This review is by my movie review contributor Zach A. You can like his facebook page for all things movie related
“Incredible.” If I had to use one word to describe this 13 REASONS WHY, it would be incredible. If I got to take it to one sentence, I would say, “One of the best things that Netflix has ever and will ever produce.” And Netflix has a bunch of original programming now so when I say that don’t take it with a grain of salt. This entire 13 episode run (not confirmed yet for a season two but I hope to God that they don’t do it) is a masterpiece in all sense of the word. A masterpiece in storytelling. A masterpiece in acting. A masterpiece in direction. A masterpiece in emotional substances. Not one single scene is unnecessary and I don’t think I could even cut out one line of dialogue. This series is so great that I watched it within a weekend and it is still with me even though it is over.
If you have no clue what this series is, get your head out of your ass and listen. It’s about a girl named Hannah, who before killing herself, records 13 reasons why she killed herself over 7 tapes (one reason = 1 side of a tape with 7B being blank ((that is important later)) each episode is one reason and so on). These tapes are left at the front door of one of her closest friends Clay, and when he starts the first tape, she says that whoever is listening to the tapes right now, their name is eventually a reason for why she killed herself. Clay, being distraught and ultimately confused on why he would be on these tapes, goes through each side to figure out why Hannah did what she did, and what he ever could’ve done to drive her to suicide.
It’s a depressing and haunting premise, but one that just walks that thin tightrope of being interesting but not too depressing. There really are no twists to Hannah killing herself. She is dead, so don’t see her magically pop up at the end stating that everything is okay. This is a sucker punch to the gut (especially her hard to watch death scene) emotional roller coaster ride. Usually high school dramas don’t fare unnecessarily well. To prove my point, can you name a high school drama (NOT A COMEDY) that has stood the test of time and you remember quite well? Maybe Stand and Deliver? Certainly not Dangerous Minds (if you think Dangerous Minds is good I’ll argue to the moon and back on that). Well folks, this series is it. This is the one to remember. This is the high school drama that actually gets it right. It feels real every step of the way and should be required viewing on anyone entering or in the middle of high school.
This isn’t just some preach “please don’t kill yourself” type of series. It isn’t just some preach “please don’t bully people” series either. This is a no holds barred realistic high school experience. These characters feel real. Kudos to Katherine Langford as Hannah and Dylan Minnette as Clay. They need to be nominated for this because their acting is so incredible it devastated me at times completely. Not just them, but all the supporting players (too many to name and I don’t want to spoil the series) are incredible too. This series makes after school specials look viciously bad, so bad to the point that this series should just be shown in its place from now on.
And the series doesn’t just do the kids perspectives, it does the adults as well, and gets their interactions with their kids right on point. This series is scary. It’s scary in the fact that it is realistic to the point of utter heartbreak. But like I said, it walks that tightrope. It’s gets really depressing but balances it with lighter moments, enough where you will cry but want to bask in its brilliance while doing it. A masterpiece. I already want to watch it again. If you have Netflix, watch this immediately.