13 Reasons Why you should watch 13 Reasons Why (give or take)

So I’ve never done any sort of movie or book review on here (or really in general), but today is going to be the exception. I read a book a while back called 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. It was a pretty popular book at the time it came out, always on the teen-young adult bestsellers shelf at Barnes & Noble. The premise is this: A teenage girl by the name of Hannah Baker commits suicide, and upon the act of doing so organizes for seven cassette tapes to be passed around to 13 individuals, all of whom she deems “responsible for her death.” The tapes are her personal explanation of how each person drove her to kill herself, and many people say that these tapes are sort of her “last word” upon dying. The protagonist of the novel, Clay, is one of the people the tapes are passed to. As he works his way through the tapes, trying to figure out what he did to make Hannah commit suicide, he learns her story of abuse and bullying.

The book is now a 13-episode series on Netflix, and the way they portray bullying, depression and suicide is both informative and utterly heartbreaking. Over the course of 13 one-hour episodes, you see Hannah go from being a happy, upbeat, incredibly friendly girl, to a person who has lost faith in the world, and decides that the best way to deal with it is leaving it completely.

The series as it’s portrayed on Netflix is half-drama, half-PSA. While it still has a few funny moments here and there (so you won’t be frowning the whole time), most of the screen time is dedicated to Hannah and her life before death, which revolves around her relationships (both friendly and romantic) and how they break down catastrophically. We see these memories from the viewpoint of Clay, a socially awkward yet lovable teenager with a thing for Hannah, who’s working his own way through the stages of grief, having lost Hannah, and trying to understand how he could have possibly contributed to her death.

The whole thing is presented hauntingly beautifully – the joys of great relationships and people who are there for you, and the heartbreak of when it all comes crashing down, generally unfairly. At the beginning, the viewer barely knows Hannah. They feel for her, as she committed suicide, but not much more. Over the next 13 hours, though, each episode will break your heart a bit more as you see the injustice done to her during her life.

It also attempts to present depression and the warning signs of suicide in a way many people can understand. Even the happiest of people can be brought so low to feel like there’s no way out, and as scary as it is, it’s something people need to realize, before it’s too late.

So, my recommendation? If you have Netflix, go watch it. Heck, even if you don’t have Netflix, shell out 8 bucks for a month subscription to watch this series alone. I swear to you, as someone who watches next to no television, this series is worth your time. Know the signs of depression and suicide before they strike – the world will be better off for it.

– Ryan

Author: Ryan

25, physically in Milwaukee, mentally all over the place.

4 thoughts on “13 Reasons Why you should watch 13 Reasons Why (give or take)”

  1. I read the book years and years ago as a 12 year old, and even though I could relate to some of it at the time, found the writing and the story to be very boring and not worth the hype (in my opinion!) Now I gave the series a watch as soon as it came out and found myself hating Hannah’s character from the first episode, I found her to be selfish and overly dramatic, I only watched up until halfway through episode 2! After days of seeing all the tweets about Jeff and all the hype, I decided to just skip and watch the final episode, and I must commend them for how they showed Hannah’s suicide, how they showed it as being brutal, painful and made it hard to watch too! Unlike so many other shows that seem to almost make it seem desirable or peaceful? And I loved the showing of the boy with the guns who was getting bullied, making it seem like he was planning a school shooting, but eventually just shot himself. I thought they dealt with the whole subject very simply and for what it was. I’m going to go back and watch all the other episodes now leading up to the end! And I definitely recommend people to watch it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would highly recommend it (obviously). A fair warning, though. The last episode shows the actual suicide scene, no sugar coating at all. It’s very bloody and scarily real, so for some it can be very triggering. I don’t usually get light headed from blood or scary scenes, but I found myself getting light headed just thinking about it for days afterward. But they made it so real for a reason – as heartbreaking as it is, people need to understand the gravity of these things. Regardless, please, go watch it! It is so worth your time.

      Liked by 1 person

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