After it’s release last week, the new Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” has taken over several social media platforms. The show brings Jay Asher’s young adult novel to life, following the life of Clay Jensen after Hannah Baker commits suicide… and leaves 13 tapes a.ka. 13 reasons why she did what she did.
When I first heard the book was being turned into a show, I didn’t really know how to feel. On one hand my inner 13 year-old self was overjoyed; it had been my favorite book for a good while. But the other part of me was disheartened. Would the creators ruin the moral of the story? I decided to give the show a chance, and no, I didn’t binge watch the show and finish it in a day. But I can say I did enjoy it, it was good. But it wasn’t the best, and just like I thought, my fear had come true.
*MAJOR SPOILER ALERT*
The writers decided to drag on the story, far more than it needed to be. They changed certain characters, and certain lines in the show upset me more than it should’ve. They attempted to add to the simplicity of the story, and instead made it more than it should have been.
- My first problem was Hannah Baker. She was an actual badass in the novel, how insane is that? She made tapes, and even when she wasn’t there, people still talked about her. That stayed the same in the show. But her entire persona changed from episode one. Sooner or later, we started to pity Hannah, we’re opened to her feelings about Clay and her relationship with her parents which, evidently, never exist in the book. Knowing all these things about Hannah, we want her to come back to life more than ever, not to kick Bryce’s ass, or slap Jessica (like she should’ve in Monet’s) but to hug her parents one more time, or apologize to Clay and give him that last kiss he wanted. All the things we shouldn’t be focused on.
- Bringing me to my next issue with the show, it took Clay 13 episodes to finish the tapes. Ha, very clever Selena Gomez, 13 episodes. In my opinion, this was completely unnecessary. If anything, I got annoyed having to wait so many episodes for Clay to finally listen to his tape.
- Let me not forget to mention what Clay says to Mr. Porter in the final episode: “I cost a girl her life because I was afraid to love her.” Did I really just watch an entire season of this for our protagonist to think if he had displayed his love for Hannah even more that she’d still be alive? Did Clay really believe that Hannah killed herself because he didn’t love her? Did we not just listen to 13 tapes?
- And finally, Tyler. What the hell was that all about? The writers could have easily ended the show with Clay and Mr. Porter, but instead left us with “Alex Standall shot himself in the head last night”, and several scenes with Tyler hiding his rifles and taking down Alex’s picture. This left me thinking… will there be a season 2?
Just like any show, there were flaws, and these happened to be a few of them. But that doesn’t set aside the fact that 13 Reasons Why taught kids the importance of making sure others are alright, the reality of suicide, and the effects of bullying. 13 Reasons Why was a show that this generation needed, it just could’ve been a teeny bit different, you know, a little more like the actual book.