‘13 reasons why’: a review


Robin Bridges, Editor in Chief

Did you ever wonder what would happen if all the teens in that classic 80s movie had cellphones? Or what would happen if “Sixteen Candles” or “Pretty in Pink” was more true-to-life? Wonder no more.

Based on the 2007 young adult novel, “13 Reasons Why” is the tragic, beautiful and horrifying story of Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford). This Netflix series gets extremely real and graphic with the lives in this suburban city. As much as it seems like a teen crime thriller like “Gossip Girls” or “The O.C.,”  it probably belongs on HBO over ABC. Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) and Hannah were friends until Hannah kills herself. Clay receives a box of tapes and a map when he arrives home from school one day. The tapes take him on a trip that makes him rethink the town he lives in and the people he knows as he listens to Hannah’s story in her own words.

I’m not usually a fan of obviously tattooed, 20-somethings playing high school students, but after a while it becomes secondary to how well this series is written. I did spend time yelling: “Where are all your parents?!” at my screen because the parents weren’t around to correct these teens. They throw huge parties every weekend and stay out late on school nights. It seems like a town full of parents who just don’t care about their kids. I tried really hard to find more problems, but those two are the only flaws. They are easy to overlook in the long run.

Due to the graphic nature, I would not recommend this for teens unless you’re prepared to also discuss some tough issues like rape, consent, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse. Use it as a learning experience because the show will not let anyone be a tuned-out slacker. The show tackles sensitive subjects head on with repercussions that accompany them. The depictions of rape and suicide are accurate and are exactly the right way to kick-off Sexual Assault Awareness month.

The soundtrack is filled with awesome indie bands like Joy Division, The Cure and Chromatics. The soundtrack is also an homage to the 80s movies that the series resembles. Since the series is geared toward those who grew up watching these movies the soundtrack is a perfect fit. The music is well-timed and perfectly suited for the series as a whole.

The most talked about song “The Night We Met” by Lord Huron has been called hauntingly beautiful in every review of this show so far.  The album is available on Amazon, iTunes  and Spotify with the exception of “The Killing Moon” by Roman Remains. The “Echo and The Bunnymen” cover is not available on Spotify.

However, I honestly suggest listening to the whole soundtrack and deciding for yourself. One of the main reasons is that Executive Producer Selena Gomez is unrecognizable on this album. That’s right: Executive Producer Selena Gomez, who kills it, by the way. While it’s not her first executive producer credit, it’s certainly one that will put her on the radar.

I recommend watching it with an open mind and possibly some tissues (if you’re into that sort of thing). All-in-all, the shows flaws are outweighed by its other great features and I’m so glad the rumors about a second season are so strong. I’m begging you, Netflix, do it for the people and give us a season two.

If you or anyone you know is contemplating suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741.

If you or anyone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673 or go to RAINN.org for more information. Both are available in English and Spanish 24 hours a day 7 days a week.