13 Reasons Why was released on Netflix on 31st March 2017, it is based on a novel of the same name. It is 13 Reasons Why Hannah Baker killed herself, told through recordings on cassette tapes and to be passed onto each person who helped her reach that horrendous point.
We are told the story though Clay Jensen who seems pretty awkward and doesn’t really know how to fit in at school, especially when it comes to girls. He is helped out a lot by Tony who tells him to keep listening to the tapes (and in order). I thought having them on cassette tapes was a very interesting way to approach the situation, each of the 13 people have their “own” tape in which Hannah explains exactly what they had done to push her closer to the edge.
The thing with it is that to begin with things don’t really seem that bad, in terms of if only one thing had happened to one person they could probably deal with it and move on from it. But when something else then happens not long after it and it keeps going that is when it just becomes impossible.
As events unfolded that either happened to Hannah or she witness as friendships fell apart and behaviour of others had a huge impact as we got to tape 12 I was devastated that I could see what was going to come next. In all honesty I wanted to turn it off so it wasn’t confirmed that I was right. It was pretty awful to watch in all honesty and the attitudes of some of the teenagers was appalling.
The struggle Clay faces is trying to figure out why exactly he was on the tapes, he didn’t think he had actually done anything against Hannah. As he tried to be her friend, they worked together for a while at the local cinema. But when he lies to his mother about knowing her that does leave some doubt in your mind as we are longing to get to his tape and find out what happened.
I imagine that this series will be very controversial towards schools and how they deal with teenagers and many forms of bullying that now occurs. I am very pleased we did not have smartphones when I was in secondary school as I really don’t think I could have coped with the bad side that comes with it. We had MSN messenger and pay as you go phones (10p a message) so it hadn’t really taken off until I was 20/21 with the whole Facebook revolution.
I was actually quite surprised to see this with an 18 rating on UK Netflix as it does take a lot for something to have that now. Considering two of the episodes come with a warning beforehand as well, it is difficult to watch at times. It takes a look at the culture of High Schools and how Jocks never get in trouble and even teachers let them get away with terrible things.
We do actually get some characters who seem that they just made a mistake and it was actually quite nice towards the end to see them actually trying to make amends for what they did. A tricky point has to be comparing what each person did, as some of them aren’t as bad which really messes with your head. Obviously I cannot go into too much detail about what they did you will have to watch to see it all unfold.
I will say though that I watched the first couple of episodes on the Saturday night and spend most of Sunday watching and then finished it off on Monday night. So be warned that you will want to just keep watching or should that be keep listening?
Another engaging and thought provoking orignal series from Netflix, I have read that the ending in this is very different from the book. It seems as though the series is set up for at least one more season. The performances are all very impressive but especially from Katherine Langford and Dylan Minnette as Hannah and Clay!
It is an important series as it should make everyone think deeper about what they say to others and how that might hurt them more than you could ever realise. Maybe just maybe this could actually help to improve interactions, not just online, via text message or other social media but the most important of actually speaking to each other and realising that in whatever form words can really hurt someone. Time for everyone to be kind to others as you have no idea what battle they are facing alone.