till the end, you'll see!" I waited. And was not pleased.
I had to rewatch this show in order to take notes and really get this post right and I was honestly groaning the whole time because this show got on my nerves. This is literally the one show that I've watched all the way through, that I don't ever wanna rewatch. And that's never happened before. I love to rewatch tv shows, but this is just not doing it for me.
I know everyone's goal involved was to start the conversation on depression and bullying and suicide but I dunno, this show, the whole plot and events and its concept, it just didn't strike a cord in me and it's honestly not that realistic? Not to mention mental illness was barely talked about, when that's pretty much the main reason for suicidal thoughts. Not always, but most of the time. And this is coming from a 20 year old who's been dealing with depression, anxiety, and on-and-off suicidal thoughts since the seventh grade. I thought it was very telling and counterproductive of how they didn't give any resources to those who may be struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. The most they did was give a trigger warning before a few episodes, and that was it. They need to do better if they're gonna do a second season.
And I'm not some random ass neurotypical who doesn't understand how mental illness and lonliness works, but there was something about Hannah and the way she kept handled everything, her demeanor, that just annoyed the shit out of me the entire series. I could barely feel anything for her because she's so annoying, and I'm one of the most empathetic people on this planet. I'm not saying that to cover my ass either because I know for a fact that I'm also very caustic and bitchy as well. Hashtag duality.
There was nothing, at least to me, about her story that was heartbreakingly tragic besides Bryce The Pig raping her which I'll talk about later. The way she narrated everything and told her story during each episode.. I was waiting for some shit to pop off. I was waiting for some dramatic, traumatizing ass shit like her parents dying and being severely bullied every single day and plotted against on some Mean Girls shit x2. But none of that happened. Why? Because lowkey nobody gave a fuck about her, she was barely ever on anyone's radar which I guess was a double-edged sword for her. She wanted attention, to be seen, to be known, but at the same time she didn't.
This is gonna be a long ass post cause there's a lot that needs to be talked about. Let's start off by stating the obvious; only Bryce and Justin deserved tapes. MAYBE Courtney too but that's a grey area in itself because she kind of fucked up Hannah's rep with the whole fingering thing at the dance, but she's an Asian girl struggling with her sexuality and honestly? That garners way more sympathy from me. Not to mention Courtney has two gay dads and has witnessed never ending homophobia aimed towards her fathers but also aimed at her just for being their daughter. I can imagine she doesn't want that for herself, especially in high school.
Hannah completely ignoring and disregarding the whole ass concept of homophobia when it came to Courtney and her reputation especially as an Asian, just made me dislike her even more Honestly. Apparently no one ever knew it was them, but Courtney was still scared and rightfully so. So she kept her distance because SHE knew and she knew Tyler knew, and that he released the picture. Who knows what else he could've done. That's some scary shit. After it all went down Hannah was all, "I hoped we could be friends Courtney. I needed a friend." Okay the world doesn't revolve around you. Did you think about what Courtney needed? As an Asian girl struggling with her sexuality and not wanting the entire school to find out? Nah. You didn't. Like always. And then Clay's stupid ass when he was talking to Courtney and trying to defend Hannah was like, "it's the 21st century I don't get it, why is it so hard for you?" Heterosexuals be likeeee. Gay marriage is legal and the girls think homophobia is over. Sad! Very sad!
Bryce is a godless piece of shit that needs his ass handed to him in every way possible. Why couldn't he die instead of the father of my child and doting late husband Jeff? Like why. Bryce is hands down the worst character in the series. And the worst part is that there are thousands upon thousands of people like him in real life, and it doesn't stop at high school. They start out as an entitled jock as a result of their school gassing them up as gods for winning a few games during the season and now they think they're entitled to everything, including women's bodies. Then they go to college with the same attitude on steroids and become the campus rapist. Then they graduate and just keep doing the same shit their entire lives because no one is there to tell them about themselves.
Justin could've told Bryce about himself when he let him rape his girlfriend. But nah, he kept it a secret and the longest time and when he told Jessica? She lost it. Sis became an alcoholic. Her whole life was shattered. All because of some shitty ass faux brotherhood. When you really think about it? Everything leads back to these two. On like the very first episode when Bryce stole Justin's phone and sent those pictures of Hannah? And Justin weakly protested like *Kevin Hart voice* oooo noooo, you guys nooo come on stop. Then when it all came down to it, he says it's just jokes when there was literally nothing funny about it. Nothing. That whole thing just led to a chain reaction of events that fucked Hannah up. It was all their fault! You can fight me if you want to!
