Released: 31st March 2017
Watched: April 2017
From IMDb: “Follows teenager Clay Jensen, in his quest to uncover the story behind his classmate and crush, Hannah, and her decision to end her life.”
I read the book for “Thirteen Reasons Why” towards the end of last year, and I loved it. I was gut wrenching and painful, but it was well written and, although the concept seemed odd, I was generally in favour of the book.
The TV show is a different kind of beast. There are trigger warnings preceding a few of the episodes, as everything that is mentioned on the tapes in the book is shown here. And I mean everything.
**ALSO I’M GOING TO MENTION THE SPECIFICS SO TRIGGER WARNING**
Two of our main characters are raped: and the Netflix TV show does not shy away from this at all. Everything is shown on screen, and makes for some seriously uncomfortable and yet necessary viewing. I’ve read a lot of reviews for the show that put it down for dealing with such sensitive issues, but it happens and if it raises awareness then in my opinion it is necessary.
We also see Hannah ending her own life, and it is one of the most gut wrenching moments of TV I have ever watched my life. We’d gone through the tapes with Clay, and I think by this point we were so emotionally invested – more so than I feel we were in the book – it made it all the more harder to watch.
Credit goes out to the young cast carrying this show. Every single one of them was superb, and made this book into an incredible thirteen hour drama.
It isn’t pleasant viewing in the slightest; let’s be honest the subject matter isn’t really one that’s ever going to make for sunshine and daisies, but the book translated really well onto the small screen. I think a TV series was the right way to go as a visual interpretation. It allowed the writers to expand on the text, and we were able to see how Hannah’s suicide affected her parents, and other adults who had been in contact with her in the months leading up to her death. A two hour movie would have ended up selling everything short, and wouldn’t have done the book or the subject matter any justice.
I recommend this show. I honestly do, and have done. But I’ve been recommending it openly, and letting people know what they’ll be letting themselves in for. It’s not the sort of show everyone can dive in and watch. Those trigger warnings are important. But I do think it provides an avenue for teens and young adults to talk about these difficult subject matters. It is important.
My rating: 8.5/10