13 Reasons Why
Oh look, another teen drama has been added to Netflix. Does this one have vampires in it with a thin plot like many others? Not one bit. 13 Reasons Why is once again proving to be another Netflix sensation that is leaving viewers on the edge of their seats after each episode. After only the first two hours, there is a foreshadowing feeling that there is simply nothing the recipient of this potentially explosive box of tapes (or the viewer) can do but sit back, listen, and wait for a truth that all are dreading.
13 Reasons Why is based on the lesser-known novel of the same name by Jay Asher. The series tells the tale of a young girl who has suddenly removed herself from the lives of her classmates and companions, for reasons and by means we are yet to discover. The story is told through the eyes and ears of her classmate Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette), who has just received an anonymous package of tapes from Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) on his doorstep. He’s just one of the many people dealing with the consequences of Hannah’s death, and trying to figure out why a vibrant young woman would take her own life, leaving him and her other friends stranded on an island of questions.
Right from the go, the series explains that something is wrong in Clay’s life, and someone who was present is now missing. Even early on, the plot delves deep into the back story of what has happened to Hannah, and why there is a darkness hanging over the school. This sudden and unexpected sense of loss is depicted in powerful simple sequences and imagery. Flashbacks feature her standing in the midst of everyday life, with a bright and colourful lens placed over the scene, before we return to the same surroundings in the cold and gloomier light of the present day. This swapping of shade is a common theme throughout the first two episodes, as we are taken on a journey along with Clay through his first tape, which tells of events involving Hannah and a school friend, Justin. We also begin to see an unearthing of the psychological problems a young individual may face when dealing with grief, and it will certainly be intriguing to see these very real, untouched issues brought to light in a digestible format.
Telling the tale of each of the 13 tapes one episode at a time will certainly draw an enormous level of suspense over the series, with a new door opening as another closes. However, the only query over this style of information feeding is that it may well get a bit tiring come episode 10 or 11, once the viewer has sat through hours of television with very little to show for it. Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure, and that is that these early chapters have set up what could be a very creative and inventive interpretation of a whodunnit scenario, and with the slow development of a variety of characters, along with an ever-growing number of unanswered questions, 13 Reasons Why is without doubt going to keep viewers biting their nails and screaming at screens right until the very end.
13 Reasons Why is available now on Netflix.
Watch the trailer for 13 Reasons Why here: