Topic Tuesdays: Random

Let’s Talk: Season 2 of “13 Reasons Why”.

Hey guys, welcome back to TNTH!

*This post contains minor spoilers regarding the second season*

As many of you may know, the second season of 13 Reasons Why started streaming on Netflix last Friday. While many people decided not to watch another season of last year’s most controversial show, I decided to do so for many reasons why. (Did you get the pun?)

Anyway, I wanted to see this season because I was now truly invested in all of these characters stories and because this season was not a part of the original season and its novel, it felt a lot like watching someone’s fan-fiction of these characters, and I like that a lot. If you didn’t read my post about the first season last year, you can read that here.

Photo Credit: Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why

The first season left me with a lot of emotions, and it brought back memories of my own that I thought I was over for years now, and maybe I am over them, but the scar will always leave a reminder that it happened. A lot of things in the first season scarred me; a lot of the things that were depicted in the first season were graphic and in my opinion: necessary. I’m not saying two rape scenes and a suicide one didn’t do anything for me, but it did put me in a place where I first saw the reality of what it was like being in those situations, and many viewers probably haven’t either. Do I think they could’ve gave their viewers a better warning, most definitely, and the show learned from their first mistake and made sure to let viewers know this time around what was expected.

Because now we know what to expect from a show like 13 Reasons Why, we could prepare ourselves better this time around while watching it. Let me tell you I binge-watched the entire first season by pulling an all-nighter, and when I finished the show literally 9 o’clock that morning, I was a complete wreck. The show stuck to me longer than it should’ve, and eventually I actually started to feel a bit of sadness myself because of it. This time around, I made sure I gave myself time to take a break from it every now and then and return once I felt ready. A lot of the discussions between the characters made me really think about myself, and a lot of those times that’s when I had to stop and gather myself before proceeding. This is a really heavy show that I believe not everyone can handle and watch, and that’s perfectly fine. For those who can, make sure you take what is shown and start a conversation about mental health.

With that being said, the second season felt a little bit more laid-back, if I could even call a show like this that word. Despite the bathroom scene in episode 13 from 37:00-39:00 which I forced myself to fast forward because I didn’t want to see literal torture, the show just dealt with a lot of drama and a lot around the case on trial. In a sense, a lot of the situations these teenagers were putting themselves to felt a bit disconnecting and weird in my eyes (I mean, the fact that these kids were missing school left and right to handle their shit without repercussion felt odd to me). Also, the interactions these kids had with their parents and other adults felt a little off as well. It felt like the teenagers weren’t even teenagers, but young adults in the middle of their college careers.

Another thing that bothered me a little about this season is that the acting didn’t hit as hard for me like it did in the first season. But with that being said, a complete standout for me this season was Brandon Flynn’s character, Justin Foley. In season one, absolutely no one was rooting for Justin; many of us (including myself) was happy in a way that Jessica told him to fuck off after what happened at the party. This season, he’s a completely different person and not because he’s a recovering addict, but we see him grow throughout the entire season, and we see just how there’s always two sides to one story. Brandon Flynn did his thing this season and because of his acting, I am completely invested to see where he goes from here on out.

Regarding the story-line of Bryce Walker and Jessica Davis and the incident that happened in the first season, I personally feel like how that plot went about was realistic and connecting. Anyone who is a victim of sexual assault, no matter how minor or severe, feels as if they are stuck. We as viewers saw Jessica think out loud all of the second season, and I really liked that. Reporting sexual assault isn’t the same as telling someone someone stole your lunch money or something; this is opening up about something that personally affects you and the way you’ll live your life, and the fact that half these women who are brave enough to even speak up end up not getting the justice they deserve or get slut-shamed for “being a certain way” or “looking a certain way”. The show makes it known that in the midst of the #MeToo movement that sexual harassment/assault, toxic masculinity, consensual sex, and feminism being about empowering every woman (including intersectional), be added to the list of conversations we need to be having in this day and age.

And now some of my biggest concerns regarding the season:

Photo Credit: Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why

Let’s put this out there: the bathroom scene in the 13th episode was absolutely unnecessary and felt like a filler to add shock value to a show notorious for having one. The two rape scenes AND the suicide scene in the first season was a lot already, yet the second season really needed to add something so horrific and disturbing that at first placed my judgement on even watching the show. Personally, I feel like the show treated Tyler poorly, and not because of that bathroom scene. The show depicted Tyler as a kid who was quickly spiraling down to the point where he wanted to commit a mass shooting at the high-school. Again, a very sensitive topic this day and age knowing that just this past Friday 10 students were killed at a high-school by a mass shooter. What the show did to Tyler as a character was show us the typical “personality” and “reasons” a student would want to commit mass murder. Tyler was socially awkward, quiet, he kept to himself, he was bullied, he didn’t really have any friends, he was smart, and he was ultimately a loner who tried to be something he was not and couldn’t get out of it because he was already going through so much. While most of the people on Hannah’s tapes stood together into fighting for justice for both Hannah, Jessica, and many of the other girls who Bryce presumably raped, Tyler was excluded from that group, finding other ways to seek justice which ultimately was the most harmful way at it. Because I didn’t watch the two minutes that the bathroom scene was, I don’t know what was Monty’s motive for doing what he did to Tyler, but it felt like kicking someone down when they are already down to the ground. It just felt like there was no drive behind the fact that the show wanted some ammo (not literal) to throw in the fact that Tyler was gonna perform a mass murder.

