Many reasons to watch ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’

Many reasons to watch ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’

Rita Bilamejian, Business Manager

The series premier of Thirteen Reasons Why, based on the novel written by Jay Asher, premiered on March 31. The Netflix original series had much promotion before its premier as one of its producers included singer and actor Selena Gomez.

Thirteen Reasons Why is not only a hair-raising story about a teenage girl, Hannah Baker, who committed suicide, but has a whole other aspect of moral lessons hidden behind it. Based on the popular novel, the series does not fall very far from the popular book. The first episode begins with students in front of Baker’s  locker. As the episode progresses, the audience is introduced to one of the main characters: Clay Jensen, a close friend to Baker. Clearly, Jensen is extremely traumatized but will continue to be shocked when he sees 13 tapes, made by Baker and left in front of his porch, that state why she killed herself. Jensen receiving those tapes means he was one of the 13 people or reasons why Baker had committed suicide. As the series evolves, Jensen will listen to each tape and learn why Baker had killed herself.

Having read the novel, the series did not seem to be as surprising as I had hoped it would be. Because it was very similar to the novel and I remembered the development of the climax, I would have enjoyed watching this had I not read the book in advance. That is not to say that the TV series is boring or vague. Having read the book, I was still on the edge of my seat due to the interesting plot, electrifying music in the background, and the skillful acting. The suspense of watching students listen to their tape coupled with the professional acting showing the guilt of the teenagers involved in the conflict is enough to keep me watching. Someone unfamiliar with the plot would have an extremely satisfying experience trying to figure out why Hannah killed herself.

While the acting is extraordinary, the episodes can seem to get complicated and long at times. Because the story often shifts from the present to the past, it can create confusion. Each episode, which is dedicated to one tape, is about an hour long. While a long episode is needed to assert what Hanna is saying in each tape, the episodes can sometimes seem to last forever.

Nevertheless, the captivating plot line is enough of a reason to watch the new series.