By Alexandra Griffin, Managing Editor
Netflix released the series “13 Reasons Why” based on the book of the same title by Jay Asher on March 31. Since its release, it has been a main conversation point for many teens as it touches on many topics like suicide, sexual assault, drunk driving and bullying; issues that people tend to not like to talk about.
The series opens with the main character, Clay Jensen, mourning the death of his friend Hannah Baker, who had committed suicide a week earlier. Hannah leaves behind tapes about 13 different people who influenced her decision to end her life. The series is then told through a combination of Hannah’s perspective through narration on the tapes while Clay listens to them and Clay’s perspective and reaction to the tapes.
The series portrays the theme that you cannot know what is happening in anyone’s life but your own. It makes that theme impactful by relating it to things that happen regularly in high school and by offering many different situations that the audience can relate to, making the series feel very real.
The producers also did an excellent job of portraying the story from Clay’s point of view. You feel his emotions, and it was relatively easy to keep track of what happened in the past through his flashbacks and what was presently happening.
Another one of my favorite features of the series was its soundtrack; I think it perfectly portrayed the tone of the series, as it was in certain ways a love story, so the songs were romantic yet somber and tended to be more Indie style tracks, as Clay said he preferred.
I think that despite the well-thought-out plot and impactful theme, the series was not without flaws. Many of the events that were not as important to the plotline were not portrayed as how they actually would have happened in a high school.
Also, in many places the lines were extremely corny and unrealistic, for example when Alex, Jessica and Hannah all grab hands and say “FML forever” every day at Monet’s. Clay’s hallucinations were not necessary to the plot and ended up being slightly confusing. Additionally, the title sequence was a little misleading, as the background music is kind of upbeat and the drawings portray few main plot developments.
Overall, I highly recommend “13 Reasons Why.” I think it is not only entertaining, but also brings awareness to many topics that many high school age students are afraid to talk about and helps to understand why it is so important to always be respectful and not judgemental.