Parent reviews for 13 Reasons Why

Common Sense says

Disturbing book adaptation sheds light on teen suicide.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 148 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 260 reviews
Adult Written byLewis1 April 14, 2017

Are you kidding me?

Parents, Please, please, please watch this before you let your kids even think about watching it. There are messages in this show that need to be heard, but there is nothing redeeming in how it is presented here. I knew my daughter would ask to watch it, so I sat down for the first 4 episodes. That was enough. She did ask, because, "all the kids at school are watching it". No, she will not see it. Once something is seen/heard, it can't be taken back. This one is best left alone.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byTalia J. April 18, 2017

Unpopular opinion

I can't believe so many people think this is "great for kids to watch". The content is the content...language, rape, alcohol, drugs. That's not what concerns me. I just don't understand the message. A girl commits suicide and decides to tell 13 people why they caused it? Some of whom are deserving of a lifetime of mental torture knowing they were her "why", but most are not. Regardless, that's what she's decided they deserve. They deserve to know they played a role. Terrible concept. Most of these kids did nothing to warrant the lifetime of mental anguish she's decided they deserved. I hate the concept. I don't think there is any worthy message other than to treat people with kindness because you never know what other issues they have going on. In this girl's case, they really should have highlighted her obvious mental health issues at the core of this decision. Rather, the focus is on how friends didn't care about her enough. There is some heavy reasoning towards the end, but outside of that they show is focused on laying blame on others for her decision to kill herself. Look out kids, you stop being friends with someone, reject them romantically or never tell them you love them...well, you may end up on someone's tapes. My kids won't be watching.
Parent of a 8 and 14 year old Written byAmber G. April 4, 2017

Important subject matter but presented with graphic content

I feel that this show dealt with an important subject matter. I do feel like the message was more to treat others kindly vs suicide not being the answer. It's repeatedly discussed that if something had been different, the main character wouldn't have killed herself. I don't feel entirely comfortable with that message. That works well if you're the bully, but if you're being bullied, I do worry that you could feel the suicide is justified. Because of this I think this series is more appropriate for a high school student vs a middle school one. There is also a lot of cursing and very graphic sexual assaults as well as the actual suicide being shown. Again- be aware of prolonged, detailed rape scenes- thrusting, panties being removed, etc, as well as a close shot, detailed scene of wrist slitting. This could start an important dialogue with your child but I definitely think it's more appropriate for older kids and that the parent should discuss their child's interpretation of the series with them.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written byMommaG3 April 14, 2017

Great series, great message but sadly, due to explicit nature, will miss the ages needed to see it most.

All the kids in school are watching this, 11 and up, without parents knowing. So I wanted to see for myself. I'm only on episode 8 so far BUT.... THIS IS NOT FOR YOUNGER AUDIENCES. The message is good but there is way to much (sex, nudity, masturbation, drugs, drinking, rape, bullying, suicide, cussing, violence, etc..) for a younger audience. I'm sad because the overall message (how you treat people, no matter how small something you think is....can have dire and lasting effects on them) is good but the audience needing to see this can't because of the explicit nature of the show. Semi appropriate for 16+ but the message should be heard by age 10. This is a show for high schoolers only. *edited to add: I finished the series and for all of you saying its fine for younger kids, its no worse than what they see on YouTube or what they talk about on TV..... you CLEARLY did not watch the series. Do not let anyone under 16 watch this.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byColton W. April 20, 2017

Outstanding

This is an amazing 1 series TV show that shows the depths of teen suicide that we're all too scared to talk about. I feel that this show is a must see for anyone in 6th grade and up so they can understand how powerful the things they say and do can be. Quite a bit of cursing but I wouldn't say too much because it's set in high school.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 8 and 13 year old Written byTricia C. April 4, 2017

Real Life Portrayal

Great message. Really stuck with me. Very intense subject matter but the message was beautifully given and can be an amazing conversation starter. There are a couple of rape scenes that are disturbing and my daughter wasn't allowed to watch those, nor did she want to. When the flashbacks came she looked away as they are very short. So be aware of those. As a parent, the role of the School District in this was disturbing, as their cover it up attitude and the actions of School Counselor remind me of the same as the School District my kids are in. It is clearly something that happens everywhere which is so scary or they wouldn't have portrayed their role that way. I as a parent could relate to most of the content based upon what High school was like when I attended a few decades ago and it helped me see how much climates and cultures in schools have changed. My oldest daughter is in Middle school and I can see where a lot of similarities are happening there already.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written byElla M. April 23, 2017