But I also wanna say for the record that dating jocks in high school is literally never a good idea anyway. They're literally dumb and have no depth whatsoever. You're literally just better off dating yourself. No good ever comes out of being with a jock. Join the chess club instead.
Lets talk about another trash character on there who deserves everything bad: that useless counselor. I don't even know his name because he's such a joblesss, useless wasteman. He was SO irresponsible and neglectful. Your whole job description is to help students and ease any tensions, but you can't even do that successfully or with any sort of empathy. Hoe why is you here? Just say you need to pay your bills and go. I'm really sick of people who have no passion for kids and education working at schools and being of no help to the students. Your presence is literally useless and you're taking up space and money from someone that could do a MUCH better job than you. Your lack of concern and effort to improving the lives of these students COSTS them their lives. Please quit.
I'm pretty sure Hannah alluded to having suicidal thoughts and being generally upset and depressed. But he wanted to play dumb on some technicalities to save his ass. "Uh well uh, technically she didn't say she wanted to kill herself-" man bullSHIT. You knew exactly what she meant when she said what she said and you still did nothing. You did nothing when Tyler came into your office telling you he was being bullied. Instead you asked "what is it that you can do to protect yourself? Is there anything you're doing that might provoke it?" Girl what the fuck? Are you serious? He might be the shittiest counselor known to man. I hope he gets fired and sued for being neglectful or some shit.
Free my mans Zach. He ain't deserve any of that bullshit. Sure he's a stupid jock who does stupid harmless shit to fit in but he has a good heart and he tried to be nice to Hannah and be her friend when they were drinking that dusty milkshake but she wanted to act like all hollywood and not speak to him. He had genuine intentions and really liked her but she literally went off on him and pushed him away. I don't blame him for giving up on her cause I've been in his shoes with guys plenty a time and it's like, I'm not gonna keep wasting my time on you trying to convince you of myself. So my mans bounced and she got upset. I don't feel bad for her in this situation and his tape was unwarranted, in my opinion.
There were many situations where I felt like Hannah was just doing the most, and I don't know why. The biggest of all being her making those tapes. Like that shit really took me out. Sis really sat down and made a fucking diagram of all the people who "hurt" her, made detailed tapes for each person, decorated it with nail polish, wrapped the shit up, and physically walked to the post office and sent them off. What the fuck? That's the most dramatic and annoying ass part to me. It's just fucking extra, it's like she killed herself to prove a point and hurt other people in the process like literally what is the point of that? I don't get it. It was very dumb and vindictive to me. The fact that she carefully planned all of that out just seemed so petty and it also had sort of a romanticized aspect to it. It was very "pretty misunderstood dead girl leaving mysteries behind" with a manic pixie dream girl twist to it. Which is even more annoying because who the fuck does all that before committing suicide.
Speaking of manic pixie dream girl, that trope NEEDS to die and I can't believe it was lowkey incorporated into this show. It's like "wannabe ultra sarcastic manic pixie dream girl who has a response for everything that she thinks is witty and clever". I just wanted her to stop talking sometimes. I've watched enough Zooey Deschanel films and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World to know what it looks like at this point. It's all just whimsical white girl bullshit, lowkey.
Another trope that needs to die is Clay, the awkward mousy white boy who's quiet as fuck for no reason. He ain't do nothing wrong, his demeanor just annoyed the fuck outta me. Speak up, child!
But back to Hannah being a drama queen, let's talk about her shitty communication skills. Because really? That was a big part of why some of the shit in this show happened. She's very passive aggressive and lets shit build up until it's too late. She did things like running out of the counselor's office and slamming her uniform on the counter literally for attention hoping someone would run after her and beg her to stay, which also screams romanticization to me. "Maybe some of you should've done more", maybe you should've communicated more instead expecting everyone to read your mind and be your knight in shining armor. Welcome to the real world Hannah, not everyone is gonna give a shit about you, your wellbeing, or your reputation. Not everyone is a good person. You can't expect that from everyone, even those around you.
