If you’ve been on any form of social media lately, you’ve most likely stumbled upon something mentioning 13 Reasons Why -- and for good reason. The show, recently released on Netflix, isn’t your average teenage drama. It’s not something with a happy ending and a typical teenage drama storyline about flirty romances and heartbreaking breakups. It follows a simple, but also not so simple, premise: Hannah Baker committed suicide, and, in a series of tapes, she gives 13 reasons why.
So here are 13 reasons why you should be watching 13 Reasons Why:
1. It’s Based On A Book
13 Reasons Why is based on the book by Jay Asher of the same name, which was published in 2006. If you’ve read the book, you’ve probably been dying to see that story play out on screen, and if you haven’t read the book, if you find yourself craving more after you watch the series, you have something to fall back onto. Novel to film adaptations are always the best.
2. You Instantly Become Hooked
The story being told immediately hooks you. From the very first words “Hey, it’s Hannah. Hannah Baker,” to the very last, you are drawn into the story and feel an intense desire to keep watching it. It’s surrounded in mystery, and you need to know how it ends. You find yourself needing to know the 13 reasons why Hannah Baker committed suicide.
3. It’s Perfect For Binge Watching
Because you instantly become hooked, you want to keep watching. And, as there are only 13 episodes, it’s easy to watch within a few days -- or, if you’re a hardcore binger, you could finish it in a day.
4. The Music
The soundtrack is amazing. Not only does it make you want to instantly download every song, but every song played adds to the story. The music sets the scene, sets the emotion. They’re beautiful and tragic, just like the story being told.
5. The Structure
There’s something to be said about the structure of 13 Reasons Why. Not only is it unique, in both the literal setup and that tapes are being used instead of an iPod or some other form of modern technology, but the setup allows the viewer to become a part of the story in a sense. All 13 episodes are immediately made available to the viewer, just as all 13 tapes are immediately made available to the next person in the lineup. As an audience member, you are listening to them in the same order that the characters listen to them. So are you a Clay, making your way through them slowly, or are you like the others, who went through them as quickly as possible?
6. The Characters
The characters are relatable, and you can find yourself in them and in their struggles. Whether it’s a bad household, overbearing parents, a need to be perfect, chances are you will see bits and pieces of yourself in one or more of the characters introduced.
7. It Tackles Real-Life Issues
The issues dealt with aren’t made up or rarely heard of; they are all issues that are far too common. Rumors, slut-shaming, issues with friends, bullying, stalking, sexual assault, abuse -- it’s all packed into one 13-episode-long series.
8. Nothing’s Sugarcoated
Nothing is sugarcoated, and it makes it extremely difficult to watch at times. In fact, several episodes have trigger warnings because the content is so heavy. Everything is shown how it is, and it doesn’t hide from reality, and, while that can be too hard for many to watch, the show handles it all very well.
9. It’s Complicated
From the characters to their actions to the 13 reasons why, everything in the plot is complicated. There are two sides to every story, and nothing can simply be taken at face value. Yes, at first, you may hate some of the characters, but, as the story continues, you learn more about them and see that they are dealing with their own problems. Sometimes their cruelty is a result of their own emotional struggles.
10. Little Things Matter
it makes you realize that even the smallest of things matter. Something that you say, even if you don’t mean it or you think it doesn’t matter, can affect someone tremendously. Just being there for someone, even if it’s just offering them a smile or getting coffee with them, can mean the world to them.
11. There Are Light Moments
For all of the heaviness that is the show, there are also light moments. There’s a love story. There are Star Wars references. There are moments that make it look like Hannah Baker’s life was perfect, but the show delves deeper and reveals that what you see on the outside isn’t necessarily the truth. But these light moments provide a much needed break from the emotional toll.
12. It Humbles You
By the time that you reach the last episode and hear the last of the tapes, 13 Reasons Why will make you want to be a better person. It will make you think twice about how you treat people and make you realize that some things that make you frustrated or angry are petty.
13. It’s Worth The Investment
You won’t regret the 13-hour investment that you put into watching 13 Reasons Why. It’s worth every minute and every part of yourself that you invest into the story and the characters.
All 13 episodes of 13 Reasons Why are now available for streaming on Netflix.