Posted in Anxiety/Mental Health/Stress Management, Reviews, TV Shows

13 Reasons Why: Netflix Original Review

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You caught me reviewing ANOTHER Netflix original but what else would you expect from that master procrastinating student with a Netflix subscription? If there’s procrastination to be done, it will ALWAYS involve a glance at what can be watched on Netflix.

First point I would like to make, it is obvious right from the start that this TV show has a strong theme around someone committing suicide so if you are easily triggered by things like that, then this might be one you wish to avoid.

Before even getting into the first episode I can establish that I already love the graphics displayed at the start of the episode. The show appears to have a high school setting which reminds me of the typical American high school drama for teenagers.

I can be easily distracted and just to follow that trait I became distracted by the song playing at the start of the first episode and began to focus more on that than the main character Hannah, who was talking over the top so I had to rewind to re-cap.

Music is life for me, I live and breathe music and therefore when I hear a song that I like that I haven’t heard before, I become mesmerised in this song and focus more on the song than anything else which surrounds it.

The whole atmosphere makes me think of when I was at high school which is heightened by the fact that there is a teacher with the same name as one of my old high school teachers.

When Clay’s friend offers him a ride home, the car and the way the friend is dressed seems to remind me of Danny from Grease in a negative way although he seems better put together than Danny was in Grease.

Things seem weird between Clay and his Dad in the sense that it seems much more professional than a father/son relationship should be. I can relate to this in one sense because I don’t exactly get on well with my Dad but in the other sense it puts a question in my mind as to why it is so professional between them.

I think if I got home to find a random box full of numbered tapes outside my front door with my name on, I would be slightly more curious as to where they came from and perhaps slightly more hesitant to listen to them at first without trying to investigate.

Watching this, I feel a little old. I remember having cassette tapes as a child and I like the way they have conveyed the story a step back in time like this.

Again, I find myself able to relate to the show in the fact that when Hannah says the truth is the least popular story about her. Whenever I was being bullied in high school, the truth was always never spoken about as lies spread made better stories about a person than the truth did.

I don’t like the way in which in episode three the story is then told through the character’s as I prefer it when it is Hannah’s words and then it shows the other character’s story.

I love the fact each episode is named by the what tape and side they are on with the reasons as to why Hannah killed herself as its original and makes it easier to follow.

One thing 13 Reasons Why teaches viewers is that if you are a not very nice person, you will always get what is coming to you.

I feel as if every new TV show these days have clear evidence of product placement and this is no difference with the constant use of beats headphones.

13 Reasons Why reinforces the purpose on offering support to vulnerable people/those with mental health issues, depression or suicidal thoughts.

In Episode 7: Tape 4, Side A Hannah says “You’re going to tell me this one’s no big deal.” – When it comes to mental health, EVERYTHING is a big deal.

This show really makes you think about mental health and the way in which so much goes unnoticed or not spoken about because of the heavy stigma attached.

In episode 7: Tape 4, Side A it is also shown that Hannah puts a question the class discussion bag asking “What if the only way not to feel bad is to stop feeling anything at all forever?” After this is read out to the class, the first person to say their thoughts on this is that whoever wrote it is an attention seeker, another person thinks its a joke and a third thinks its a cry for help.

This is unfortunately an accurate representation of the mental health stigma in this country. When people do speak out about needing help mentally, they can be branded as attention seeking or as if they are joking instead of being taken seriously.

This indicates that we need to take an active role in changing this perception of mental health and making it less of a taboo subject to talk about. I am really glad Netflix decided to turn this into a TV show as I feel as if the more we highlight and talk about the realities of mental health, the more people will feel as if they are not alone and we can hopefully encourage them to speak about it.

I love the way in which, as Hannah is telling the story of her death, what we see on screen is split between a replica of what she describes on her tapes and the aftermath of her death.

By showing the viewer only what Hannah conveys, it leads you to question: Is everything Hannah is saying accurate? As the season goes on, we begin to get a sense that not everything Hannah says may be the truth, our first major indication of this being when Zach shows Clay that he still has the letter Hannah wrote and din’t throw it away like Hannah states he does.

It seems as if once Hannah dies, everyone left behind that was somehow the cause of her death always have an ulterior motif when it comes to the tapes and it never has anything to do with the remembrance of Hannah or trying to put their wrongs to right. It tends to be more about saving themselves from liability. This only changes at the very end.

I absolutely love the fact that they put content warnings where people may be triggered or too young to watch when needed and really respect them for doing this as I know sometimes TV shows won’t do that because it will turn some viewers away.

Suicide has the power to destroy the lives of those left behind so I believe it is crucial having shows like these to highlight the issue and hopefully encourage anyone who feels suicidal to seek help.

I wasn’t expecting the show to end where it did, I also wasn’t expecting tape 13 to be the person whom it was. The show had me hooked right from the start & contained plot twists right to the very end which held my attention.

I would definitely recommend this show to others and feel that it makes you think more about mental health and suicide and the fact that you never know the full extent of what someone else may be going through. Don’t spend your life bringing others down cause you have no idea what it may lead to!

A final thing – the soundtrack is amazing. Throughout the show, I found myself getting immersed completely in not only the plot but also the music. A great show through and through and definitely one that made me think.

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5-stars

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