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13 Reasons Why
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How about instead of watching it, you only look at the 13 reasons why this sucks...
Genre: Teen drama
Mystery
Running Time: 49-98 minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: March 31, 2017 - June 5, 2020
Network(s): Netflix
Created by: Brian Yorkey
Distributed by: Paramount Television
Netflix
Starring: Dylan Minnette
Katherine Langford
Christian Navarro
Alisha Boe
Brandon Flynn
Justin Prentice
Seasons: 4
Episodes: 49


13 Reasons Why (stylized onscreen as TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY) is an American teen drama mystery streaming television series developed for Netflix by Brian Yorkey, based on the 2007 novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. The series revolves around seventeen-year-old high school student, Clay Jensen, and his deceased friend Hannah Baker (before the 3rd season), who kills herself after having to face a culture of gossip and sexual assault at her high school and a lack of support from her friends and her school. A box of cassette tapes recorded by Hannah in the weeks preceding her suicide detail thirteen reasons why she chose to end her life.

13 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Watch This Show

  1. The show portrays suicide in a very unrealistic way. It makes a drama out of a serious issue and teaches that you make people who hurt you feel bad.
    • It also doesn't work as a serious portrayal of suicide. If anything, the show promotes it, paints it in romantic colors, makes it sound like a good option, and one that can be considered if your life isn't going well. It makes ending your life quite a normal thing to do when that could not be further from the truth.
  2. Hannah Baker, the character who commits suicide, is an extremely unlikable character, to the point where the viewer doesn't even feel for her. She is known to be selfish, entitled, and demeaning. She abuses Clay, the main protagonist, constantly pushes him away, and doesn't even say sorry. To add insult to injury, Clay didn't do anything wrong.
    • All she wanted to do was to make the people that caused her to commit suicide to feel bad by including their names on the tapes.
    • There are also some more unlikable characters, such as Bryce, Monty, Marcus, Seth, Coach Rick, and Ani.
  3. Hannah records 13 tapes and leaves them behind to be heard after she's gone. She then becomes the voice-over for all the events that happen after she kills herself. In effect, it showcases that you can kill yourself and then be around to observe the aftermath and people's response to your decision.
  4. Hannah kills herself to teach certain people a lesson. That they were mean to her and weren't around when she needed them. "You weren't nice to me, now I've killed myself and left you these tapes describing in excruciating detail how bad a person you are. Live with that guilt now. I'm out of here!"
  5. Very graphic, disturbing, and even triggering scenes that wouldn't look out of place in an exploitation movie, so much so that Netflix had to issue trigger warnings before the start of some episodes:
    • The depiction of how Hannah kills herself is graphic, raw, and very messy. It's shown in fantastic detail. It's also a great 101 on how to get it right and not screw it up. The blood gushing, which way to cut, how much water in the bathtub – all presented as what's a 'How To' video on suicide to be followed. So, in other words (as mentioned above), the show pretty much encourages suicide.
      • Netflix responded in 2019 by cutting the suicide scene from the first season, but it was too little, too late: the show had already done the damage. What's even worse is that the aforementioned suicide scene is still intact.
    • The infamous bathroom rape scene in season 2. In which someone gets violated with a mop.
  6. The story is about teenagers and school life – the ups and downs, the fun, the dates, the attractions, the challenges, the jocks, and the suicides. Teens are impressionable, and those that do experience suicidal thoughts due to pressure and immaturity.
    • Netflix had the cast make a PSA that's the same as a "Viewer discretion is advised" warning before certain TV shows, but since this was done after the third season released, it's a failed attempt at damage control.
  7. Hannah is shown to have some major challenges and problems. But she's responsible for most of them due to her seriously bad life choices. Again and again. Pretty much like any teenager. The showrunners present suicide as a good response for when the challenges of life seem to overwhelm you. No lessons on how to overcome challenges, or why taking a bad decision every single time can lead to bad situations.
    • In addition, Hannah also has great parents. Involved and comforting, they're always there for her and take an active part in her life. Ditto for a few friends and a great counselor at school too. But the storyline conveniently ignores them when needed. Thus when she kills herself, she's convinced she has no one, clearly forgetting her parents.
  8. Hannah records on cassette tape and the main reasons why Hannah loses it are all tech and social media related. The first trigger is a (not very nice) picture taken of her and shared on instant messaging with the whole school, followed by more meanness resonated through social networks. They show technology as the villain without giving any lessons on how to handle social media when it turns against you.
  9. The other 3 seasons were very unnecessary since the show is based on one book only.
    • Because of these other seasons, the show has no direct plot to it anymore and the title has become pointless and therefore misleading.
  10. Clay's visions of Hannah in season 2 are ridiculous and supernatural compared to the rest of the show. However, Clay may have schizophrenia.
  11. The show takes itself far too seriously and has a very arrogant vibe to it. It's like: "Look at us! We talk about suicide and mental health issues! We're so cool and woke! Watch us or else!".
  12. The 3rd season is much worse:
    • It introduces a new character/narrator named Ani, who's completely unnecessary to the plot.
      • She’s an absolutely annoying know-it-all as if she can read the characters' minds or is God herself. She makes all of the characters look like their nothing but supporting characters and that she's the main protagonist of the series, thus making her a complete Mary Sue. You could easily remove her from the series, and it wouldn't affect the plot, even the slightest. She was never around for the first two seasons and yet acts like she knows everything and everyone. She also had sex with Bryce despite knowing he was a rapist and raped Jessica.
    • It also switches genres from drama to mystery with the death of Bryce Walker and the characters trying to find out who killed him, and it doesn't even talk about suicide at all. Not even Hannah is mentioned.
      1. This season also tries to paint Bryce as, get this, a good guy. Yep, the same Bryce that broke Zach's leg out of jealousy in this season, threatened a little kid as well, raped Hannah, murdered someone, and is partially responsible for Hannah’s suicide. They’re trying to paint him as a good person.
    • Because of all of these qualities, the season's completely unfaithful to the book the show's based on.
  13. The grand finale was just terrible.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Decent acting, especially from Dylan Minnette and Katherine Langford
  2. The soundtrack is surprisingly good, especially since it has good songs such as Billie Eilish and Khalid's "Lovely"
  3. While it still has its flaws, season 1 is considered the least bad since the characters aren't as unlikable as in the later seasons and it does stay more true to its source material.
  4. Surprisinly good visuals in all seasons, even if the supernatural visions for Clay is plain ridiculous and out of place.

