24/04/2017

13 REASONS WHY ★ | TV SERIES REVIEW







Hey Zengarmy,


 * This post contains major spoilers. Proceed at your own risk. * 




Okay, disclaimer. First thing you need to know about this show (if you didn't know yet)
 is that it IS centered around teenage suicide — along with bullying, rape, abuse, drugs,
& other common issues that are very prevalent among teenagers, particularly in the US.
Thanks to my blog analytics, I got to know that a good amount of my readers — you guys
who are currently reading this — are under the age of 18, which holds me at account that
I have the responsibility to make this disclaimer. I just finished watching this show a few
days ago, and I had to physically let myself calm down for a few days before I can process
all of my thoughts and type this post. I hated this show, and I liked it. This show does not
hold back at all in displaying all the possibly triggering scenes, so, just a heads up that if
you're a very easily triggered person, I do not recommend you to watch this show, at all
 for your own good! Most of the suicidal triggering scenes are really spot-on (in my own
experience), which is scary, in the sense that some of the young & impressionable viewers
watching the show might actually fall prey to the suicidal triggers in the show. Having said
that, I do think that this is an extremely important show for parents (or anyone, actually)
who wanted more insight into teenage suicide to watch, but PLEASE make sure that you're
in a correct head space before watching this show, as I did feel depressed after I finished
watching the entire series — not in a "i'm-so-sad-because-this-show-is-over" way, but in a
"this-show-made-me-relived-all-of-my-depressive-suicidal-thoughts-that-I-once-had" way.
So, please, I suggest you guys to watch the show together with AT LEAST 2 of your friends,
so that you can have somebody to express your emotions to. Don't keep it to yourself, it's
entirely normal to have negative emotions sometimes, don't beat yourself up (literally)
because you think it's a shameful emotion to have. All of us feel the same, I assure you.






I love the character-building in the show, & the notion that "everybody has their own side
of truth". Indeed, this is VERY TRUE — you can believe that calling somebody faggot is a
verbally harmless thing to do, but on the other hand, not really much of an enjoyable
process to be called a faggot and objectified on a daily basis. The way the plot slowly
reveals the darkest secrets of the characters reminded me of Pretty Little Liars, which
is really enticing and made me REALLY invested in all of the characters, regardless of
whether they're protagonist or antagonist of the plot. The cinematography of the show
is refreshingly good, which ties in with the soundtrack of the series smoothly throughout
the entire show (more on the characters, the cinematography and the soundtrack later).



HOWEVER, one thing that I disliked about this show is that it merely showed the cause &
the process of suicide, BUT NOT MUCH FOCUS ON THE "SOLUTION" OR "CLOSURE" — which I
think is to make way for a possible, upcoming season 2 of the show. As mentioned by the
producers in the end (Episode 14: Beyond The Reasons), they admitted that this show is
merely a DISPLAY of the teenage suicide phenomenon (it shows "what is happening now"
instead of "what could have happened"), which raised a lot of conversations among the
viewers, including me. I can see the effort of the director & producers in raising more
awareness by slamming all the triggering scenes in the faces of the viewers, and I did
notice that there are several scenes that depicted "what could've happened if Hannah
chose to stay alive" (eg.: the scene where Clay & Hannah were sitting together with
OliviaHannah's mother — and chatting happily), but there's simply not enough of
those scenes. The show depicted a lot of failures in the education system, parenting
system, & even the counselling system, but didn't provide a full closure to what has
happened to the people around Hannah after her passing. Some die-hard fans of the
show argued that the show depicted that "if you committed suicide, you'll bring pain
to the people you love, end of story. You should NOT kill yourself, you SHOULD LIVE",



But isn't this the MOST FUCKED UP TOXIC
message ever? These people who claimed
that they "know how it feels to be suicidal"
apparently knew nothing. People commit
suicide NOT because "they wanted to
finally feel VISIBLE", but because they
wanted to stop being a burden to the
people they love. They wanted the world
to go on without them. They never wanted
any attention or drama. They just want to
stop the never-ending drama that they
thought could only be solved by making
themselves disappeared. End of story.






I love/get the show, but the huge dramatic mess that is depicted by the show is in NO WAY
healthy for younger audience who can't process abstract thoughts that well yet to watch,
LET ALONE enjoy it. Do I think that this show will be that well-received if Selena Gomez's
name wasn't attached to it as "one of the executive producers of 13 Reasons Why"?



No. Absolutely not.



