13 Reasons Why…. so controversial?

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“Welcome to your tape”

Probably one of the harshest words someone can listen. 13 Reasons Why has created a big impact on all Netflix addicts, and very well deserved. This show leaves a mark, it’s emotional, raw, real, full of love and disgrace, but mostly, is revealing.

By now you’ll probably know what is about: Hannah Baker is a teenager that commits suicide and leaves 13 tapes with 13 reasons why she did it, and each tape is dedicated to one person. It may seem a bit too heavy for a TV show set in a High School, but hey, High School is harsh. Abuse is something too often hidden under social stereotypes and loser/winner labels that we keep pursuing and embracing at every step of our life. So yeah, maybe not that harsh after all.

When you’re an adult is because you (kinda) survived to adolescence and you’ve made peace with your inner fears, but those never really leave you and keep hunting you in shape of low self-esteem, emotional instability and lack of social skills. Some of us manage to live with that, maybe even seek for emotional aid like therapy, a night out with your friends or a weekend or binge watching Netflix. When you are a teenager you don’t have that many resources to keep up, to help you go through all of this and wake up the next morning feeling secure of your actions and your future, and most of all, you trust no one, not even your parents.

Bullying, aggressions, violence, verbal and nonverbal abuse are, unfortunately, a huge reality when it comes to High School. We’ve all been there, as victims and aggressors. While I was watching the show I felt how bad can be, for instance, to slut shame someone. How many times you’ve called bitch to a girl? How many times you’ve laughed at the nerd/weirdo with no social skills? Well there you go, you’ve been also in the dark side, you’ve become the bully without even notice.

I’ve been on both sides, I befriended the less fortunate and made them proud of themselves and I’ve slut shamed girls who didn’t deserve it. I’ve been pushed in school for not having a fancy haircut and for being vegetarian since age 4, but I learned to grow out of it and learned to be the best version of myself and learn self-respect (still in the making).

The point is that Hannah, as many other teenagers, has no reference, not enough tools to get out of a prison that is judgement, and even if suicide is not the best option, unfortunately, it is for many kids and teenagers who commit suicide every year (And that’s just in the US). This is a very important matter that needs to be taken care of, and the first step is to raise awareness. Is Netflix the best idea to do it? Why not? It is the leading company streaming online content and reaches millions of houses every day, perhaps is exactly the right tool that we need to start, at least, talking about the issue. Guess what, even if there’s critics, pro/cons and many articles talking about the show, some of them agree some not, we are talking about it.

Some of the scenes represented in the show are harsh, and that’s another controversy people cannot get over. Violence is represented on TV in so many ways, so many times. This is something real, happening every year in our respective countries, and it looks like it needs much more awareness than we thought. It may shock us because this is no random act of violence caused by criminals, no. The aggressors are people like you and me, people we went to school with. Our neighbors. Our family. That’s the scary part, right?

I encourage everyone to watch it. Parents, watch with your kids. And talk, talk about it. I feel one of the luckiest girls in the world because I had a mother that cared about my emotional intelligence and cared enough to seek professional help when needed. Talk about feelings and everyday problems and the fact that my mum listened to them instead of judging me, made me who I am today, and believe me, the path wasn’t easy.

I wish everyone a fulfilling experience. And please, today is the era of the internet, and for all the hate out there, there are millions of people who will hear you out, who can relate to you in so many ways, who will listen and will help you.

Love. Always. And Movies. Infinite movies.

BONUS

Some positivity to end the post with 13 tips for High School from the actors of the show.

Sense8 Christmas Special – The Wachowskis bring back holiday specials and make ’em cool.

sense8-charactersHoliday specials may be a bit cheesy, but they take a whole new meaning when The Wachowskis take over. The first time I watched Sense8 I became instantly obsessed. I’ve been a Wachowski’s fan since I was 9 years old when I watched The Matrix for the first time. All geniuses have their rough patches (Jupiter Ascending), but with Sense8 the two siblings seem to excel their career, bringing experience and the way of expression they were holding off up until now.

For all of you who don’t know about Sense8, is a science fiction TV Show created by The Wachowskis for Netflix. I guess that was the miracle we were all waiting to happen, two visionaries united to create one of the most ambitious productions of all times, the filming locations happen in 6 different continents. Eight people from eight different countries are somehow connected to each other, and while they learn to coexist and understand the reasons and facts of this unlike union, they fight their own nightmares. As a science fiction lover, I have a special interest in situations where sci-fi is treated as an everyday issue. Don’t get me wrong, I love superheroes and spaceships, but I have a weakness for common people with special abilities like we see in Heroes or Misfits.

As you know, Netflix productions are released all at once, meaning, you can binge-watch the whole season from the first day of its release. TV-on-demand has completely changed the way we consume media, especially TV Shows. The top guilty pleasure of the 21st century is to spend a whole evening/night/weekend watching and finishing a whole series, and Netflix, as good visionaries, is keeping up with their customer’s needs. This can be a bit complicated/annoying, and here’s why: For Netflix to release the whole season at once, they actually have to film and edit the whole season first, what makes the wait too long and the fans pretty upset. This gets even worse with Sense8: given its production complexity film locations happen in 8 different countries and that doubles the time of production.

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This is one of my favorite decision, to film each scene in the exact physical location. In a world where all large productions can be filmed on a green screen it’s refreshing to see things done “old school”. Locations are a character, both actors and audience impregnate from the components surrounding them, especially when bringing together so many different cultures.

That’s why one of the most refreshing things this Holidays season was the Sense8 Christmas special released December the 23rd. I am not quite sure if it was the wait long, the excitement of having a gift before the second season or that is simply an awesome show, but this is one of the episodes I’ve enjoyed the most. All of the Sense8s are either hiding from the law, from Whispers, their own nightmares or the mafia, and even if this episode helps to catch up it gives them the opportunity to sit back and relax for the holidays and especially to celebrate their Birthday big time (yeah, that’s kind of the point, they were all born the same day).

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One of the most challenging accomplishments of the show is the capability to show something as abstract as a mental connection between individuals on screen. It is actually when they all share a special moment together that this show blows my mind, and in this episode, we enjoy a few of them: The first swim, the collective birthday celebration and the last and perfect farewell: Hallelujah.

Once I’ve watched the documentary on Netflix with a bit of behind-the-scenes I understood the choreography and complexity the actors and team go through to get this fantastic result. You realize about the complexity of the situation when you’re trying to explain Sense8 to someone else (because of course, I’m encouraging all the lost souls who haven’t found the show to watch it right away) is very difficult to explain, you can’t find the right words and people may think you’re going insane. But no, is just that masterpieces are rare and art has to be watched, not explained. You may think I exaggerate calling Sense8 a masterpiece, but since Lost came out 10 years ago and blew our minds and change the history to television forever, is the first time I see an original show like nothing we’ve seen before. The Wachowskis are visionaries, I thank them for have changed and keep changing the perception of the world the way we know it (at least for us westerns).

The Best: The fight scenes. The incredible choreography work when characters swap.
The Worst: In the upcoming seasons we have a character change… no one likes that. But I understand sometimes is necessary.
Info: Season 2 is coming with 10 new episodes on Netflix May 5th, 2017. Mark your calendars! I know I’m not leaving the house that weekend.
Tip: A fun look behind the scenes, watch “Sense8: Creating the world” available on Netflix.

Happy F*cking New Year, everyone.

BONUS