Reception

In General

Like the book it was based upon, 13 Reasons Why has a more polarized reception, recieving both praise and criticism. It was originally well recieved, but the reception became negative as the show went on. As the third season debuted, the show recieved more criticism rather than praise, and the third season was considered a notable "Jump the Shark" moment, as a majority of the reviews were negative. Overall, the show has a 7.5/10 on IMDb, a 4/5 on Common Sense Media, a "rotten" avarage score of 35% and a user score of 59% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 91% on Google.

Season 1

Upon its debut, 13 Reasons Why received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike, who praised the acting, directing, story, visuals, themes, improvements upon its source material, and mature approach to dark and adult subject matter. It is the highest rated season of the show and was considered the only good season. On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has a "certified fresh" critic rating of 77%, and an user rating of 80%. The site's critics consensus states "13 Reasons Why complements its bestselling source material with a gripping look at adolescent grief whose narrative maturity belies its YA milieu." On Metacritic, the season scores 77 out of 100, based on 17 critics, indicating "generally favourable reviews". Despite the positive reception, the show was a topic of concern among mental health professionals and teenagers, who commit suicide or get suicidal thoughts. In fact, the show was also accused of "glorifying suicide" as the suicide rates in the United States increased the following month, and the people began associating the release of the season with the increase of suicide rates. Following the success of its initial 13 episodes, the show was renewed for a second season.

Season 2

The second season, however, received mixed reviews from the audience and negative reviews from critics. The critics praised the acting but criticised the poor execution of its topics, which were declared unnecessary. On Rotten Tomatoes, the second season has a Critic rating of 28% and an audience rating of 52%. The site's critics consensus states "By deviating from its source material, 13 Reasons Why can better explore its tenderly crafted characters; unfortunately, in the process, it loses track of what made the show so gripping in the first place." On Metacritic, the season scores 49 out of 100, based on 16 critics, indicating "Mixed or average reviews".

Season 3

The third season received overwhelmingly negative reviews from both critics and audience alike, who criticised the lack of necessity and talk about suicide, poor execution of its topics, including the rape of Tyler in the final episode of the previous season, the new character of Ani, the sympathetic redemption of Bryce, and genre changing from drama to mystery, and the conclusion. However, some of its technical aspects and acting were still praised. On Rotten Tomatoes, the season scores a critic rating of 11% and an audience rating of 43%. The site's critical consensus reads "13 Reasons Why attempts to break away from its first two seasons only to become a melodramatic mess of a murder mystery". On Metacritic, the season scores 23 out of 100 based on 4 critics, indicating "generally unfavourable reviews".

Season 4

The fourth and final season received negative reviews as well, with criticism aimed at the poor execution of its topics, the writing, time jumps and story, while the ending had a divided reception. However, some people considered it a slight improvement over the previous season, and praised the acting, the brief return of Hannah Baker, and technical aspects. On Rotten Tomatoes, the final season scores a critic rating of 25% and an audience rating of 53%. The site's critical consensus reads "13 Reasons Why closes with a chaotic final chapter that betrays what little dignity remained in the tragic lives of its central teens."

Trivia

  • The show spawned the "13 Reasons Why" comment meme, and the "Welcome to your tape" internet meme.
  • There is a BTS documentary series titled "Beyond the Reasons". The first, second, and third seasons of the show were released respectively along with the show's first, second and third seasons. The series shows how the creators dealt with scenes dealing with suicide and sexual assault.
  • The show was one of the most popular teen dramas throughout it's run and had a strong viewership, as the first season attracted 476 million views within the first 30 days of it's release and the second season reached 496 million, making it one of the most viewed series premires on the site, not far from other popular shows like The Witcher, Daredevil, Stranger things, and Money Heist.
  • The character of Ani was the most hated character in the show. The character recieved so much backlash that Grace Saif, the actor who potrayed her, was forced to quit social media.

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