13 Reasons Why Review

13 Reasons Why
13 Reasons Why13 reasons why review bullying

This is a powerful series, based on the book by Jay Asher(above) focusing on the life on a teenage girl named Hannah and all the socially interconnected dealings she has with her school mates. Sadly, you learn early on that Hannah is dead. She committed suicide and it boils down to her having been bullied and abused. This part of the story line led me to almost skip this series. I didn’t want to watch another TV series about teenage angst and how horrible life is with controlling parents and all the other minor difficulties that are expressed in teen drama. But I did watch this series, and I realized very quickly that this series is about teenage drama, but it is not a teenage drama in itself.

This is a very adult drama. This series deals with issues that affect everyone and shows exactly why they affect everyone. I will say before I even begin this review that I would be very cautious even showing this to a teenager. While I believe it could do a lot of good, it could also do drastic harm if, in their teenage minds,  they idealize what Hannah does in this show. Don’t take this statement lightly, as I do not say it lightly. This was a very powerful series and it definitely covers topics that are well and truly placed into the sensitive subject category.

I was astounded by this show. I seldom allow myself to binge watch something but I did a bit for this one. I managed to carve 13 hours out of my weekly schedule to finish this show in 7 days. While it focuses on teenage life, and, yes, the drama that comes with it, it also focuses on a broader spectrum of teen life than what I’ve seen in any other shows. This series is about bullying, but there are not quick fixes to the issues. The problems don’t get resolved in the space of an hour and fade happily into a theme song.

The series is a dark depiction of depression, hopelessness and pain. Every episode builds not only into the next but into the series as a whole. The writing on it was excellent and the acting is superb. As stated the story line centers around a girl named Hannah and, as an extension, her social circle. You will meet many characters over the course of the show and each is developed very well. Before the end of the season you will feel as though you know these kids and some of their parents.

The premise is that a girl, who faced bullying at school, made a series of tapes explaining exactly what happened and the stories behind why she committed suicide. As the tapes make their rounds through the teenage group each member is faced with the truth of what they did to Hannah and how it lead ultimately to her death. The story will lead you on a series of events including betrayal, invasion of privacy, sexual assault and rape. It also deals with people not seeing the warning signs or not acting when they had a chance.

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The story centers around Hannah, but you will be following her friend Clay as he listens to the tapes, waiting to hear how he plays into the situation. He is assisted by Tony, the person who originally possessed the tapes. As the series progresses you also get insight into the dilemma the parents face as a result of their daughters suicide and the hardships they face. You will get to peer into the school system’s response and the legal proceedings as well. I’m sure there were plot holes somewhere, but I was so enthralled in the show I honestly didn’t catch them.

For visuals there’s nothing really that stunning, but what you do get has a raw feel to it. You could almost picture yourself walking through the city where these children live and witnessing what is happening as the story progresses. While there might not be stunning special effects, there are remarkable visuals that will end in a visceral reaction for some viewers. It doesn’t attempt to gross you out, or scare you, but like I said some of it has a very raw feel to it and I think it makes you feel the emotion in the show that much more.

The fact that this show tackles a subject like bullying, and does it with the amount of emotion and detail that this one has, speaks volumes to the quality of the show. The producers did not back down in difficult scenes and spared us any political views on the subject; deciding to deal with the people instead of the politics. This, to me, is one of the greatest things about this show. It covers a subject that goes to the heart of people not the heart of politics and in a world where politics rules news and social media it is refreshing to be shown that some people still realize there is a human on the other end of the screen.

I recommend this show. I strongly recommend it. If you don’t have Netflix buy it for a month and watch this show or steal a friend’s password. This is an intelligent series meant to make you think and it does not have a lot of fluff or bright and shiny moments. It’s raw and it’s real in a world where truth doesn’t always win out.
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Posted in Entertainment Reviews.