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‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ TV Show- Full Review

1 May

Image via Flickering Myth

Last week I posted about my thoughts on 13 Reasons Why after getting halfway through it. I listened to the audiobook a few years ago and was shocked that it was being turned into a Netflix series. At the time, I felt the book was trying to justify suicide and I still feel that way. Suicide is not an option when things get bad and I felt telling Hannah’s story the way the writers did made it seem like Hannah had no other option. Unfortunately, this show was sickly addicting and I sped through it over the last week and I want to share some thoughts.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Examining how Hannah’s tapes affected others. In the book, Clay is so impacted by the tapes and they’re hard for him to listen to. It’s good to see that this happened to others, too. Maybe this went a little too far, which I’ll address later. Suffice it to say I don’t think Justin would have come away from the tapes without feeling affected.

Skye and Tony. It was nice to see that not everyone at the high school negatively impacted Hannah’s life. Thought I couldn’t help but feel they might be a set up for a second season, it was nice to have characters who were not on the tapes show up in the story.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

The lawsuit. I can understand it. If the school really was as negligent as the tapes claim, it’s deserved. I don’t think the school can be wholly to blame for not recognizing the signs, but I think they did play a part. I think the lynchpin of their case was something they didn’t have at first (the tapes) so I’m not sure how they planned to win that case, but I got it.

Not giving the tapes to Bryce. This made so much sense. If Bryce got the tapes, there’s no way he’d pass them on. When he didn’t, Tony would have been released them and everyone’s secrets would be out. Granted, they were getting out anyway but at least the way the show ended, the students had some control over it.

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Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

Changing the suicide. I don’t see a reason for this at all. It was the only scene I couldn’t watch and I think for anyone who knows a person who’s committed suicide or is squeamish (or both), this was really hard and felt uncalled for. Hannah took pills int he book if I’m remembering correctly and pill overdose is a much more common method of suicide for women. I don’t understand why the writers felt it was appropriate to change this.

Things That Changed Too Much

Sequel set up. The show displays on Netflix as ‘Season One.’ The way it leaves off, there’s a lot of room for another person’s story. Alex is in critical condition, Tyler is amassing guns, and Justin seems more suicidal than Hannah. (Side note, I have a theory that Tyler might have shot Alex, but that’s a different story.) We’ve gone through thirteen stories of how these characters were destroyed by Hannah’s death. Why would we want to go through another season of ‘Thirteen Reasons why Alex shot himself’ or ‘Thirteen Reasons why Tyler went on a school shooting spree.’ I think it’s ridiculous to set this up, even if it doesn’t happen.

Jeff and his death being swept under the rug. I get that Jeff’s death was supposed to come as a surprise, but it made everyone at school seem like jerks. They’re falling apart over Hannah and building a memorial to her while Jeff passed away a short while before her and no one is mentioning it. His parents seem apologetic about their son’s death! It’s really despicable and it made me even more upset with the school and if anything gave the Bakers something to root their case in. The school was too reactive and obviously not proactive.

There were some other things that bothered me that don’t fit into these categories. First of all, where do you have to live where school starts late enough to have breakfast at home with your parents after your mom goes for her morning run? Do they start at noon? And where are parents so chill about school-night sleepovers and unchaperoned parties? I was in high school ten years ago, but I don’t think things have changed that much! And what school that size has only one counselor. We had four and my high school was nowhere near that big! There was a lot of ‘suspension of disbelief’ that was hard for me in this series because Liberty High was so different from my (now closed) high school. It kept me out of the story.

I’m not sure what I’ll do if another season comes out. Having a way to teach teenagers to deal with mental illness is great but I don’t think this is the way to do it. Reader, have you see the Thirteen Reasons Why show? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

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