Regarding that last line, the way that the incident was handled once Tyler got to the school felt very unrealistic. What teenage boy in their right mind is going to stand in front of a semi-automatic rifle, pleading for the shooter to stop what he’s going to do? Stopping someone before shooting up a public school isn’t the answer in how we are going to stop mass shootings in public schools. Doing a goddamn thing about gun control and access to guns is the conversation we need to be having. Clay telling Tyler that “having people talk about it for a week and then forget about it until the next school shooting” was really fucking real, but I just don’t know. The last few minutes of the last episode felt a bit “PSA on an after-school program”-ish for me. I feel like the season should’ve ended with Tyler driving to the school and have the kids who are at the school who know about Tyler’s plan look at each other like “what the fuck are we gonna do?” It would’ve allowed writers to sit down and handle what was gonna happen a year in advance before the next season (which I know there will probably be). The ending they decided on felt too disconnected and out of the entire season, in my opinion.

Other than that, I feel like this season was a good one for people who like the characters and wanted to see these characters beyond the pages depicted in the novel. I really enjoyed getting to know Hannah a bit better and see how she was through other people’s eyes and their interactions with Hannah before her suicide. What the book more so does is depict Hannah as a victim who did nothing wrong besides get involved with the wrong people and because of those said people, she killed herself. What this season introduces to us is a side of Hannah many of us aren’t familiar with (even Clay), but we are reminded that suicide victims are human too: they make mistakes and they are capable of hurting people too.

If you’re invested in these characters, I say watch the season with caution, still. Know whether or not you want to see certain parts. Make sure you take breaks in between episodes. Know that it’s okay that you do not think this show is good for you to watch regarding your own reasons why. It’s just a show trying to start up conversations that many people aren’t strong enough to start. 

-Liz. (:

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

SAS: Let’s Talk about Triggers. (4/28/18)

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Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH.

Last week, I wrote a post talking about speaking up about mental health and becoming more aware of it so that the process of seeking help wouldn’t be as difficult. I admit that it took me years to finally put my pride to the side and to reach out for professional help for some anxiety I’ve developed over the last couple of years. With that being said, I wanted to talk about something that was once the running joke on the internet: triggered.

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I personally don’t know where this “joke” started, but I started to notice a lot of the YouTubers that I watched starting to mimic the joke, or simply use the word in everyday conversation in the context that the joke was portraying it as. At first, I will admit, I didn’t see the harm in it. I didn’t see the harm in it until people started to use it in the context that if they saw an actual person “triggered” in a situation, that person’s trigger was looked at being a joke. Many people who deal with mental illnesses and have their own triggers started to speak about and express their distaste for a joke that clearly wasn’t funny. Just like everything trending on the internet, it eventually died, and “shook” took its place and all seemed right in the “internet trending meme world.”

But to some degree, triggers will never be taken seriously because of it and it is up to you to surround yourself with people who will.

Continue reading “SAS: Let’s Talk about Triggers. (4/28/18)”

Important

Thirteen Reasons Why.

Yes. I hopped on the bandwagon and binge-watched all 13 episodes of the Netflix Original Series, Thirteen Reasons Why and I actually haven’t slept because I’ve been watching it all night. It honestly made me write this post minutes after I finished the series because the series as a whole is so fucking important to tell, especially in today’s society.

I guess here are my thirteen reasons why the series and storyline are super important and how honestly left me thinking about my own experience once being a 17-year-old teenage girl in high school.

I’ve read the book about three years ago during the winter break. I got the recommendation from an actress, actually, who I was following at the time. As many of you know, Thirteen Reasons Why is about a girl named Hannah Baker, a 17-year-old high school junior who commits suicide and leaves behind a set of cassette tapes, explaining the 13 reasons (and people) that caused her to take her own life. I warn you now, the last 5 episodes of the series is extremely graphic; showing scenes of rape, abuse, and a very graphic suicide scene. If you are triggered by these sensitive topics, then watch at your own risk, honestly.

Continue reading “Thirteen Reasons Why.”

Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

Why “Find Our Girls” is So Important.

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There are teenage girls, specifically black and latina teenage girls, who are going missing in Washington D.C. These missing reports are linked to the ongoing issue of human and sex trafficking. These girls who go missing are most likely being sold. Human beings are being sold as sex slaves. These young girls who still have so much life to live are being SOLD AS SEX SLAVES.

