13 Reasons Why You Should Watch

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Unless one’s been living under a rock, everyone should know of the 13 Reasons Why series, which premiered on Friday, March 31, 2017 on Netflix. It was originally a 2007 young adult novel by Jay Asher, but the new series has gained popularity since its release, trending number one on various social media sites, including Twitter and Tumblr. The first reason to watch: since everyone’s hyping 13 Reasons Why, why not try watching? It’s not just to join the bandwagon, but a really good series is hard to find. The second reason: why not watch the series after reading the novel? It’s fun.

“Everyone keeps talking about 13 Reasons Why,” expressed BPHS sophomore Bai Rong Lin. Most of his friends have already watched it and he’s willing to give it a chance.

13 Reasons Why consists of 13 episodes in total, which is the third reason why everyone should watch. Remember the Netflix series Stranger Things? It was only eight episodes so this is easy to binge. The story revolves around twelve high school students at Liberty High. They all try to solve their problems based off the thirteen tape recordings that their classmate, Hannah Baker, has left for them. Each tape recording explains exactly why she committed suicide. She left a task for Tony Padilla, so that the thirteen people would have the chance to hear her side of the story, understand why she took her own life, and know what they did to influence her decision. Each tape is mailed in the order assigned to an individual in which he or she must pass on until all thirteen of them are finished listening. If one of them were to break the rules, Tony would release his copies of the tape recordings. The fourth reason why: the series is mysterious and intriguing. Viewers want to know who’s next. All this can be seen through the protagonist, Clay Jensen. Hannah Baker was the “new girl” at school, and recalls all types of rumors and sexual harassment she encountered with these twelve students.

In the entire thirteen episodes, friendships and relationships are ruined and made as the story is told. The twelve accused classmates soon form alliances as well as point fingers to each other, trying to save their reputation. Only a few have the heart to speak the truth about what happened, wanting to see justice for Hannah. The fifth reason: the characters are full of empathy and passion. Each individual is exposed by each tape, describing them perfectly. All the different personalities gives the series differing perspectives. Clay Jensen is the slowest and most emotional when it comes to listening, and he doesn’t understand what he had to do with her suicide. After hearing Hannah’s truth, he blames himself for not realizing and being her savior when she needed him the most.

The sixth reason why everyone should watch is for the actors. The novel didn’t distinguish exactly what each character was like, but it was notable that Netflix had many people of color to play parts in the series. From having caucasian lead roles, 13 Reasons Why included African-Americans who played roles as some of Liberty High School’s ASB council and part of the cheerleading squad, and also included Asians who played the roles of some jocks and gays, the not-so-typical roles.

Reason 7: as the episodes progress, the more the viewers will want to watch. Each situation has the viewers on the edge of their seats, anxious to know what happens next. The eighth reason is for the romance. Who doesn’t want to see a loving couple as the lead role? There are many romantic couples on the side who share their own tragedies; too. Reason 9: 13 Reasons Why includes all the genres of a successful TV show. With the bullying, betrayal, romantic relationships, high school awkwardness, and other tensions, the series is hard to resist. Which brings Reason 10: 13 Reasons Why should be watched with friends, not alone. If anyone is ever lonely, invite them over to experience the whole plot.

Some viewers expressed negative opinions concerning Hannah Baker and misunderstood the purpose of the Netflix series. “Don’t romanticize 13 Reasons Why and instead understand the problem the show is devastatingly trying to address,” states BPHS senior Rachel Park.

Reason 11: 13 Reasons Why brings awareness to bullying, rape, and suicide. After watching, it may help individuals who are experiencing those types of problems. Hannah wasn’t the only one suffering. Other characters in the series were going through issues of their own at home with family and friends. The twelfth reason to watch is because viewers can learn a valuable life lesson. If anyone is having problems, viewers know that they have the power to influence anyone’s decision. Everyone is able to talk to one another and stop the problems. The series made high school seem like a hot mess, and high school can be a dangerous place for those like Hannah. High school and its students were too much to handle, and she fell into a pit of hopelessness, giving up life. The thirteenth reason why is because it brings hope. To leave on a positive note, 13 Reasons Why shows why it’s important to appreciate what and who we have.

“[Hannah] was raped, witnessed rape of an unconscious person, and was neglected by countless people, I’d be annoyed and extra,” said BPHS senior Leslie Lona, defending the protagonist in every perspective.

13 Reasons Why has the power to bring insight into all young adults about their high school troubles and tensions at this time. The series highlighted the effect words and actions can have on a person. Instead of trying to help, students hide the truth because of fear. Overall, empathy is brought upon the viewers and 13 Reasons Why encourages all acts of kindness.

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