Journal

One Reason to Love 13 Reasons Why – A Review

I remember going through Fully Booked’s three floors in BGC back in 2009 just for this one particular book. I could no longer recall how I got to know about Jay Asher’s novel at that time (maybe from Candy magazine?) but something about it seeped its way into my unknowing heart, etched a deep scar and stayed there ever since. Fast forward to eight years later, the very concept of bullying and suicide are still on both ends of the pendulum. Cutting to the chase, 13 Reasons Why is a book-turned-series about a girl named Hannah and how her perfect little world crumbled around her, pulling her with it. She was a girl (yes, past tense) who was unlucky enough to be in a multitude of wrong places at a wrong time, got acquainted and trusted the wrong people who violated not just her body but her soul, reached her lowest of lows, and just snapped. She did the unforgivable but prior to doing so, she left a set of tapes for specific people to listen to, describing in detail how these persons became reasons to why she eventually had to take her own life. The show was not easy to watch, that’s for sure. And with Netflix’s one time-big time viewing style (the whole season at one go), watching it episode after episode could be all too much.

But I guess the harder it is for viewers to watch, the better. Why? Because it only means that it’s powerful and beyond convincing that it pierces through our very core. It also means that it gets its message across and for me, it only took ONE reason to love it. I was Hannah.

I was her at one point in my life (or still am) but the best thing about it is I didn’t let my own demons get the best of me. I could go on and on rambling about how this show is very important but the bottomline is, it’s always gonna hurt, life would always get shitty every now and then and depression, poor self-esteem and the probability of self-harm isn’t always limited to teenagers. For all we know, you could be Hannah too. Everybody could be Hannah in their own way, carrying their own crosses but it’s not something to be belittled or taken for granted. Each one of us goes through different shit everyday but that’s okay because as long as we see the light of day, we’re seeing the light of life. It always gets better. Always.

Also, I believe that it ended the way it should be, in the most brutal way imaginable I should say (I still get numb replaying that bathtub scene in my mind), but so is the TRUTH. As cliche as the message is (which you can read over and over again on reviews), the only way to survive your demons is to face them. The pain never ceases in death, because no one ever had the chance to say that it does. So why take the choice without a solid answer?

I didn’t cry after watching the series, hence it gave me clarity – that the littlest of things we do or say has an impact on the people around us – our families, friends, neighbors, colleagues, or even strangers we meet along the way. You can be the victim or you can be the bully but either way, this show compels us to rethink our actions. It’s never too late.

On another note, we may not be going through stuff but other people are, so we have to keep our eyes open. We have to pay attention to details because most of the time, the small things are the big things. People we know might be silently crying for help and by not being a bystander, we could actually save a life.

Going back to the review part, I  have to commend Dylan and Kat for delivering the most honest and compelling portrayal of Hannah and Clay. They couldn’t have casted the best and perfect actors for the role. They had such sweeping chemistry that for a moment there, I really wished Hannah had lived. As for Netflix’s version, sorry Jay Asher but I have to say that the series was way, way better than the book; or maybe because it allowed us to explore a much different premise that just couldn’t fit the pages, as well as give us an in-depth look into the lives of the other characters, not just Hannah’s, giving the whole story a multi-dimensional facet. Maybe. But that’s just my opinion.

To sum up, I think Thirteen Reasons Why may just have been the best eye-opener we have had for a while now and I personally think that this generation is lucky to have a concrete manifesto that stood up and raised awareness for the issues that most of us are afraid to acknowledge. I don’t know how to feel about Season 2 coming up because I don’t see how the show would go on without a live Hannah but I presume that the series has stepped up into something bigger than Hannah itself – and so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Netflix would deliver as good as its predecessor, if not better. We’ll just have to wait and see.

 

P.S.

This was supposed to be a minute part of my 6-18/52 post but the thoughts and feelings and words wouldn’t stop coming, only to realize that I’ve written a nearly thousand-word essay. Also, read this while listening to this clip. I’m sure those of you who have watched it would get all the feels.

 

I had all and then most of you, some and now none of you
Take me back to the night we met.

(c) The Night We Met – Lord Hudron


Featured Image Taken From (C)  Google Images

Leave a Reply