Netflix released the 13-episode first season of 13 Reasons Why on April 1st. This season, based off of Joy Asher’s 2007 bestselling novel, was written by Brian Yorkey and produced by Selena Gomez.
This season examines the overlooked reasons as to why 17-year-old Hannah Baker committed suicide. After Hannah’s death, 13 cassette tapes are sent around to 13 people that essentially caused her to kill herself. Each bully had their own tape, and after they listened to the tapes, she laid out a map and they were instructed to pass along the cassettes to the next bully in line. As a form a blackmail, she told them that if they did not do as she said there was someone with a copy of all the cassettes that will expose all their dirty secrets.
The first episode begins when one of Baker’s former bullies, Clay, gets the cassettes. Clay finds himself trying to put together all the pieces throughout the season, even though others are trying hard to stop him. Clay, who had a seemingly mutual attraction to Hannah, has a hard time making it through each tape.
This show covers topics such as sexual assault, shaming, depression, anxiety and high school stereotypes throughout this very emotional story. Each episode gets more intense, making it hard to look away. The reasons that pushed a 17-year-old girl to commit suicide draw viewers in as they try to put together the pieces of the story.
It seems to be that the reason behind why this show is so intriguing is because everyone has gone through the high school stage. Not everyone has good memories from high school and the fact of the matter is that bullying is still happening. Kids just have a way of being horrible to one another and when it comes down to it, kids are just ruthless at times. The old saying starts, “Sticks and stones make break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” but should actually end as “words will always hurt me.”
This season provides a grim reminder of how people’s words and actions have such an impact on others’ feelings that it can drive someone to deadly measures as it did to Baker. Though it is a very emotional show, there are lessons to be learned from this show and it is definitely worth the watch.