A Netflix Review: “13 Reasons Why”

Katharine Grubb

Staff Writer

kmg183@lockhaven.edu

April 06, 2017

 

“13 Reasons Why,” a high school drama about a girl who commits suicide, was released to Netflix on April 7. The show includes only one season currently, with 13 episodes and a short documentary about the making of the show.  If you have not watched the show and plan on doing so, I suggest you stop reading at this point, because there will be slight spoilers ahead.  Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) commits suicide after being severely bullied at school. A few weeks after, Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) finds a box of 13 tapes on his front doorstep with instructions to listen to each one. Confused as to why he is getting these tapes, he listens to the first one and is shocked to discover that the tapes are from Hannah, who recorded them as a sort of suicide note. Each tape is a reason for why she decided to kill herself, and she says “If you’re listening to these tapes, that means you’re one of the reasons why.” A single episode is about one hour long and centers around a specific person (aka reason.)  The first tape was about an ex-boyfriend of Hannah’s who took an incriminating photo of her, which was “accidentally” spread across the entire school. This was just the start of the bullying and harassment Hannah would receive. Labelled the school’s “slut,” Hannah is sexually and verbally assaulted by multiple high school boys, and because of the false rumors about her, she loses almost all her friends. Those reasons alone were not enough to cause her death though. Several episodes later in the season include warnings for viewer discretion beforehand due to graphic scenes of rape and violence. After watching her best friend get raped at a party and being helpless to do anything about it, Hannah leaves with a friend who is slightly drunk. They get into a car crash which knocks over a stop sign, and then instead of calling the police to inform them of the crash, leave the scene. The broken stop sign causes one of Hannah’s friends to get into a more serious car crash, which takes his life. Feeling responsible for her friend’s death, Hannah adds that to the list of reasons she commits suicide.  The actual suicide scene itself was horrifying to watch. As Clay narrates her death, Hannah walks into her bathroom, fills the bathtub with water, gets into the tub with her clothes still on, and proceeds to slit her wrists. Her mother is the one to find her, floating in bloodied water. I was a little disappointed with the parents’ reactions to Hannah’s death, mostly because the scene was so terrible and triggering that Hannah’s mother simply taking Hannah into her arms and saying “Oh, no! You’re okay! You’re okay!” seemed to be an underreaction. I expected screaming, at least. “13 Reasons Why,” overall, was awakening and heartbreaking. Hannah’s death could’ve been stopped by anyone at any point, but the chain reaction one photo caused took a girl’s life. The show really opened viewers’ eyes to issues about depression, rape and suicide. PATRICIA GARCIA, from Vogue magazine remarked, “Netflix’s new series, ‘13 Reasons Why,’ has one of those irresistible premises that hooks you right from the start.”

 

It held a powerful message, and although we can turn off the TV or click out of an app to escape Hannah’s story, there are real life situations like this happening every day. National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

PATRICIA GARCIA, from Vogue magazine remarked, “Netflix’s new series, ‘13 Reasons Why,’ has one of those irresistible premises that hooks you right from the start.”

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