A Show That You Must Watch For Teens And Up

This show is very good, and I just need to put that out there. There are many, many mature themes, but this is the perfect show to watch with your teen if you want to have important conversations (some of which could help your kid). There are some good role models, (pretty much just the main) but even they do some iffy things. There is some swearing, drinking, drug use, and violence. But the most disturbing (and realistic) thing about this show are the way it shows depression, suicide, and rape (which are all shown throughout the show, but very rarely graphic). The main themes of this show are depression and suicide, which will is why I think many parents won't let their kids see this show, but this is exactly why teens should see this. Watch this show could make topics such as depression and suicide much less taboo, and make it so your child feels comfortable talking to you if they are going through any of these terrible things. There are two graphic scenes in this show which are (SPOILERS) a rape scene (there are 2 but the second one is much more graphic, although no nudity is shown) and the scene where Hannah (the main girl) slits her wrists. Both of those scenes where very hard to watch, but I would never ever skip them, for they were meant to be that way. The way I see this show is that some parents will think that watching this show could make their kids depressed or suicidal, but the truth couldn't be further away from this. If your teens see this they will open up to you in ways that you could never imagine, and talking to them may just make them happier or stop them from doing something terrible. This show is a must see with your teens, so if your kids are 7th grade or older I beg you to watch this with them maybe not to be entertained, (which you will because the story and people in this show are impossible not to watch) but to make their life better and to have a more open relationship with them. Thank you se much for reading

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 9 year old Written byCommon S. May 3, 2017

All about ratings and not about our youths future

This is another example of how the entertainment industry will go to any length to get ratings, they are not concerned about the well being of our young people. Teen suicide is a huge problem and this type of show feeds off of the problem. The producers, actors and the networks should be ashamed of themselves. Remember people the young people of today will be making decisions about your welfare one day, invest in them in a positive way.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written byk s. April 21, 2017

Unsettling & Revolting

This series crosses the line for children 16 and under, by scenes of rape, drug use and a student writing a graphic organizer justifying reasons the good and bad people in her life made suicide justifiable (??) It attempts to resolve that she assumed things about them that had she lived she would have found happiness and first love that did not happen, but unfortunately where the book succeeds the movie fails. It's approach and use of party scenes and drunk driving glamour ides this life to young viewers (?) instead shows them only 1 view' of what's "out there." Abysmal.

This title contains:

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byCameron E. April 5, 2017

Very disturbing but necessary portrayal of teen bullying, suicide and sexual abuse

This show is fairly different from its source material. It's often very graphic and does not apologize for it. Nor should it. This is an important show that everyone should watch... But not for the young or faint of heart. There are depictions of graphic suicide and rape and they are things that anyone under 15 should not be seeing play out. Either way, would definitely recommend!
Parent of a 12 and 15 year old Written byKristin M. April 29, 2017

Necessary discussion

While I know this contain difficult subject matter, it unfortunately occurs in our world. By sheltering our children from these harsh realities of life we are doing a disservice as parents. Parents need to fully inform their children of the good and bad. They need to know that they always have someone to talk this. This is one thing the movie also showed, no kid thought they could discuss problems with a parent. If one of my children had a horrific thing happen to then and felt they could not come to me then i would be dissapointed in myself as a parent. We can not blame a film for discussing topics that wr as parents are afraid to bring up.
Adult Written byDanielle C. April 7, 2017

Great Series but definitely for the more mature

This series is really great to watch and definitely binge-worthy. The message behind the story is one that everyone should know and understand. Since it is based on high school kids, there is some strong language pretty frequently through the whole season. There are two scenes that involve sexual assault, although they do not show any body parts other than a boys behind. There is also a scene which shows a character commuting suicide and it is very graphic and difficult to watch. To give a better understanding rating wise, if this were a movie I would definitely think it should be rated R for mature content.

This title contains:

Language
Adult Written byNita M. April 11, 2017

Don't get the book review mixed up with the Netflix series!

Tough subject matter with an important message. With Selena Gomez being a producer of the series it has a younger audience interested. Many parents I know have inadvertently looked at the common sense review of the book, which gives a rating of 14+ and doesn't have the same ratings on the contents with regard to the graphic nature of the series. Many are realizing it to late after giving the ok. I think more mom's and daughters will be the largest audience to watch this series which is too bad because I really believe it could send a very important message to high school boys.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written byJenny F April 1, 2017

Could be worse.....

