In case you haven’t seen multiple posts on your social media feeds of people obsessing over this new show, 13 Reasons Why is the latest Netflix original offering that’s got viewers everywhere talking.
The show is an adaptation of Jay Asher’s novel of the same name, Thirteen Reasons Why. Without giving too much of the plot away, the show is based around central character Hannah Baker and her suicide, and the thirteen reasons why she killed herself. Before taking her own life, Hannah decides to record her suicide note on 13 tapes, meant to be heard by 13 people, explaining how each of these individuals in her life all played a role in her making of this fatal decision.
The show is intelligently crafted to take Asher’s original story and heighten the narrative with shots that interlace with past and present and the slow build-up of immense character development. The show creators have made sure to not only adapt the novel into a new medium but enhance the original story by giving the characters depth and placing them in a modern setting that truly makes the story relatable and real.
As is with the nature of most Netflix series’, 13 Reasons Why hooks you in immediately and begs for you to binge the entire season as quickly as you can. After all, you have to know what her 13 reasons were, right? Watching the show, you’ll find yourself stricken by grief and frustration towards the characters who were pivotal in Hannah Baker’s suicide. Drawn in by the plot, you’ll autonomously click ‘play next episode’ in search for answers, while questioning why on Earth people bully one another.
While the general concept explored in the series is rather grim and confronting, 13 Reasons Why elusively opens the broader discussion of mental health and the drastic consequences of bullying. It’s not uncommon for us to question why anyone would be inclined to take their own life; for us to mutter under our breaths what a great loss it is and how much of a shame it is that they felt the need to leave this earth. How many of those times, however, do we sit back and calculate the reasons behind the action? How many times do we actively try to prevent suicide?
It’s saddening but it’s someone’s reality. 13 Reasons Why is a show that effortlessly tackles the complex nature of mental health and will perhaps ignite some compassion in its viewers.
The series is now on Netflix and currently has one season comprising of 13 episodes.