I just recently finished watching Thirteen Reasons Why on Netflix, and let me tell you: I have been emotionally drained, had my soul ripped out and set on fire, and yet, I would still do it all over again.
In fact, I've already started watching it for the second time!
Why would you do that to yourself? You ask.
Well, let me tell you why!
1. The Book
This book was just as heart-wrenching as the Netflix series and deserves to be read. Even my brother, who is a self-proclaimed book hater, finished this book in less than a week. To-date, this is the only book he has ever read on his own accord and enjoyed. I don't care if you read the book then watch the series, or watch the series then read the book, but you have to read the book!
2. Clay Jensen
Okay, first off, Clay Jensen is too pure for this world and we must protect him at all costs. But seriously, I love his character so much. He's relatable, flawed, and honestly just real. You'll find yourself constantly nodding your head and saying "Same," to the television screen as Clay talks/acts.
3. Diversity of the Cast
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Thirteen Reasons Why boasts a diverse cast with multiple ethnicities in major roles with lots of screentime. They also break a lot of stigmas related to sexuality and race. Instead of making Tony the stereotypical gay best friend, he is interested in cars, can fix anything, and is seen as a bad-ass. This is something you, unfortunately, don't usually see on television. It's definitely something that should become more popular.
4. The Banter
Although this series is mainly soul-crushing, it does include a lot of comic relief that you can appreciate. You can especially appreciate any of the conversations Clay and Tony have; they're all fantastic.
Each person on the tapes has made a mistake, and while some people don't show any remorse, others are able to redeem themselves by fighting to right their wrongs. Zach Dempsey, for example, does something stupid (like teenagers do) but continues to work towards making up for his mistakes.
6. Hidden Messages
**THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS SO IF YOU CARE, SCROLL DOWN TO #7**
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There are all of these small things that kind of all build up to this massive hidden message. Throughout the series, everyone is so focused on Hannah and Clay that they don't notice how Alex is spiraling out of control. Everyone seems shocked when he shoots himself in the head at the end of the series, even though all of the warning signs were there. This shows us how in real life, we can get so caught up in our own issues that we don't see what others are going through and that we should take the time to notice the pain/struggles of the people around us.
7. Trigger Warnings
Netflix does an amazing thing by showing trigger warnings before every episode that is particularly graphic or disturbing. Netflix didn't have to do this when the entire series is based on a girl committing suicide, but they still look out for those whose mental health could be affected, and I just find that fantastic tbh.
8. It's Raw and Authentic
Thirteen Reasons Why does not dance around tough topics, but instead, faces them head on without apology. It talks about rape, alcoholism, self-harm, suicide, abuse, and much more. I absolutely love that they take things that nobody wants to talk about and puts it out there for the whole world to see.
9. It's Relatable AF
This series is one that you'll often find yourself relating to, whether personally or hearing from a friend. This might actually be one of the scariest things about this series; that you can look at a character and think "That person is just like ____!"
10. Digs Deep into the Characters' Actions
Those of you who have read the book know that it consists mostly of Clay just walking around all night and listening to the tapes. All of the emotions you feel are from Clay's inner-monologues. This series does something different in that it follows all of the characters, not just Clay, as they react to the tapes and the situations around them. It really puts things in perspective and forces you to see that not all people are just innately bad.
11. THE FACT THAT THEY DID AN EPISODE PER CHAPTER THE WAY IT SHOULD BE DONE
I feel like this doesn't need any further explanation; Netflix did a magical thing when making each episode based on one chapter. Because they did this, they were able to delve deeper into the details without leaving anything out.
12. Tony (Including Massive Heart-Eyes for this Wonderful Character)
Okay, I just really, really, really, really love Tony. He's just this amazing friend who protects everyone around him and wants the best for those he cares about. He's the kind of person you'd want to be your best friend. Like, I really don't think Tony gets enough appreciation for staying loyal to Hannah, even after her death. He deserves the world and I would gladly give it to him if he were real.
13. The Not-So-Hidden Message
Some people might think that Hannah sent out those tapes as a way for her to get last-minute revenge to those who wronged her. I think they'd be missing the point. I think it's her way of trying to get people to think about how their actions affect others. Yes, I'm sure it hurts them to hear such horrible things about themselves, but that's kind of the point. Sometimes you need to face the awful truth about yourself before you can change for the better.
So now that you've read why you should watch this series, you have no reason not to! GO WATCH IT!!!