It's definetly nothing worse in terms of language and being explicit then 8th graders would be exposed to on the internet, like YouTube or social media. There is quite some cussing but that's such a normal thing in middle schools these days. Some sexual talk but really again nothing worse than what they most likely hear from each other at school.
Parent of a 9 year old Written byLori H. April 14, 2017

VERY GRAPHIC

This story is problematic for many reasons - it is extremely graphic and certainly not appropriate for young teens, if anyone. Second, the series is building to an understanding of why Hannah committed suicide - it felt to me like they were building up to something exciting. Very disturbing and the nuanced view of suicide will keep me from recommending this.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Adult Written byoutasync April 4, 2017

Teens love it but...

While the most important thing is how suicide is covered, which is decent in the case - the "F" word constantly (and so on). I am not prude, but I just don't see why that has to be a CONSTANT verbiage format. The language is habitual per peers, household and media. Trying to be "life-like" I am sure but this is another example of this language becomes "life-like", This media exploits it, beyond necessity. Otherwise it was fine for the most part. Young actors are good. But 2 stars as I am tied of the language constantly in our teens faces.

This title contains:

Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written bymommy in charge May 10, 2017

Why?

My concern with this show is the dramatic suspenseful treatment of this issue. I watched the first episode and as an adult, it both sickened me and interested me at the same time. I see what they are doing, getting the kids hooked on the suspense of the tapes, who is next? where will the story lead? Bottom line, she dies.. Kills herself. The really ridiculous thing is I want to watch the next episodes. Not to see how her choices effected others but to see what others did to her to influence her to make this choice. It feels voyeuristic and creepy. It feels like there is a problem that needs to be solved, but there isn't. But I have to ask, just how dead is dead when she is being conjured up at every turn by the charachters in their minds. And she is the voice on all the tapes. She is such an active participant in the series. Too active. My kid is watching it at school with her friends on their computers when teachers aren't looking, I am sure of it. Cant stop that. I have discussed it with her and got the eyes rolling and the you're too protective speech. But my message to her was death is final, there is no future. Suicide is not something that should be glamorized or taken lightly. She has a right to life and should protect that with all her might. yes, yes we are talking about it. So what? Does that make this a great decision for the folks who made it or Netflix picking it up for another year? Uh no. Not worth it unless they get real busy about showing these kids what a real dead person looks like. Did they include the autopsy, the coolers, the funeral parlor, the preparation of the body? Nah, that would really be just too scary for these sweet children. But they should.
Parent of a 18+ year old Written bymaryme April 11, 2017

Big subject small impact

I watched this because my daughter wanted to watc it. She "heard" about it at school. Oh joy. Suicide is no trivial matter. It is often misunderstood and poorly managed in the real world let alone made for TV special. The young man seems to carry a lot of guilt as the director cuts to flashbacks and memories while interacting with our now dead by suicide narrator. This is not a program to dismiss if your child wishes to watch it. Curiosity is a powerful draw for teens. However, the nuances are complicated and intense. Your teen, and even yourself, will have trouble untangling the the thread woven through this show. I found the story to be lacking in truth of the pain one feels considering suicide including means to follow through with ending one's life. Instead I heard a lot of anger from our narrator and blame. To my eye this was more about revenge gone terribly wrong. Almost horror flick genre.
Parent Written bysteph M. April 19, 2017

13 Reasons Why - Why it misses the Mark

The good news is 13 Reasons Why has started many important conversations about teen suicide and kindness. The bad news is it completely misses the mark on the issue. There are so many issues with how suicide is portrayed in the series, my best advice is to get yourself educated before you allow your children to watch this series. Here is a useful website and an article posted by a HS teenager who struggles with depression. https://www.jedfoundation.org/13-reasons-why-talking-points/ http://chs.helenaschools.org/2017/04/18/our-response-to-13-reasons-why-o...

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byIsaac B. April 19, 2017

Wow. I do not know where to start. I was browsing through Netflix then this poped up. I clicked the pilot to soon discover that I was on Episode 13 (The last one). This story is very compelling but due to context I feel that 18+ because of lauange. 16/17 with parent blessing. This is a show that has to be talked about after you finish it. If at the end of the story you do not feel anything you need help.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Pages