Hi babes. Today I’m going to be doing something a little different. 13 Reasons Why is a series adaptation of a YA book by Jay Asher that released on Netflix last Friday. Over the weekend; I’ve been binge-watching, a term which here means, “Watched several episodes right in a row, despite having much better things to do with your time.” (Thank you Lemony Snicket for that definition!). I, of course, have some feelings on the show which I am now going to talk about.
There will be very mild spoilers about both the book and the series in this post and if you want to keep your experience completely pure then maybe save this to read after you have watched it.
Also, this is a story about teen suicide; please note this before reading on.
It is Selena Gomez’s passion project.
She was originally going to star as Hannah Baker in a film adaptation but when it was turned into a series she fell into the role of executive producer with her Mom.
What 13 reasons why has represented was an authentic story of what every kid deals with in every day life. The pressure, the unrealistic expectations of what they believe they should be. Whether you have read this book or not, it's a story of what every kid does and will continue to go through – unless we keep talking about it. People are hurting and deserve to be heard. Tired of others portraying a false idea of what every day life is. I hope @13reasonswhy can enlighten people to what words mean when you say them.
The main character is dead.
It’s no secret that the story is about a teen named Hannah Baker who has committed suicide. The story follows the aftermath of her death because she had recorded tapes with the 13 reason why she eventually killed herself. The tapes have to go through all of the people involved and they all have to listen to each one. She put a plan in place to make sure this happens before she died.
It is a little different from the book.
The events of the book take place in just one night whereas the series follows Clay and the others over a few days. The author, Jay Asher, was heavily involved in the series so there’s nothing in there that is inauthentic to the story and characters. I personally liked this because you genuinely get to know everyone including Hannah and Clay’s parents.
The cast is so diverse.
I absolutely love the cast! I got through the book so fast so I can’t really tell you how I imagined things but now I can’t think of a better team of actors to play these roles. There really aren’t many detailed physical descriptions of the characters in the book which gave Netflix a huge opportunity to diversify the cast. They have achieved this so wonderfully and without relying on tacky stereotypes. There are black cheerleaders and a black honor council president, an Asian jock. The LGBT community also has decent representation. My favourite character in the book, Tony, is gay and Latino. Diversity isn’t forced in this series; it’s very organic and regular. Everyone is just who they are and I truly hope this will set a standard for future film and television.
There is one episode for each side of each tape.
This is where I have a small problem because the show really begins to lag in the middle. I understand the idea behind it but I also feel that at least two of the tapes could have been condensed into one episode. While it is beautiful, it is a heavy and difficult series to watch and maybe 13 hours is too much?
If you’re squeamish you might want to look away.
I’m not going to say much more about this. But, I also must mention that there are other scenes in the show that are VERY difficult to watch. These scenes can be very triggering and they’re shot in an unexpected and tragic way. The show worked with medical and psychological experts to make sure that these traumatic events got the accuracy and authenticity they deserved.
You may not like Hannah (at first?).
And that’s okay. I’ve seen tons of book reviews online that mention dislike for the main character. I don’t feel that way but I do think the point of Hannah is to show that maybe you may not like someone or they may annoy you but you should never ignore the fact that they could be in pain. Everyone hurts, some way more than others and you should never let your disdain or frustration for someone obstruct your ability to help them.
Being a teenager is difficult AF.
Being in my late (laaaaate) 20s I really did forget how challenging being a teen was. Yes, sometimes in the shower I may go back to the things I went through. We tend to focus on our current experiences; being an adult means running a house, paying bills, deadlines etc. and I think that sort of reduces the idea of the difficulty of being a teen. This book/series is so full of secrets, brooding, slut-shaming, bullying and a truckload of toxic masculinity and is a shocking reminder to not diminish what teens are going through because we feel we have to deal with so much more now. My brother just turned 14 this year and I am definitely going to be so much more understanding and sympathetic towards him.
Don’t dismiss 13 Reasons Why as YA melodrama
Watch it and feel all of it.
If you have watched it please pop me a comment or tweet and let me know what you think.
I’d also really like to know if you like reading stuff like this. I watch a lot of things (series, movies. Literally, I am a couch potato but potatoes are awesome so yay!) so I have lots of feelings that I can share.
Until next time
Love and sparkles
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