Just like 95% of the other viewers do, I started watching 13 Reasons Why solely because
of the fear of missing out on the trend (don't pretend you're not). And, I actually have a
mixed review on this show. I know, #UnpopularOpinionsWillTriggerSelenaGomezFans, lol.
In short verdict, I hated the first-half of this show — as somebody who's been there and
almost done it, I dislike the way the show portrayed suicidal thoughts in a rather trivial
way, as if people wanted to commit suicide because of stupid petty reasons, and if they
did commit suicide in the end, everyone will realize what a "beautiful and tragic figure"
they were when they were alive. It's not that simple. I definitely felt a tad bit offended
that suicidal thoughts were treated & portrayed as such an unrealistic & idealistic object
in the first half of this show (will talk more about this later in the post). I almost stopped
watching the show when I finished episode 6, but THANK GOD I PERSISTED TILL EPISODE 7.



▲ PS: Jessica's tape is in Episode 9. (Episode 7 is Zach's tape).



I started to get the "snowball effect" that the director & the producers were trying to
depict in Hannah's case. If you're anything like me and you stopped watching the show
halfway, I strongly suggest you to hang on until the end of the show, as EVERYTHING
MAKES MORE SENSE IN THE END. Starting from Episode 7, the show has slowly regained
my affection towards the plot! I would say one of the main reasons that turned me off
during the first-half of the show is how sanctimonious (making a show of being morally 
superior to other people) Hannah & Clay's characters are. Like, don't get me wrong, I
adore their characters, but sometimes I just want them to STOP ACTING LIKE A SAINT
because they're too selfless for their own good it's annoying! I particularly disliked Clay
in the beginning because he just kept on wanting to seek revenge for Hannah's death
WITHOUT FUCKING LISTENING TILL THE END OF THE TAPES LMAO! But okay lah I guess
if he's too clever then the entire drama can be solved in half an episode hahahahaha!



I guess another analogy for my distaste towards Clay's character would be when
I'm watching horror thriller and one of the dumb character in the movie heard the
noise from 157523464158 miles away from his/her cabin and DECIDED TO FUCKING
GO AND FIND OUT THE SOURCE OF THE NOISE (I would gladly just lay in the bed &
pretend I heard no shit), and I would be very puzzled by his/her stupidity and said:



"Okay lah you faster go out of the cabin
and get killed by the monster/ghost!!!"



▲ Exactly how I felt when Clay's morality outshines his brain.



I was discussing about the show with one of my friend Michelle (who has no intention
to watch this show at all) and she told me one of the reasons that she refused to watch
this show is because from all the spoilers that she had effortlessly gathered from Twitter,
she thought the show glorifies suicide in a very unhealthy & disrespectful way — which I
agree (and also disagree) to some extent. I found this passage online and I thought it's
worth a read (just a disclaimer, I'm NOT sure about HOW VALID/ACCURATE the info is):






I certainly do not believe that the producing team ignored the advice from psychology
experts, because I'm VERY SURE they knew how influential Selena Gomez is and she
would probably NOT promote this show if it's harmful. Even though I do agree with
some of the points in the passage above, I'm entirely positive that this show is NOT
THAT HARMFUL. As I've said, you just need to make sure that you're in your correct
head space when you're watching the show. And make sure to digest all the emotions
thoroughly. It's okay to feel sad. If you've watched the director's cut in episode 14,
you'll know that as a teenager/youth, your frontal lobe (the front part of your brain)
is not fully developed yet. Frontal lobe serves as an executive control to your behavior,
and underdeveloped frontal lobe often results in impulsiveness, as well as the thought
that "every mistake/drama/bad things in your life is going to last forever!" — which is
FUCKING NOT TRUE AND BULLSHIT. Remember, it's just a bad day, NOT A BAD LIFE!



Moving on to the characters of the show
something that I'm very excited to talk
about because THE CAST IS GOLDEN!






I personally think there couldn't be a more suitable cast than this bunch!






Hannah Baker (played by Katherine Langford)

 Tape distributor 




"Some of them cared. None of them cared enough."

The. BEST. actress. in. the. show. I was very touched by her performance throughout the
entire series — particularly in the season finale, when she said "I just want everything
to stop", and the MOST TRIGGERING SCENE OF THE SHOW (the suicide scene). I think
I cried like a baby when her parents came in and found her dead body. It was a very
realistic scene of a mother (and father) losing their only child. Definitely a painful
scene to watch. ( Conspiracy theory : she faked her death & reappears in Season 2 )



Justin Foley (played by Brandon Flynn)

 Tape subject on Tape 1, Side A & Tape 5, Side A




"That damned smile."

Justin Foley is definitely one of the characters that turned out to be my favorite
in the end of the show. I like how the complexity of his character managed to
maintain a love-hate relationship between him and the audience. First a super
brainless douchebag that spread a racy picture of Hannah along with a sexual
rumor about their encounter, then a coward who let Bryce to rape his girlfriend
Jessica & lied about the truth, then an abused homeless teenager who is lost &
filled with guilt — I love how the plot reveals his vulnerability episode by episode.
He's one of the prime example that shows how peer pressure & family abuse can
result in a bully who bullies others to gain acceptance, compliments & dominance.



