Review: ’13 Reasons Why’ provides education of suicide in ‘A+’ series
April 11, 2017
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Editor’s note: “Thirteen Reasons Why” is rated TV-MA and contains graphic depictions of rape and suicide. The content may not be appropriate for young viewers.
“Thirteen Reasons Why,” now a successful Netflix series, first became well-known as a book read by many young teens. Having read the book myself in 7th grade, the series really increases the drama found in the pages to create a realistic high school thriller.
The novel, reflecting the drama and secrets of high school students, was written by Jay Asher in 2007. The story is about a girl named Hannah Baker who commits suicide, and puts the 13 reasons as to why she ended her life on cassette tapes. She sends these tapes to people who caused her to do what she did.
When I first read the book, it was hard for me to love due to the downcast feel, but it really showed the reality of how the little things can really hurt a person. The book kept me on my toes wondering what was going to happen next and who was going to be exposed for their wrongdoing. I had to read it twice just to keep up with the drama.
On March 31, ten years later, Netflix released the series “Thirteen Reasons Why” as a thriller/drama television show. The series amplifies the drama and mystery by keeping the viewer in the dark about certain events. In “Thirteen Reasons Why,” Hannah befriends the wrong people which leads to a lot of hurt. She could not take the pain caused by these people and ended her life.
The series’ main character is Clay Jensen, a friend of Hannah’s who took her death very hard and had trouble adapting to not having her as his close friend and co-worker in the show. He then receives the tapes and begins listening to them. Deciding that he wants justice for his friend, he starts talking about the tapes, which have life-changing consequences for a lot of people. A lot of the people on the tapes do not like that Clay is talking and want him to keep all their secrets in the tapes. Filled with drama and ending without much-needed resolution, the series leaves the viewer hoping for a second season.
Dylan Minnete (who plays Clay Jensen) perfectly fits this show. He showed how hurt he was and the feelings he had felt with his eyes as well as his words.
The soundtrack also really enhanced the feelings of how Hannah felt and really fits with the mood of the episodes, especially the scene where Hannah and Clay dance at the winter formal. The song really set the mood and it was adorable, until you realize she’s gone and they can’t be together.
Some scenes were really graphic, but were also necessary to understand and reflect on the seriousness of suicide. It’s a real struggle for many teens to have depression and this series really shows the struggles of feeling so small. These issues are real and they happen frequently.
This series was a good way to raise awareness and give everyone a reminder that depression and suicide can change lives and the way people treat each other matters. This series was very realistic and relatable and hopefully it does show others how these series of events really happen and can hurt someone.
With this series showing the struggles of a high schooler, as a teenager, I can relate to all the high school drama in the show. From the dating conflicts, to the rumors and secrets, this show definitely draws the mystery/drama fanatics. The thrill of not knowing what is going to happen or who did what kept me on the edge of my seat. “Thirteen Reason Why” keeps viewers hooked because they want to know everything.