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Thirteen Reasons Why

First episode review: Thirteen Reasons Why

The brand-new phenomenon on Netflix is called Thirteen Reasons Why. It is based on the 2007 novel with the same name by Jay Asher. The series is executive produced by Selena Gomez, who apparently read the book and was so impressed that she asked Netflix if it could be turned into a series. The series consists of thirteen episode. Every episode reveals one of the reasons why a girl named Hannah committed suicide.

The series was praised by critics and fans alike, which is why we wanted to see what the fuss was about. I watched the first episode and will share my thoughts. As always, this will just be my opinion on the first episode. I will predict what happens in the rest of the series. Eventually there will be a full series review. Are you curious if it is worth checking out? Then continue reading.

The Story

Hannah Baker, a high school student, dies by suicide. Two weeks later, Clay Jensen, one of her closest friends, finds a package on his doorstep containing 13 audio cassettes made by Hannah explaining the 13 reasons why she killed herself, and Clay is one of them. In order to find out how he fits in, Clay must listen to the tapes. But doing so may reveal a disturbing secret about Hannah, as well as some of his classmates, that Clay isn’t ready for. Meanwhile, his classmates featured on these tapes set out to keep their secrets hidden, by any means necessary.

Episode 1

The first thing I noticed about the episode is that they are certainly not messing around. You know right away that this girl named Hannah is dead. It reminds me a bit of the book The Secret History by Donna Tartt. While essentially the story is different, in that book you also know someone died. And throughout the book you find out what happened. Thirteen Reasons Why has the same concept.

Hannah is not completely dead to us as viewers though. Through flashbacks, we get to meet her. It’s how we figure out what exactly happened to her. I haven’t read the book, but from what I’ve researched, the events all happen in the same night in the book. The series has thirteen episode so naturally every episode will cover one tape. While the flashbacks that show what happened to Hannah are interesting, perhaps I will later feel that dragging out a story for so long might get tedious. Who knows though. I’m pretty sure that if I received those tapes, I would have listened to them in one sitting.

What I can tell from the first episode is that it does portray high school very realistically. Especially the pressure teenagers have to deal with comes across well. The fact that mobile phones can ruin lives comes across quite well. And that’s just the first episode.

I thought the episode was suspenseful enough, even though you already know that Hannah is dead. I am eager to find out what happens next and why she has done this to herself.

Is Thirteen Reasons Why worth watching?

I enjoyed the first episode and judging by that I would say that it is worth giving it a shot. I think especially teenagers should watch it, as it can serve as a cautionary tale. When I have finished the series, I will definitely post another review about the whole series. For now, I would say try watching it.

 

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Ingrid is the twenty-something owner of The Sassologist, who loves everything that has to do with pop culture. While she is one of many who is in the process of writing a novel, she is also currently in denial over not being a witch. Her Hogwarts letter has yet to arrive. In the meantime she writes about pop culture and dreams about unicorns.

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