Why is there little to no media coverage on it?

Why do women get the short end of the stick when they’re in danger? Why does a social media platform such as Twitter help find a girl named Kennedi who has once been kidnapped a few weeks ago in Baltimore, but not when the missing person report is initially made? Why is social media the only place out there right now concerned about these missing girls?

Don’t you guys realized these are daughters of mothers, sisters of sisters, nieces of aunts, friends of friends. These girls are not just objects that aren’t real just because you can’t feel them yourself. What would you want to do if this was someone you knew?

In any given circumstance, a disappearance of a girl never seemed to be important to media unless she was a white girl. Think back at all the famous kidnapping cases you can think of: Elizabeth Smart, Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight, Jaycee Dugard. They are notably all white teenage girls. Why don’t Black & Latina women get the coverage that they deserve?

The reality of it is that “things like this happen all the time to young women”. You know, because we love getting manipulated, raped, kidnapped, killed, and all the other possible things society thinks we love!

You don’t know how real it is until it hits you.

Last night while coming home from school, I got off at my usual bus stop to wait for another bus that takes me straight home. Usually, there are other people waiting for the same bus as me and we all carry on with our lives once the bus arrives. Note: the buses run every 30 minutes, so I’m usually left waiting for 30 minutes for a bus, or I end up getting in on time. Yesterday, the bus was 10 minutes away from the bus stop I was at.

When I got off the bus, I notice this man standing alone by himself at the bus stop. I usually never stand too close to people on bus stop because I respect personal space. Anyway, I stand a good 10 feet away from this man, until I see him turn in my direction, facing me. Usually, when people do that they are trying to ask for directions – so I took my headphones to hear what he had to say. Initially, I couldn’t tell if he knew any English until I heard him actually speak English, but he was slurring his words like crazy. Oh man, he’s drunk, isn’t he? I told myself as I was trying to comprehend what the hell he was trying to say. Once I actually understood what he was trying to say, I gave him the directions and proceeded on my night. Every time he tried talking to me, he got closer to me, asking me the same question over and over in a very particular way; every bus that came by he didn’t go on. He started to talk to me even louder but in a more aggressive tone as I try to mind my own business and pay no mind to him. By the time he was close enough to me so that I was able to smell the alcohol on him, I started to feel my gut telling me to do something.

I was in this constant thought of what I should do next: If I leave to go to another bus stop 5 blocks away I might miss the bus but if I stay here any longer he might get on the bus with me and I don’t want that happening– I honestly didn’t know what to do. I sent Obie an S.O.S text to call me immediately so that at least I have someone on the other end of the conversation. So I’m just trying to have a conversation with him, and this man gets even closer; he’s about a foot away from me now and he’s now looking at me with this certain look. He just kept staring at me with his aggressive, glossy look and talking under his breath, nodding his head at me and now I’m at a loss for words; I’m tensing up and this man can see it. Obie is trying to guide me out of it, and sooner or later, I say to Obie, “Hey, where are you?” Clearly, Obie is confused as fuck, not knowing what’s going on, and I just kept saying “Where are you? I’m about to meet up with you.”  Eventually, he caught on and when I was turning the corner to walk away from the bus stop, I finally told Obie that I got out of there and I was walking to a different bus stop. After what felt like forever, I got home and immediately just started crying.

The fact of the matter is, anything could’ve happened. He could’ve been aggressive to the point he pulled out a knife. He could’ve threatened me. He could’ve followed me when I walked away. Life just happens in unfortunate ways, and things could have gotten worse.

God forbid if I became just another statistic that no one spoke about.

I relate this to what’s happening in D.C. because situations like that aren’t so blatantly out there now, but they still happen all the time to young girls and women. They are in fake job offerings, drive-bys, they are in people who simply need help with directions. And nobody is taking it as seriously as it should be because “things like that happen every single day”.

Yeah, young girls getting kidnapped happen every single day. Young girls getting sexually assaulted happen every single day. Young girls running away or disappear happens every single day. BUT NO ONE IS DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT. 

Instead, hashtags are being made in order for top notch news platforms notice it and put it in their 10 o’clock news slot. Twitter and Facebook (as bad as social media can be for a person at times), remind everyone each and every day that these girls are still missing and are not backing down to help find them and bring them home. Instead, many women and young girls who’ve been sexually assaulted or harassed still remain silent because they know nobody cares to do them any justice. (Nah, instead people think we cry out “rape!” for the attention and want to humiliate ourselves.) Instead, many young girls and women end up dead within 72 hours because there’s simply no more we can do. Instead, we are put in the back-burner behind Kardashian/Jenner gossip, Donald Trump nonsense, and what new iPhone is coming out next.

There’s just simply no time for the safety of our girls, huh?

If only we mattered more. If only we “knew better.”

-Liz (: