13 Reasons Why is the Netflix Original TV show currently taking the world by storm. If you haven’t heard of it you must have been living under a rock for the past few weeks but it is everywhere.
*spoilers to follow and triggers for Suicide and Rape* – I am aware this is an incredibly sensitive issue and there are opinions out there that the show’s issues were not handled correctly but in my opinion it is such an important show because it brings awareness to incredibly important topics.
13 Reasons Why is based off the Jay Asher novel of the same name and follows Hannah Baker, a young woman who takes her own life. Two weeks after her tragic death, her classmate Clay becomes the recipient of a box of recordings made by Hannah, in which she explains the 13 reasons why she chose to end it all.
This show, whilst taking the world by storm, has also proved to be very controversial in subject matter. Let me make this very clear – the subject matter is hard hitting, very graphic, emotional and at times an extremely uncomfortable watch but an important one. If you are triggered by Suicide and Rape – there are trigger warnings on some of these episodes for a reason. I underestimated the severity of these warnings and it can get very graphic at times. Remember take care of yourself and if it gets too much STOP, at the end of the day your health is the most important thing here.
I approached this show with caution but absolutely loved it once i got stuck in. Here are my 13 reasons why you should watch THIRTEEN REASONS WHY:
- The acting is INCREDIBLE: Katherine Langford who plays Hannah and Dylan Minnette who plays Clay are destined for big things. They are in an incredible amount of scenes and carry the show extremely well. They do such a great job with the sensitivity of the topics and make you feel for them throughout. You are also rooting for the pair to get together as well which is a testament to their onscreen chemistry. The rest of the cast is also phenomenal, Christian Navarro does a splendid job of playing Tony, a ‘friend’ of Hannah’s who she entrusted to fulfil her wishes with the tapes. Alisha Boe’s character Jessica goes through a lot this series and she does a great job at portraying such a multifaceted character. Justin Prentice’s Brye is a character everyone, and rightly so, hates but Justin does a fantastic job at eliciting that response from you as he truly becomes something so far from himself. Miles Heizer, Brandon Flynn, Ross Butler also deserve a special mention.
- The show brings across a really important messages: We should all already know the messages being given by this show but it is a shame that some in society really don’t. It really makes you think about how your poorly chosen words and actions can hurt another person and that you should never underestimate what someone else is going through. One tiny action could be the tipping point if someone is going through a lot. The fact that the depositions happened in the future can also be seen as a message of hope. It is never too late to reach out, it is never too late to change someones life.
- You get two narrators – Hannah and Clay: I think it is great that you get to follow this story through with Hannah who is narrating the story through her tapes but also Clay who is living the story through flashbacks.
- Its a drama set in a high school not a high school drama – No matter how old or young you are, you will most likely have experience at leas one of the situations depicted throughout various stages of your life.
- It brings awareness to the signs of suicide – understanding the signs of suicide is important to try and help us prevent lives from being lost. signs can often be missed and I won’t give away any spoilers but this is shown in a major way towards the end. Some of the signs include losing interest in hobbies or activities, changes in sleep and eating patterns, withdrawing from others and tidying or giving away possessions.
- It examines rape culture and male privilege – The show sparks conversations about bro culture and why people are willing to protect people when they know they are guilty. The dynamic between Justin and Bryce is very complicated in the way that Justin, even though he knows what happened, feels like he owes Bryce something for his friendship and compassion over the years. It also shows that someone can also become a repeat offender and doesn’t see what they are doing as wrong.
- Jeff Atkins deserved better – thats all I am gonna say on this matter. His storyline is going to fill your heart with love and then break your heart into tiny pieces.
- It will make you laugh and sob buckets as well as shout at your tv screen: Okay, I am a cryer i will give you that but a show that elicits so many emotions from you in a short space of time is gold dust. I laughed, I cried, I shouted at the screen, I got angry, I felt empathy, I felt compassion and then I cried some more. The contents of this show really gets you thinking and stays with you well after the final credits roll.
- It’s concept means that it hooks you in: In the very first episode we are introduced to all the different characters and it soon becomes clear that each episode reveals why one of them is on the tapes. It is gripping contest because you really want to know what happened, how did Alex, Hannah and Jessica go from being the OT3 to ending up in the tapes, why is Clay on the tapes, why does Tony HAVE the tapes.
- It explores the complexity of characters – It shows that not everyone is purely good or purely bad (unless you are Bryce ofc). It shows the bad things that people have done but also tries to explain the reasoning behind it. For example, Justin did some unjustifiably bad things but they delve into his home life which is filled with substance and domestic abuse.
- Selena Gomez as executive producer – It is great to see such a prominent public figure bringing awareness to important issues from a position behind the cameras. It was a passion project for Selena and something she visibly feels very passionate about.
- The themes are timeless – This is a show that can be watched and understood by both parents and their children alike. Social media is mentioned to a degree but there are plenty of other things shown – texting, note passing etc. And whilst it is set in 2017, it does have a retro feel with Tony’s car and the cassette tapes.
- Beyond the Reasons – You need to watch the documentary style BTS episode that follows. It shows just how much research was done into each of the representations and how the actors spoke to people working in the appropriate professions as well as counsellors so they could full process what they were portraying.
If you are affected by any of the subject matter, firstly don’t feel like you have to watch. This show can be extremely triggering for Suicide and Rape. Talk to someone and speak out. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone you know, the samaritans are always there to help on www.samaritans.org and on 116 123 which is there free 24/7 phone line.
Lots of Love