5 Reasons Why You Should Binge Netflix's Original Series 13 Reasons Why Right Now
Binge Worthy Television
Television: 13 Reasons Why (Warning NSFW)
Fuck the format of this segment. YOU should watch all 26 episodes of 13 REASONS WHY for all of the reasons that make it hard to do just that. Because we’ve become a nation of people that close our eyes or turn our heads away from the things we don’t want to deal with. Things that’re just too hard to see. We’ve become desensitized to violence, and we’ve forgotten how to fucking care about one another. Race relations feel like they’re closer to 1950 than 2020. Men treat women like they’re entitled to their bodies. More people care about keeping hard-working law-abiding citizens out of our country than they do gun violence out of our schools. THIS SHOW is a reflection of our society, where the wealthy “popular” rule the day. They run over the little people and face zero consequences. The largest antagonist on the show is a rapist womanizer madman that uses wealth to escape justice. Sound like any Tangerine Republican Unintelligent Misogynist Primate you know?
This show, based on the novel by Jay Asher, takes us into the halls of modern day high schools. That’s not to say that schools haven’t always been this bad, but I don’t recall the current level of bullying that takes place now. Social media, smartphones, and the like have made it so much easier to attack people 24/7. Teens have a split second to second guess that pic they Snapchatted to their crush or significant other. The one that’s guaranteed to get around school or end up on some Tumblr revenge site the second they break up. If not sooner. Only 15-20 years ago a kid would have to take a picture and — if it wasn’t a Polaroid — bring the film to get developed, then risk that person seeing it, then put it in an envelope, and mail it. Or hand it to them. Who the hell ever did either of those in high school? Unless you’re attending it now, we have literally no fucking clue what’s going on in our schools. Even the math is out of control!
13 REASONS WHY forces us to face real consequences. Suicide, bullying, gun violence, rape, isolation, depression, mental diseases, and so much more. I’m not a parent, so take this with a grain of salt, but EVERY PARENT should watch this series for some insight into what their teens might actually be facing on a daily basis. A few special cases might exist where you’re close enough to your children that they might say something, but most relationships aren’t like that. I won’t lie to you. There are several scenes that are VERY hard to watch, especially in the finales. They were necessary. Do they have shock value? Absolutely. Are they there to spark a conversation? I certainly fucking hope so. But most of all the hardest scenes, the nearly unbearable scenes, are there to remind us that life doesn’t come with filters. That wearing blinders won’t protect our kids, friends, siblings...
There’s not much hope in this show. This is by no means a feel-good or uplifting series. But it does have an insane amount of fucking Heart. If you can’t cry with these kids as you grow to know them, then I’m not sure I want to know you. It’s the heart that balances out the atrocities these teens face. To see them come together and fight for one another reminds us that we don’t all have to be pieces of shit and not everyone is. There are redemption arcs worth rooting for, characters you’ll grow to love, and suspense that leaves you hoping your favorite characters can pull through. There are relationships that feel lived in. By that, I mean to say that they’re not some over-romanticized John Hughes or Nicholas Sparks love stories. (Fan of both writers btw) The relationships are just as awkward and far from perfect as they are in real life. That’s what makes you give a shit about them.
I don’t recognize 90% of the cast from anything else. Most of the actors/actresses I that I do recognize are parents or faculty. Dylan Minnette has done several things. My favorite project of his before this was the short-lived series AWAKE. Dylan is fantastic as the lead protagonist, Clay Jensen. Katherine Langford is charismatic and heartbreaking as Hannah Baker. While the first season relied heavily on these two actors to carry it, the rest of the cast brought their performances to another level in season 2. Christian Navarro (Tony), Alisha Boe (Jessica), Brandon Flynn (Justin), Miles Heizer (Alex), Ross Butler (Zach), and Devin Druid (Tyler) are all stellar! I have to show some respect to Justin Prentice (Bryce) and Timothy Granaderos (Montgomery) for their performances. It can’t be easy to play the roles that they do. I’m sure they get shit from people that can’t differentiate fact from fiction when it comes to television. They’re superb as well.
I highly recommend reading the book or listening to the audiobook before you watch the show. Both are great. With only one novel, I wasn’t sure where the writers could take the series once it told Asher’s story in season one. They did an unbelievable job with season two. I didn’t think they could make it compelling enough to live up to the nearly flawless first season, but I was very mistaken. Not only does season two live up to season one, but when you take into account how many characters had significant arcs in the second season, it may be even better than the first.
WATCH. THIS. SHOW. Parents, please watch this. Not with your kids. That could get awkward.