My Review on 13 Reasons Why

Like most people, I was on Netflix trying to escape from my responsibilities by watching 13 Reasons Why. If you haven’t heard of this show, then let me give you a run down. Basically, it’s about a teenage girl, who completed suicide and left behind 13 reasons as to what/who led her to do so. These 13 reasons are recorded on tapes and each person involved is given them following her death. I’ve been a fan of the book for a while; I remember reading it in middle school and once I heard that there was going to be a screen adaptation of it, I was thrilled.

My general impression of the show was neutral. I thought the actors were great at doing their job; acting. I also thought the directors did a good job at sticking to the general plot with Hannah’s situation and keeping up the suspense. I found that the storyline was well directed, and the flashbacks and details of each character's storyline (which wasn’t included in the book) enhanced the overall plot. The method that the directors utilized for Hannah’s suicide was completely different than the one in the book, however, I think that the one in the show was much more effective and emotionally triggering which ultimately was the purpose to provoke a reaction.

While the show had good aspects to it, I couldn’t help but notice the failure to address the importance of mental health. The show seemed like it was trying to portray the stigma of mental health especially in a society and generation like this, but they kept dancing around it. No one ever explicitly reached out for help either.

Along the same lines of help, the latter episodes contained warnings about graphic scenes pertaining to sexual assault and suicide. They highlight the importance of consent yet fail to understand how to communicate about the concept of suicide. Throughout the show and even in the real world, many people say “she/he/they committed suicide” and the word commit makes it sound like a crime and it’s the person’s fault for doing such a thing. That’s not the case in Hannah’s situation and in many others, there are reasons that lead one to complete suicide, not commit a crime.

Overall, I think the show was well thought out visually but lacks some of the heavy concepts they were attempting to depict. Nonetheless, I do think it’s a great series and deserves to be recognized to get a very small idea of the impact others can have on an individual.