13 Reasons Why Review: A totally binge-worthy high school drama

Have you ever had one of those days that never seems to end? When finally they do, you’re so worn out, broken and just ready for bed that you collapse on your couch. 13 Reasons Why is perfect for evenings like this. Though, with the heavy nature of the show it would probably be better to leave it for a day when you’re not so…. deep let’s say.

What 13 Reasons Why does is bring you back to secondary school and it does it with style. The style may be dark and may bring up emotions that you thought you’d buried years ago (I swear to god I didn’t cry).

Never before have I watched a high school based TV show or film, that actually feels like being back in school. We all had our bullies, our bad and good days and that is what 13 Reasons Why does extremely well. The characters feel real, the action is well written and the relationships feel genuine. Of course, I’m barely scratching the tip of the iceberg, and what an iceberg it is. The mystery revolves around the death of High School Junior Hannah Baker and a set of tapes she leaves behind.

13 reasons whyWhat is 13 Reasons Why about?

The show opens with a haunting monologue delivered by Hannah Baker (Kathrine Lang). She explains the tapes and the reason behind them. They are a name and shame gallery of those who pushed the dearly departed to do the deed.

Each episode is a tape, each tape a person who somehow wronged Hannah and pushed her to her doom. For me, the mystery lies, as if does for Clay (Dylan Minnette) on why he receives the tapes. What has he done to Hannah to deserve this ornate revenge? This really makes this a must watch, even if that’s tough at times.

To my mind, no show or film has captured the devastating effects of bullying, depression and of suicide like 13 Reasons Why. Many moments had me feeling genuinely uncomfortable. Several examples spring to mind, though one stands out beyond them all.

Hannah Baker’s suicide

The show doesn’t shy away from such controversial moments, and by god did they make a good choice. Showing in all its gory, terrifying detail the death of Hannah really put a fine point on things. To me it speaks volumes; cruelty, loneliness and the holy host of depression, low self-esteem and feeling of worthlessness bring people to the brink of a wholly destructive choice. A choice that will affect the lives of some many, whether they know it or not, and by courting controversy the show runners have tried to dispel the myth of suicide. It is not glorious, it’s is not quick and painless.

By showing the deeply disturbing image of someone with so much to live for taking their own life (in extremely shocking and bloody fashion, too) it adds something. It doesn’t trivialise, it doesn’t glorify. If anything it seeks to horrify and in that it succeeds. The lack of music over the scene, the anguished cries and the sight. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t nearly break down in tears.

To a wholly cheerier topic

While it is a heavy series, I would highly recommend (if you couldn’t tell already) watching 13 Reasons Why. There are several things to watch out for in the show, creative editing techniques give flashbacks a clear and distinct difference. The camera work is fantastic and the cast is astonishing.

13 Reasons Why is an eye opening mystery show and probably the best piece of high school drama I’ve seen. A compelling and thoroughly thought provoking show

I give this series a rating of being entirely binge-worthy.

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