The latest Netflix breakout series “13 Reasons Why” have been in lots of discussions lately and for good reasons. It discusses lots of important issues which teenagers face and which ultimately lead them to take some unfortunate decisions. In fact, it has recently lead to a man committing suicide in the similar fashion as the lead character in the series, leaving behind a series of tapes for the people who he thinks lead to his suicide. Now, authorities in the US are concerned that this might lead to copycat incidents similar to “A Clockwork Orange”, “Fight Club” or “Heat“. The success of the series has led the Netflix to renew it for a second season even though the book upon which the series was based on was fully covered by it. Hence calling “13 Reasons Why” a pop-culture phenomenon would be an understatement as it’s been analyzed by columnists and its lead actors have overnight become stars. So here I am presenting to you 13 Reasons why you should see the Netflix series if you haven’t already(in no particular order):
1) Important Issues:
The major reasons 13RW is such a big hit is because it touches several important issues teenagers face while growing up and which ultimately lead them to take drastic measures. Issues such as loneliness, rape, teenage suicide, bullying, parental negligence, divorce are covered in the series and somewhere down the line, you might be able to identify yourself with the characters as a victim or the “other”.
2) Chemistry Between The Lead Actors:
The success of a series rests hugely upon how its lead actors perform, unlike movies where you might get away with mediocre acting and still earn big bucks for e.g. Transformers or any superhero movie nowadays as they have to hold viewers attention over the duration of entire series. A strong lead actor can take the series to new heights which we have seen in “Game of Thrones” or “Breaking Bad”. In 13RW both the lead actors, Dylan Minnette and Katherine Langford were able to provide the chemistry between the characters at the same time convey the emotions what their characters might be feeling.
3) Supporting Cast:
Not just the lead actors but the supporting cast especially the parents of both the lead actors, the popular kids, the bullies, the creepy stalker, the gay friends, villains, the teachers every single character played his or her part perfectly and they were also able to show how a bully at school might be suffering from domestic violence. Not all popular kids are a bully and not all bullies may be that bad. Every person has their own sad story hidden somewhere and it’s because of its strong supporting case that we also come to sympathize with bullies too.
4) The Background Score:
The background score throughout the series is purely addictive with each sound perfectly capturing the moment on the screen right from the theme music of the series. You have to hear to believe it.
The direction as often the case with American serials is simply awesome. The directors, even though there are different for the episode, does not loose the grip on the source material as well as the characters. They gave ample space to each of the characters to grow and the twists and turns kept on coming.
6) The Twists:
There are ample twists in the whole story that will keep you on the edge of the seat and at the end of every episode, you will feel the urge to start the next episode as soon as possible even though its basically a high school story. A lot of times it reminded me of the 2005 movie Brick which had a similar plot although underworld was not involved here.
7) A Look Into US High School Days:
13RW will give you a sneak peek into the high school days and trust me they are not great. Students suffering from depression, loneliness, suicidal tendencies, and bullying is a common sight but it is terrifically captured in 13RW. Actually, after watching the series, you might feel that living in the US is not that hunky-dory after all as it seems!
8) Dylan Minnette:
Dylan Minnette as Clay Jensen AKA Helmet is a revelation in 13RW. Previously seen in last years amazing horror Don’t Breath, Dylan will remind you a lot of Tobey Mcguire’s Peter Parker in Spiderman (2004). A big reason that 13RW works are because of Dylan’s performance which is understated and restrained but he also manages to bring brooding sense of anger which is required of his character in some of the scenes. His scenes, especially with Katherine Langford, are treated to the eyes and they look so good together that even you might feel the anger when her character keeps on making wrong choices.
9) Katherine Langford:
Katherine Langford had the toughest task to make a character likable who continuously makes questionable choices although her character is also there to make you realize that even though people seem all nice and likable they might be making bad choices in their life. You can’t help but root for Katherine Langford’s character from the start even though you know that her character is not meant for a happy ending.
10) If You Have Been Bullied:
A lot of people will identify with 13RW if they are bullied or made fun at School or in College. It raises important concerns about bullying and how it affects people leading them to take drastic steps such as Suicide even though it should not be the solution to the problems.
11) The Characters:
All of the characters in 13RW are multi-dimensional. Each of the characters has their backstory explored by the writers which gave enough room to the supporting actor’s lot of rooms to flourish. It also explored that not all of the people who seem like a bad guy might necessarily are the bad guys and may be suffering from depressions themselves. The next season might explore the story of several characters such as Alex and Tyler. Kate Walsh as Hannah’s mother is especially wonderful and might even get nominated for next year’s Emmy’s.
12) Graphic Scenes:
This one is a little bit on the other side as the series is being criticized for its rather graphic representation of Suicide and Rape but I believe they are rather necessary to convey the emotions and essence of the story. The thing the rape and suicide are not normal and showing these scenes might actually stop students from committing these heinous acts. The scene particularly involving Hannah’s suicide might not be easily digestible to the people who are not into violent movies.
13) The End:
The series was conceptualised by the writers of 13RW as a one-off series. In fact, whole material from the original book is covered over the span of 13 episodes in the series but that doesn’t mean that they answered all the questions. In fact, they kept so many questions open-ended in the last episode which were not present in the book. The next season will cover a whole new set of problems plaguing the US schools.
So these were the 13 reasons why you should definitely see 13RW. Let us know your thoughts about the series in the comments section.