I noticed how poor her communications were when the whole thing with with her, Alex, and Jessica went down. They were like the three musketeers at first but then ya know, life happened, and they grew apart. Like almost everyone does in high school. Because that's what happens in high school, you begin to explore your identity and find yourself and who you're compatible with. It's never a bad thing. It's not like Alex and Jessica straight up said to Hannah "you're lame, we're gonna join different cliques and ignore you from now on." None of that happened, they simply drifted apart and Hannah was hurt about that, but she expressed it in a very vindictive and passive aggressive way.
Hannah was being very petty about the whole situation, and Jessica was like bitch listen we not finna do this. Slapped jawn straight across the face. I don't find it fair how Hannah was mad at Jessica for not telling her about her and Alex when Hannah never went up and asked either. She never approached Jessica like "oh I didn't know you and Alex were dating now". Like neither of y'all were talking at the time, it's a two way street. If you felt so strongly about it you could've just talked about it. As you can see, communication is really not Hannah's forte and I truly believe that's what partially got her so fucked up in the end. She doesn't communicate and likes to blame everyone else for everything while not ever holding herself accountable. How do I know this? Because I have a habit of doing the same thing, and it's something I'm desperately trying to grow out of and fix because it's not healthy at all.
When she realized Alex and Jessica were dating, I feel like she really took it the wrong way and blew it out of proportion. Instead of being an ass and making him pay for a ticket and making snide remarks, she could've simply sat down with them and talked about it. Communicated like a normal human being. She acted like they got together to spite her when again, nobody was thinking about her. Had they been thinking about her, she would've been in the loop about their relationship. Oop. When it comes to drifting friendships here's the simple truth: either you try to communicate more and rebuild that friendship and try to maintain it, or you push past. You literally can't just walk through life moping and being mad at people without talking to them and expressing how you feel, cause then nothing gets solved. Nobody can read your mind and shouldn't be exppected to. Just say it with your chest.
The Alex and Jessica thing was irrelevant to me. It's all just a telltale story of "my best friend became popular and we grew apart and I went back to being a lonely loner loser". It's not new and it doesn't move me. That's literally the story of my life, been there done that. That narrative is like beating a dead horse at this point. If anything, I was always mad at myself for being so attached to a group of people instead of being okay with being by myself. Because the fact is, you're not always gonna have someone. Sometimes you're gonna be alone, and you have to learn to be okay with that and not be mad at the world and everyone around you for nothing being there for you all the time. And that's tea.
Another instance of Hannah being extra. When she spazzed out on Clay after he gave a delayed response when she asked if she could ever be as pretty as Jessica. He replied and said, "who you are now is okay", and she retorted with "wow high praise" with a lot of unnecessary snark in her voice. Like bitch listen nobody has to fucking kiss your ass 24/7. You are not the queen of sheba and you're really not that spectacular, you truly are okay at best. Jessica is prettier than you. Now what? Simmer down, girl. "You made the hot list-" "WOW REALLY CLAY? SERIOUSLY?" Like does this bitch ever know when to take a compliment? Every time Clay tries to compliment her she flips it and overreacts like a motherfucker all because he didn't say exactly what she wanted him to i.e. you're the most beautiful girl in the world. Like sis relax, jesus christ. Could not be me.
And I dunno, maybe it's because I'm a black girl who grew up in the inner city and i've unfortunately grown accustomed to getting roasted/lowkey bullied and shit, but things like "best ass" isn't something I would get upset about? Yeah it's sexualization at most but... it's really not that deep to me. Girl you got a nice butt. Fuck is you upset for.
I really and truly believe a lot of this is a white people thing. Yeah rumors spread and shit but like they never stick around, at least not in my high school. Some shit will go around and it'll be deaded in the next 3 days because nobody gives a shit anymore. We all have our own lives and shit to worry about that starts to overrun the space rumors hold in our minds. The schools in these movies are full of white people and are so close knit that everyone knows everyone's first and last name, and aaall of their business. Their parents are heavily involved in their school life and studies. They know when all their tests are and all their upcoming projects are due.
