By this time, you have probably heard or scrolled past through posts of Netflix’s newest offering, 13 Reasons Why. A show running on the plot of the best-selling 2007 novel by author Jay Asher, the latest TV adaptation features depression and suicide, along with its aftermath.
While the news of pop star Selena Gomez—who is openly speaking up about her mental health—producing the series (together with a line of executives) should convince you to follow this show, we give you four more causes why we think this newly-released series is well-worth your time.
Note: Spoilers ahead!
1. It has kept the material of the YA novel for a riveting TV gem
Before you dismiss it as yet another TV/movie adaptation, keep in mind some worthy examples like George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series, Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series, or even Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Lecter series. These variations have transitioned very well from their original manuscripts because of great show runners. In this case, award-winning playwright Brian Yorkey has masterfully ran the lengths for 13 Reasons Why. While it is not perfect, the Netflix version does carry a lot more affluence and hook to its audience rather than its book. It has skipped various pitfalls besides addressing its lingering covert, while humanizing the tension between the characters surrounding the mystery.
2. It exhibits an hauntingly honest depiction of a teenage narrative
13 Reasons Why is the kind of storytelling that will leave you thinking about things and people close to you. It revolves around the life of 17-year-old high school student Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) and the rather grim act of recording the titular reasons why she took her life. The confessions hashed in cassette tapes were passed on to the 13 people who have abetted her suicide.
The plot drags on for the TV show (understandably so) but the scene of Hannah graphically cutting herself in the finale proves that the team behind the series is not holding back on the truthful portrayal of the emotionally-loaded notion that goes on for depression and its sufferers.
3. It has exposed the dimensions of its characters soundly from the original storyline
While the series run relatively near its novel edition, the plot for TV has been broaden neatly. The TV production given the book’s flat characters interesting dimensions that are important to the narrative. Examples include Hannah’s former best friend Jessica (Alisha Boe), objectifying school mate Alex (Miles Heizer), slut-shaming Justin (Brandon Flynn), goody-two-shoes Courtney (Michele Selene Ang), and even good guy Clay. Their parts have become more shaded than their original introduction, which worked naturally well as subplots of the show.
4. It’s influences on mental health awareness
One of the most inviting reasons to watch 13 Reasons Why is its astonishing feat on an open storytelling about how tricky, dim, and complicated mental illnesses can be. It could be pretty hard to digest since the lead role is a character that is very much similar to a person any of us would know, but it does bid us a view on how depression works on the minds of its subjects.
Granted, some people may argue that the explicit portrayal of Hannah’s suicide could be done in a lighter manner. It could also spark claims on how people who choose to check out early are as selfish as they can be, but those are not the point we should be focusing on. The launch of this series on a global entertainment platform like Netflix is a powerful message to dive in deep into understanding the realities of depression, as well as the people under mental illnesses alike and the battle they take on every day.
Watch the trailer for 13 Reasons Why here:
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