I feel compelled to write a piece about this show, even though we don’t typically cover TV. I’m compelled and also, a little bit nervous.
Yes, I feel a little nervous because I worry I can’t give 13 Reasons Why, the write-up it deserves. Never in my thirty-something years, have I watched a show as powerful and important as this, and I feel like my humble writing skills won’t do it justice. But as I said, my compulsion to share my 2 cents is far stronger. Besides, it needs to be discussed. I will try not to reveal any spoilers for those who haven’t watched it yet but it’s going to be tough.
WARNING: THIS SHOW DEALS WITH DIFFICULT AND GRAPHIC SUBJECT MATTERS, INCLUDING; TEEN SUICIDE, RAPE AND BULLYING.
13 Reasons Why (Release Date: March 31, 2017) Watch Trailer
Follows teenager Clay Jensen, in his quest to uncover the story behind his classmate and crush, Hannah, and her reasons for committing suicide.
Creator: Brian Yorkey
First, I need to applaud the entire cast and crew! If you don’t all receive Emmys then I’m going to believe that all awards shows are rigged (which I suspect they are anyway) and boycott them forever! Such a talented bunch of young actors! Skilled and seasoned well beyond their years, they are one of the reasons why this show is so incredible. Consider this my standing ovation.
These talented actors are dealing with some very tough scenes and they are brilliant. The way in which the issues are portrayed is graphic and hard to watch. The show makes no apologies for this either and you will feel like you’ve been gut-punched several times during the course of the series. We are talking about suicide and rape, very heavy issues. If you’re not having a visceral reaction to every episode, then I’m afraid you may be missing the point, or worse, an asshole!
I haven’t read Jay Asher’s book, and I don’t want to knock something that I haven’t read first-hand, but I have read some of the not-so-flattering reviews, and most have mentioned “flat characters” and not enough varying POVs. Well my friends, you will not find this a problem with the TV show. In addition to Clay and Hannah’s POV, we now get to understand everyone else’s motives and actions. It makes for very intense TV. I should also add, that Hannah’s parents are very much a part of this story, unlike the book, and they are fantastic.
Seriously guys, I have zero complaints about the creation and execution of this series. There are rumors already, that people have requested the show be stretched into a second season. Personally, I think that may reduce the impact of the show and don’t think it’s necessary. That said, I would watch it, if only to see what happens to Clay, Jessica, and poor Alex.
What I do have complaints about, is how certain media outlets are covering this show. I recently came across something called, “Ship Goals, Hannah & Clay” Are you shitting me? Did you even watch the show? This is more than just missing the point people, Hannah’s a dead girl and you are trivializing important, emotional issues that teens struggle with every day. It is truly sickening, but I that’s a whole ‘nother post.
First and foremost, 13 Reasons Why is shedding light on very real and incredibly important issues like mental health and bullying. Especially in an age where bullies can sit behind their devices and terrorize their peers through social media. Never has bullying been as insidious as it is now. In my day, kids picked on you in person and that was bad enough.
Finally, it’s a great show. Plain and simple. I highly recommend you watch it, but be warned, it will mess with your heart and your soul, as it should. It’s graphic, authentic and scary as hell. As a mother to a young girl, I am terrified for her, and I am determined to educate her as much as possible, as I encourage all parents to do.
Please, do yourself a favour and give this show a shot. Well done Netflix! Bonus: The soundtrack is amazing!