Let me preface everything you're about to read with this:
13 Reasons Why is good. Not great but good. It's jumbled with feels, feels that force the audience to think of some really tough subjects. Death, specifically suicide.. and more uncomfortable subjects.
The main character is ... unique. I can tell the writers want her to be like-able and relatable but she comes off as an asshole to me initially. I thinks it's a really shitty thing to do to make the decision to take your own life and leave remnants in your leave, that force people into darkness with you. I get it, she wants them to change, but being so aggressive, accusatory, and manipulative is probably not the best way to go about evoking profound change ( for some of the characters, not all). If anything, it forces people into a corner and they are more likely to lash out and do anything they can to survive. There's a saying that I'm forgetting that perfectly captures what I'm trying to explain.
Her writing though is marvelous. She wasn't all that to me but damn, that girl can write. I was so moved but her poem and so impressed by her ability to express herself in such a creative way.
Still I can't forget that she's being a complete hypocrite and essentially bullying people into change.
The story is important though, I get it. It's meant to teach in two parts. First, explain to people who haven't been touched by suicide or mental health issues that the little things can matter greatly and that it's important to handle people with care. Second, it's meant to show those who are considering suicide the impact of that decision. To explain, that that decision can change lives and another person's well being.
However, I found myself getting annoyed at some parts of the show. For instance, why do the kids act so dramatic when Clay takes Courtney to a cemetery? To me the fact that they were willing to kill themselves over something so harmless was nonsensical. It was innocuous, he took her to the grave to let her understand that Hannah's suicide wasn't a passing fade that she should treat with little significance. He wanted to remind her that she was once alive, human, breathing, and then dead. However, she meant something to someone and trivializing her death, as a way to elevate her social standing or hide secrets was hurtful to him and others who cared for her.
I have a love hate relationship with Hannah. She's brilliant, but man, she was also flawed. But I do agree that the people around her failed her.
The counselor didn't want to come to terms with the idea that he failed her and did not help her at the time of her need. He didn't acknowledge that he missed the signs and maybe was not equipped with the knowledge to help. That might have been very frustrating for Hannah, her parents and probably any audience member watching. I'll come back to Hannah later though. She makes me feel a lot.
For now let's talk about Clay. He clearly has delusions which make me so nervous. I had no idea that anxiety was like that so I really appreciate this very creative education. In some ways I dislike Hannah because of what her message had done to him, but I'm happy that it forced him out of his shell, made him bolder, aggressive/assertive, active, and generally stronger.
He's hot too. Everybody looked at him like this socially awkward dude who was impressionable but I don't get that vibe from him. Even before Hannah's death, I though he had badass tendencies.
I just wish that it didn't take him so long to listen to the tapes but at least it humanized him for me. Unlike the others, it weighed heavily on him. He understood his reality, that she was dead and was not as desensitized from it so it took him a moment. Not saying the other people were not touched, but it felt like they were moved mostly by selfish motivations.
Everybody failed Hannah. Her parents weren't attentive either. She said and I quote: "Not only do they not see me, they don't see me seeing them."
So clearly she tried or at least hoped that her parents would see that she was in trouble but they were too consumed by their own troubles. Too bad.
And another thing: why are all the kids protecting Bryce? What they did was not nearly as bad. They were so confused.
With that thought aside, let's return to Hannah. I'm annoyed that Hannah forgot that other people go through their own plight. She seemed to always want others to take the initiative. I hate the tape she made for Clay. It made him feel like he was to blame when it wasn't anywhere close to the case. How the heck is someone supposed to read your mind?
But she described depression so well. It's empty, numbing ... lonely.
Overall, the season ended well, with a satisfying cliffhanger if there could ever be one. Guess we'll have to wait to see what happens next season but it's definitely something I would recommend to others. It's edifying.
Comment below, tell me what you though of the show. Don't be stingy with your thoughts!