It’s the current Netflix craze. And for good reason. Please note there are some spoilers.
13 Reasons Why, based on the book of the same name by Jay Asher, is a dual timeline, riveting mystery that tells the story of Hannah Baker-a high school girl who commits suicide but leaves 13 tapes to the 13 people that helped her reach her point of suicide, each tape a worse reason than the former. But she isn’t the whole story. There are various subplots that intertwine between these 13 people, an extra step beyond the book if one of those people who compare. One could argu Clay Jensen, the person who gets possession of the tapes during the show, is the second protagonist since we are on this journey with him.
13 Reasons Why is a powerful piece on the impacts of bullying, social media and more serious issues such as mental issues, rape and suicide. The characters are relate-able. You can see yourself as both the victim and those who hurt the victim. It helps you realize and further understand that even the smallest action could create the greatest negative impact on the other person, whether it be positive or negative, living or passed.
The plots, though a tad exaggerated at times, is a true depiction/no BS conjecture of high school life in the 21st century. Social media, lack of help from the officials and bullying are major things that play important roles in today’s high school scene. What’s interesting is the fact that Hannah’s truth is not necessarily the whole truth. Throughout the show, you are feeling bad for Hannah and wish revenge on those who hurt her, but the back of your mind is left in doubt. These events are told through the eyes of one person. Clay authenticates some of the memories as he was also a witness to some of the events, but there are many that leave you wondering “did that really happen?”. It does not (or does, if you are thinking of the quality of suspense the show instills) help that the other 12 people are either trying to hide their actions, indifferent, or too scared to come out.
Finally, the music is amazingly awesome. The creators use British punk music to add to the psychological aspect, especially with Clay as he embarks on the road to mental insanity. You get flashback bands like Joy Division. You get indie bands like Lord Huron, whose “The Night We Met Met” is hands down the best song in the whole show as it is during Clay and Hannah’s slow dance scene. And you know my love for The Cure.
With this show, you are not getting Disney pixie dust with this show. The last three episodes are graphic. The production team did not sugar coat rape and suicide. They emphasized it to the point your heart is wrenching itself while you cannot stop yourself from experiencing the emotion of sadness. There’s a reason Netflix rates it TV-MA. Parents, if you have young teens, I would recommend watching the show with them. It could be a great moment to teach a few valuable life lessons.
Cross your fingers that there is a season 2.