I'm not going to try and make this all cute and give you thirteen reasons as to why you should watch Thirteen Reasons Why, because what good would that really do? Generic reasons like "You'll relate" or "It's relevant" are more than likely already assumed after what has been already heard about this new show. There is so much more to the show than what those silly reasons give justice to. (Yes, I know it was a book first. I've read the book many times. It is incredible. But this article is about the show.) Therefore, I am going to do my best to try to really explain why this show is so important. Therefore, I may or may not unintentionally slip some spoilers--my sincerest apologies. At least I warned you ahead of time, right?
When I first heard that one of my favorite books was going to be adapted into a Netflix series, I was stoked. I had no idea what to expect from it, but sometimes that is the best way to enter into things. There are thirteen episodes, which, makes sense considering there are thirteen reasons why. To clear up what these reasons are for readers who may be completely unfamiliar with the context of this show--Thirteen Reasons Why is about the death, rather, suicide, of a high school girl named Hannah Baker. Before ending her own life, she recorded thirteen different tapes. Each tape represents a person, and goes into detail about how they were a reason why she decided suicide was her only option.
What is different about this show versus so many others that are on Netflix is that it is authentic, uncensored, and it does not hold back from the darkness that can be reality. It does not in any way skirt around touchy topics. It addresses them head on, and that is something that is rare nowadays. And to add to that, the way they sculpted the plot and dispersed it throughout thirteen episodes leaves viewers at the edge of their chairs (for lack of a better cliche--let's be real, a majority of us probably watched the series laying in bed) and before they even know it, they are suddenly on the last episode.
While the basis of the plot surrounds around suicide, it is much more than just a show about a suicide. Within Hannah's thirteen tales, she simultaneously addresses other very relevant social issues such as sexual assault, bullying, sexual orientation, diversity, and mental illnesses. I know, it tackles the heavy stuff. But that is exactly what we need. Yeah, it may suck that it took a show to get people to talk about this kind of stuff, but at least they are talking! Motive or no motive, these touchy topics need to be talked about and need to get recognized. People are so afraid to talk about these kinds of things, and because of that they continue to happen. Everything that happens in this show really does happen in every single high school around in some way or another--whether people like to admit to it or not. Suicide and rape do not just happen in shows and movies.
What this show does so well is it truly captures raw emotion that would be felt if this situation happened in real life. It shows just how much one person leaving this world can impact so many people in ways that person may not have even imagined. That's the thing--you have no idea how many lives you have left a mark on and how you no longer being in their lives will affect them. What the show is able to do that the book was not, is that it is able to show just how much the tapes and Hannah's death affected all the lives of the people on those tapes. You see them just breaking down, hurting, and feeling an overwhelming amount of guilt. You see Hannah's parents discover her lifeless in the bathtub and your heart just breaks into a million pieces. You sympathize and you empathize.
So much can be taken away from this series. Hannah was a bright and beautiful girl with so much potential. No one could see that she was falling deeper and deeper into a hole where her only escape was to end her own life. You never know what people are going through, As general as that may sound, it is the truth. The way that the characters treat one another in this show is horrid at some points, but it is no different than the way we treat each other in real life. Especially with technology and social media, there are so many ways for us to put one another down when in reality that is the last thing we need. We need to figure out how to use social media for good and building one another up.
So maybe I didn't spoil too much after all--you're welcome! And maybe, actually, definitely, there is more that I could say to express how important this show is and how much I urge everyone to watch it. Everyone can take something from this show, whether you can relate to it in any way or not. I do believe, however, that a majority of people can in some way or another relate to some situation presented throughout the thirteen episodes. I know in my case, a couple scenes really hit home. In the end, we all just need to be nicer to people, and I think this show exudes that necessity.