Series Discussion

Series Discussion: 13 Reasons Why [Part 1]

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13 Reasons Why | Discussion

Release Date: March 31 2017

Newcomer Katherine Langford plays the role of Hannah, a young woman who takes her own life. Two weeks after her tragic death, a classmate named Clay finds a mysterious box on his porch. Inside the box are recordings made by Hannah — on whom Clay had a crush — in which she explains the 13 reasons why she chose to commit suicide. If Clay decides to listen to the recordings, he will find out if and how he made the list. This intricate and heart-wrenching tale is told through Clay and Hannah’s dual narratives.

Probably half the world’s population might claim that I’m a little late in finally indulging myself in the Netflix Original Series that is 13 Reasons Why, but I knew I wanted to binge-watch it and it took some time for me to finally have time to watch this. But that’s what I did: I binged 13 Reasons Why over the course of three days, and I have now come to the firm belief that it is impossible to watch this show one episode at a time. But before I get into everything else, I’d just like to make a quick disclaimer: everyone has an opinion, okay? I’ll respect yours if you respect mine. Right. Moving on.

 

Non-Spoiler Review

It was great. For what it was, it was really, really great. The camera-work and casting was amazing, and the story was fabulously gripping and heart-wrenching – everything something like this is supposed to be. There’s nothing I can think of as I write this that I would change. I will not tell you much more about the actual show, but I will tell you this: be warned. Google a parental review and see if the stuff in there is what you can handle. Because I’m sure this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

 

WARNING! SPOILERS BELOW

So, admittedly I felt like the first episode started off incredibly slow. More than that, I was so incredibly confused in the first couple of scenes with all the flashbacks and whatnot, because at the time it took me a while to realise that they were even flashbacks in the first place. But then I paid close attention to the slight shift of colour and I was totally good with it after. I was completely satisfied with the timeline and everything continuing throw the different episodes. Now let’s move onto the tapes.

Tape 1, Side A: Justin’s story. This to me wasn’t so bad. I mean, I’m not trying to undermine Hannah’s experiences or anything, but tons of girls go through this and surface stronger than ever before. I actually liked Justin a lot before he let Bryce send out that picture of Hannah (he was adorable, and the story of before the picture was cute), but the fact that he didn’t do something after the pictures were sent out showed that he’s actually weak. Very weak. I feel like he’s been exposed to peer pressure, but that could just be me reading into this too much.

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Outside of the tape, I didn’t really like Clay all that much; I had yet to get to know him. And until I did, he remained bland and shallow. Tony was cool. I knew there was something up with that dude, and I was right.

Tape 1, Side B: Jessica’s story. The friendship between Hannah and Jessica was certainly incredibly strange to me at the beginning, but I definitely began to understand them and the basic dynamics of how they worked. They were good together. Hannah really tried to stay her friend through all of the misery that she went through later on, too. I kind of didn’t like Jess all that much, but as Hannah and Jessica’s friendship progressed, my liking of her only grew.

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And then, after some time being best buddies, they meet Alex at their go-to coffee shop. I thought Alex was the nervous-new-kid-but-kind-of-sweet type: I genuinely did. And he was. For a while.

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And then Alex and Jessica start to date, and believe me, I know EXACTLY what it feels like to have one of your close friends date some guy and forget about you. Trust me. I know. And it hurts. There aren’t a lot of things I find that Hannah did was justifiable, but throughout the whole thing she was nothing but supportive towards them. To Jess, anyway. You can see that she has slightly bitter feelings towards Alex when they show up at the cinema, but it’s brushed off with a couple of forced smiles and awkward words.

And of course Alex and Jessica broke up. OF COURSE. It always happens that way, doesn’t it? Admittedly the reasons why surprised me – I thought Alex was a decent guy, but apparently not – but that made it all the more reasons why he did NOT have the right to create that list. It’s his fault that they broke up, anyway. And he contradicts himself by saying those things about Jessica on the list especially since he wanted her so badly. Jerkface.

And Hannah… poor Hannah. I can’t imagine the hurt that she must have felt when she was caught in the crossfire between Jessica and Alex. Now, don’t get confused: I think the way she acted towards her name being on the list was immature. But I’m talking about when Jessica slapped her and called her those vile names. That is hurtful, to know that the one person who you thought had your back would just turn on you with the crack of their hands against your face (literally) all for a guy that’s actually a self-absorbed idiot.

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The one thing I don’t understand is why Hannah had to make Jessica a reason of why she killed herself. They were mad at each other, it was a mutual affair. Friends come and go, and Jessica clearly ditched her. Big deal.

And then there’s all that present day stuff: it’s hard to believe that Jessica would date Justin. I would have assumed that was like some kind of taboo. But she does anyway, and I guess it’s no big deal: Jessica is entitled to do whatever the heck she wants to do. We get to see Bryce a little more in this episode, and his and Justin’s bond. I thought it was kind of admirable, that they were that close.

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So anyway, Justin hasn’t been at school for a while and it’s clear that Jess is worried. I was just curious. Clay talks to Jessica, and then we find out that the whole lot of everyone who’s on the tapes up to Clay’s tape has heard it all. And then when Jessica finds Justin at Bryce’s she all angry and upset that Clay’s going to go to the police and everything, and then they start talking about things that I had no clue about at that point about Hannah and lies and telling the truth. That, if not anything else, made me want to watch on.

SPOILERS FINISHED

This actually ended up to be longer than I expected, I’ll tell you that. I guess I have way too many thoughts on 13 Reasons Why. I didn’t want to make a blog post that was twenty thousand words, so I’m going to split this series discussion into parts. I’ll do one for each tape (Side A+B), if you guys comment down below telling me that you want to hear my thoughts and like this because honestly, I’m not sure anyone cares. 😛

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