Jessica Davis (played by Alisha Boe)

 Tape subject on Tape 1, Side B 




"1 + 1 is never a simple equation."

I personally can relate to the relationship between Hannah, Jessica & Alex very well.
When there are more than 2 person in a friend circle, it's only a matter of time that
the friendship will turn sour at some point of time. I was particularly intrigued by
the scene when Jessica said Hannah was lying because she's the one who stopped
meeting with her and Alex — again, the notion that "everybody has their own side
of truth". The rape scene in episode 9 is really INTENSE that I had to stop for a night
before proceeding with episode 10. I'm really impressed by her acting in episode 13!


Alex Standall (played by Miles Heizer)

 Tape subject on Tape 2, Side A 





(PS: Am I the only one that thought he's a gay character but ended up wrong? haha.)
Not much comment on him apart that his character is a really oppressed figure by
his father. There are a lot of conspiracy theories about the vague ending of his death,
which I will cover by the end of this post (lol this post feels like a fucking thesis haha!).



Tyler Down (played by Devin Druid)

 Tape subject on Tape 2, Side B 





My 3rd MOST HATED CHARACTER after watching the show.
There's definitely a devil lying behind his sweet demure face.
His episode where his nudes were leaked was one of my favorite!
( Conspiracy theory : he shot Alex & will be a shooter in season 2 )



Courtney Crimson (played by Michele Selene Ang)

 Tape subject on Tape 3, Side A 




My MOST HATED CHARACTER after watching the show, hahahahaha!
She did an excellent job in building up this double-faced character!



Marcus Cole (played by Steven Silver) 

 Tape subject on Tape 3, Side B 




My 2nd MOST HATED CHARACTER after watching the show.
Again, a double-faced character with zero remorse or whatsoever.



Zach Dempsey (played by Ross Butler)

 Tape subject on Tape 4, Side A 





"WHY ME?! Zach!"

I find his character build-up very similar to Justin Foley, except that he came
from a perfectly perfect family (only a typical overprotective Asian mother).
Even though he did one of the most childish revenge act anyone can EVER
imagine for a buff guy (by stealing the "positive notes" destined to Hannah
in Communications class out of revenge for her rejecting him), he created
one of the biggest triggers on Hannah's path to suicide — he broke her spirit.



Ryan Shaver (played by Tommy Dorfman)

 Tape subject on Tape 4, Side B 





Another good example of "everybody has their own side of truth" — he
thought he was helping Hannah to open up & discover her talent in poetry,
without knowing that he's extreme measure has invaded Hannah's privacy.



Sheri Holland (played by Ajiona Alexus)


 Tape subject on Tape 5, Side B 




Regardless of how she accidentally contributed to Jeff's death (check him out on
Instagram @brandonlarracuente and THANK ME LATER), Sheri is still one of my
favorite characters of the show because SHE OWNS UP TO HER OWN SHIT! In the
last episode she's the FIRST to hand herself in, instead of covering up with lies.



Clay Jensen (played by Dylan Minnette)

 Tape subject on Tape 6, Side A 





The only person who did the least harm but blamed himself THE MOST.
The scene when he found out that he wasn't responsible for Hannah's suicide
and decided to shout out like a maniac while riding his bike was one of the
highlight of the show. Apart from how sanctimonious he is sometimes, Clay
Jensen is undoubtedly in my TOP 3 FAVORITE CHARACTERS (Sheri too)!



Bryce Walker (played by Justin Prentice)

 Tape subject on Tape 6, Side B & Tape 7, Side





Rapist, rapist, rapist, rapist, rapist, rapist, rapist, rapist, rapist, rapist.
Technically he didn't receive any of Hannah's tapes. But he's the culprit to
Hannah's suicide. (Conspiracy theory : he wasn't turned in to the police
because Mr. Porter was an arrogant coward who refuse to admit to his
incompetence, so that THERE WILL BE MORE DRAMA IN SEASON 2!)






Oh my god how could I forget about SKYEEEEEE? (the gothic girl who cuts herself)
Skye is also another of my favorite character, alongside with Tony! I love the variety
of races and sexual orientations in the show. Who would know that Tony (who doesn't
fit into the typical stereotype of gay) would be gay? There are a LOT more things that
I wish I could include in this post, but this post is exceeding the post length wayyyyyy
tooooooo muchhhhhh. I'll include 3 videos that I think sum up my thoughts very well:






 All in all : 8.5/10 for 13 Reasons Why! 

Do you have any similar (or different, be my guest!) thoughts after watching

13 Reasons Why? I would love to hear them in the comment section below!









          
(CLICK TO FOLLOW ALONG & STAY UPDATED)

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