Whenever there was some stupid rumor going around about someone at my school, they literally just shrugged that shit off. It was literally never that deep to them. My school was an all-girls school with predominately black girls so if rumors were irrelevant in a place like that? Then that should tell you something. We don't be dwelling on shit like some little boy claiming he had sex with or dated one of us. We do not care. It's not that deep. White girls really do tend to blow shit out of proportion (they literally have a history of doing this let's act like we know!!), like I really believe that. "Hannah Baker's a slut! She prolly had secks with this guy one time!" like I couldn't imagine that nut ass shit have me shooketh and in shambles. You think I'm a slut cause I had sex with you? A self-drag. Life is too short. The sun is shining. I don't have time. Best ass? Me and the girls would be GASSED, like what?! Thank you so much. I'd be so flattered fym. That's one of the LEAST embarrassing things that could happen to you in my opinion.
I think I might've seen a glimpse of where Hannah gets her dramatic side from, which is her mother. When she walked into that PTA meeting and starting yelling about the writings in the bathroom walls I was like sis... no. What faculty members are in the student bathrooms checking for that shit? What student cares enough to report it to anyone? Even if they did, by the way that counselor handled Hannah I can safely come to the conclusion that not one adult in that school is competent and has the range to handle bullying or mental illness. So that was pointless to me. I don't know if y'all have ever been to any high schools in Philly but that shit is the norm. Roasting niggas on the walls in the bathroom stall is what we do. We do that shit on the desks, in the textbooks. Shit, we even do it on the trains and buses. It never ends, there's no limit. Those writings in the bathroom weren't even directed at Hannah because contrary to popular belief the world doesn't revolve around Hannah. I know, wild concept.
But I will also say that schools in america are still stupid and counterproductive as fuck when it comes to responding to and treating bullying victims and those with mental illness. Y'all decide to offer services and counseling and put up "you are not alone" posters AFTER someone commits suicide? Eh. That should always be there. There's countless stories about kids as young as like 12 years old killing themselves because of bullying. Countless documentaries documenting the lives of young victims of bullying. And these schools still act like they don't know what to do. Niggas is out here curing cancer and you big adults can't even raise your kids to be decent people. Pathetic.
But now that all of that is out of the way, let's get down to the real reason why I despise this show and Hannah. She left everyone in a frenzy of fear and unnecessary guilt with those nut ass tapes, including people like Zach and Clay who did not deserve it. Clay might've reacted to the whole ordeal worse than anyone else and he didn't even do anything! Dude was trippin on life once he found those tapes. Dissociating like a motherfucker, grades slipping, skipping school, smoking weed, all types of distractions and shit. Clay was a mess for no reason, he didn't deserve all that.
I also truly don't see how Sheri knocking down the stop sign made Hannah wanna kill herself but anything to add on to her thrilling story, I guess. Yeah I get it you were there when the sign got knocked down but you weren't driving. That wasn't your fault. Why are you carrying what should be someone else's guilt and making someone else's death about... yourself? Girl I just. I don't get the Sheri situation. I can't. Nope.
Hannah deadass guilt-tripped a lot of these people and had them fucking panicking over her death because of little dumb shit. Like okay Marcus tried to fuck and you were blind to his intentions. Welcome to the world of being a woman, honestly. It wasn't the first time and it won't be the last, girlie. Her death truly felt like it was a romanticization of revenge suicide and I'm not with it at all. A lot of the stuff on those tapes wasn't even bullying but moreso a build up of small unsavory events that happens to almost everyone throughout life that we get the fuck over eventually. I am tired.
And a final sidenote, I'm also really super fucking sick of these teen shows taking place in these ultra suburban neighborhoods with nice ass high schools with big ass gyms and cafeterias and nice neighborhood cafes and nice big bedrooms that you can climb through the window to. I wanna see some fucking papi stores and rec centers on the block. Houses without backyards and pools. fucked up ass sidewalks that you trip over every 10 steps because the city is old as fuck and too poor to ever get that shit fixed. Parents making big ass breakfasts in the morning and sitting down and eating before school? In this economy? Can't relate. The sun be up when y'all getting ready for school? Can't relate. Show me some high schoolers in the inner city eating a fruit cup, some Tru Moo, and Apple Jacks out of a plastic container with a plastic spork in the school cafeteria at 7:30am. That's the real content I wanna see.
I'll probably be back when season 2 comes out to talk more shit. Toodles till then.