A few weeks ago, I wrote a first episode review of Thirteen Reasons Why. I had heard so much about the show and I wanted to find out if it lived up to the hype. I know a lot of people binge-watched the show. Unfortunately I am like the main character Clay. He could not listen to the tapes in one go. I couldn’t watch the whole series in one go. But I know you all value my expert opinion. Which is why I am happy to inform you that I have finally watched all 13 episodes. So here we go. Six reasons why you should watch Thirteen Reasons Why on Netflix.
1. The Story
The story is about a girl named Hannah Baker, who has committed suicide. Everybody is shocked about what happened. Someone who is really struggling with her death is Clay Jensen. He was Hannah’s friend and was in love with her. One day, Clay receives a box filled with tapes and instructions on what to do. These 13 tapes turn out to be from Hannah. She has recorded thirteen reasons why she killed herself. The tapes are sent to every single person on the tapes, who has to listen and then pass on these tapes. Through these tapes, we discover Hannah’s story, and all the dirty secrets of those involved.
While the story is not entirely realistic, it is real enough to make you feel and think. I have shouted at the tv numerous times because I was so caught up in the story. That is definitely a good thing. It’s raw and slightly depressing. But it is worth your time.
2. The Cast
While most of the cast members are no teenagers in real life, their acting is fantastic. I do not understand how these actors weren’t well-known before this show. I think especially the girl who plays Hannah, Katherine Langford, is phenomenal. It is a very difficult role to play. Take into account that she is Australian and performs a very convincing American accent, and you have the best lead. I can’t wait to see what she will do in the future. But all the cast members are great and lifted the show to a whole new level.
3. The Characters
While there are few characters in this show for whom you can root, except perhaps Hannah’s parents, they still feel very real. For the first time in a long while. teenage characters are portrayed as difficult and three-dimensional. They have done stupid things and have secrets, but you see them struggle. Often times, teenage characters do a lot of stupid things, but it is never explained why. They simply do so because they are teenagers. For me that is not a good enough reason and is often off-putting. But I thoroughly enjoyed how well-rounded these characters were and I was constantly interested to find out why they did certain things.
4. The way it’s been filmed
I enjoyed the way they filmed the show. In the parts where Hannah is alive, the scenes are bright and colourful. Back in the now, the colours are dark and blue. I liked these little details. I also liked the way they transitioned scenes between the past and the now. It was done effortlessly and made the whole thing even more realistic in my opinion.
5. Thirteen Reasons Why makes you aware
As I was watching this show, I came across a situation at work involving a teenager and suspicions of possible suicidal thoughts. While I did not know exactly what to do, I was aware that I had to take these signs very seriously. Which is what I did and which is why the teen got the help that was needed. I think this show should be mandatory to watch for everybody who works with teenagers. Parents, teachers, nannies. You name it. Watch this show. It gives you insight about what you have to do in these situations.
6. Thirteen Reasons Why is confronting
The show is adamant about not sugarcoating things. Rape is portrayed in a realistic way. So is Hannah’s suicide. While I’ve heard people argue that it glorifies suicide by showing these scenes, I do not agree. While I had to look away for most of the scene, it did not look any more romantic than it is. Hannah is screaming and the agony is obvious. It is confronting, and definitely not shown to be glamorous. It was a hard scene to watch and I don’t think it is suitable for anyone who has experienced rape or suicidal thoughts. However, it is important to watch for those who say a girl asks for it if she gets raped when she’s drunk or wearing revealing outfits. It is important for those who do not take suicide seriously. Who call those who resort to suicide selfish.
Thirteen Reasons Why is available on Netflix.