Thirteen Reasons Why – REVIEW

Attention! The following post contains spoilers on ALL the episodes of “Thirteen Reasons Why” and sensitive topics such as sexual assault and suicide. You’ve been warned!


I’ve heart so much about this show. Both positive and negative. I haven’t read the book yet. I promised myself I would have read the book before starting the tv series, but curiosity got in the way.

If, somehow, you are not familiar with “Thirteen Reasons Why”, it talks about a girl who commits suicide and leaves behind 13 tapes depicting the reasons she did it. She leaves them to Clay (which apparently is a name) and he starts listening to them in order to discover the truth.
I haven’t really been into the whole debate “does it or does it not promote suicide?”. I did not want any spoiler and I was sure reading about the show and its flaws would have definitely ruined it for me.
To summarize, everybody who has watched the show got divided into two categories: those who felt like the show gave a glamour and over-romaticized vision of suicide and those who felt like it gave the topic room for discussion.
I have two friends who have seen the show and regard it in completely different ways.

I have watched it all and I don’t really agree with those who say that it shows a glamed-up version of depression and suicide.
Let me just start by saying that I had huge prejudices against the show. To me, it was over hyped and therefore I went in thinking it wasn’t any good. I have had people describing it as “the best show on television” and just from episode 1, I KNOW it’s a lie.
Right from the pilot, it was pretty clear to me that it was going to be full of stereotypes.

Technically speaking, I loved the decision of choosing blue and gray colours in the present AND the vibrant and bright in the past.
But on the other hand, I totally hated the obvious product placement, like the Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. *eye roll*.

 

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What truly surprised me was the fact than Clay wasn’t the only one who had the tapes. I expected it to be an intimate and introspective confession about a girl who decided to end her life. I was confused by the almost “murder mystery” vibe of the show. It is compelling and engaging, I have to admit it.

One of the thing that was interesting to me, was Olivia Baker’s search of the real reason her daughter’s actions. Her realisation about the fact that bullying exists and it has an impact on young adults and students. By now, sadly, it should not be such a surprise. Especially nowadays, bullying is mostly done online and in total and complete anonymity.
In regards of the characters, Clay is the typical loner and tortured nerd, who has no friends and was (probably) infatuated with Hannah.
Then there is the guy with the leather jacket and the old cool car. Maybe this is utterly normal and I just don’t understand it because I haven’t attended an American high school.

I’d definitely fancy Justin if he weren’t such a jerk. He is the classic and popular bad-boy, who acts like a huge dickhead. He doesn’t realise how much his actions impacted Hannah’s and Jessica’s life. He literally stood by and did absolutely nothing.
Speaking of characters on the show, Clay is unbearable. And seeing him ride his bike around time reminded me of the kids from Stranger Things. And on top of that, I just don’t like him.
Something else I don’t understand about the show is people’s obsession with Hannah. How come half of the characters were in love with her? I found that a bit forced.

Apart from that, it felt real. Hannah apparent cheerfulness and happiness even the day before she committed suicide represented very clearly how easy it is to mask your emotions and fool even those who are closest to you.

It was a hard show to watch. Especially the last three episode, which were, ironically, the best.

I did not watch the rape scenes. I could not do it. It made me sick. Even thinking about it.

Jessica’s ignorance of what actually happened the night of the party destroyed me. You can see the progression of her realization and it is utterly heartbreaking.

 

There are so many difficult scenes to watch and this is definitely one of the worst. Of course, the most devastating is Hannah’s suicide. I was told that they were going to show it, but nonetheless I was not prepared. At all.

I never shy away from brutal scenes but this was a lot. The entire last episode was incredibly painful and I am so glad they went in this direction.

Although the show contains a lot of stereotypical and derivative ideas, I feel like a lot of adults SHOULD watch it.

Getting into the minds of teenagers is not easy and when things pile of top of each other, extreme situations like this one might happen. And adults need to take everything into consideration.

Teenagers need to feel heard and understood and maybe this show will help their parents finally get it.

Georgia


P.S. It took me AGES to write this post. I couldn’t make it right. I’ve been editing for weeks and I’m still not happy. Anyway, I hope you’ll let me know your thoughts on this.

 

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