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13 Reasons Why - Definitely a must-see

by Roisin Gordon. Published Thu 13 Apr 2017 10:39

Many teen dramas have dealt with hard hitting topics with their storylines but have often glossed over the more darker aspects of them but 13 Reasons Why isn’t afraid to talk about dark subject matters such as suicide, cyberbullying and rape creating a heartbreaking yet honest feel to it.

Based on Jay Asher’s young adult novel, the story is about Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) a teenage girl who recently committed suicide and leaves behind cassette tapes that lists thirteen reasons why she ended her life.

Each side of the tapes are focused on classmates of Hannah’s whom she considers to be a reason for ending her own life, they are left with the instructions of listening to the tapes and then pass them onto the next person to understand what they’ve done.

The focus of the series is Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) who is the latest one to receive the tapes and unlike the others he spends time investigating Hannah’s death by putting himself in her shoes and trying to remember back to his interactions with Hannah when each incident happened but as he keeps on listening to the tapes he learns some dark secrets about his classmates, which they are desperate to keep and are determined to prevent Clay from spilling them.

Each episode focuses on one of Hannah’s classmates that talks about her relationship with them and reveals some heartbreaking truths about how they hurt her, from spiteful rumours to betrayed friendships and even revealing some troubled secrets about the people she talks about, which they are desperate to make sure they stay a secret.

It brilliantly tied together narrated flashbacks about Hannah along with present day scenes that are both haunting yet emotional as well as Clay reminiscing about his time with her and having his own vivid dreams about Hannah which makes him wish that he could have done more to help her.

Going through each episode really shows how rumors and cruel comments can damage someone even if you’re unaware about how much hurt it can cause, with each episode getting darker and more disturbing as they go on and how it led Hannah to ending her own life.

Dylan Minnette and Katherine Langford both shine as the two leads, Langford perfectly balances the optimistic and adventurous side as well as her vulnerable moments, when she is hurt by the people who she thought she could trust and really makes you sympathise with what’s she’s going through. Minette perfectly captured the more reserved yet observant role of Clay, as he works his way through the tapes learning more about Hannah and his classmates, as well as his fears as he questions what he did to earn his place on the tapes.

The supporting cast are equally as fantastic, they could have easily have been made into high school stereotypes that just shows their story in the individual episode and just be done with them but they are given enough screen time and focus on their lives as well as their connections with Hannah that you can get invested in their story.

Kate Walsh also gives an emotionally demanding performance as Hannah’s grieving mother as she tries to find answers as to why her daughter committed suicide as well as dealing with her own grief.

13 Reasons Why is definitely a must-see for this year, it’s fantastic storytelling that takes a mature and honest approach towards teenage suicide and other serious issues.

4.5/5



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