TV review: 13 Reasons Why

Heart wrenching Netflix series makes statement on teen suicide

by Bri Branscomb, Assistant Editor

Netflix has released its latest T.V series, ‘13 Reasons Why,’ this past Saturday, April 1. The show, based on the novel of the same name by Jay Asher, follows high school student Clay Jensen after he receives a set of seven tapes from his deceased classmate, Hannah Baker. On the tapes, Baker states that each of the recipients is guilty of some transgression against her, and is one of the reasons why she felt that she was driven to suicide. The story line, acting, and overall statement on the importance of mental health earns this series a 4.8/5.

The strongest thing this series has going for it is the strength of its ability to tell the story correctly. The T.V series goes much more in depth with each of the characters and their respective backgrounds than the novel did, and as a result, becomes more engaging and causes the viewer to invest more into the plot. Even if someone has read the book beforehand, they will still be on the edge of their seat wondering what will happen next. Rather than ignore the original story created by Asher, the Netflix series enhances it, and depicts a raw and real look on how we never know what others are going through.

The acting of the show is also superb. Actress Katherine Langford, who depicts Hannah Baker, does a superb job in portraying a character who falls into a depressive spiral that ultimately ends in her untimely death. Watching Hannah’s character slowly lose faith in the world around her is painful, and witnessing her kill herself makes it to where the viewer feels her pain to the point that they will not want to look at the screen. The other characters are excellently portrayed and given depth that contributes to a compelling story line for each of them. The ability to create characters that are relatable even in their own pain and the hardship they inflict on others is a beautiful attribute to the season.
‘13 Reasons Why’ is a must-see show that is truly able to encapsulate how chaotic high school can feel. The characters are written and portrayed with an honesty that is striking, and contribute to a story that makes the audience reflect on how they treat others.  The storyline is compelling, and will have viewers on the edge of their seats as the become invested in each character’s struggles and triumphs.