Another Netflix original is taking over the airwaves—13 Reasons Why-and it’s addicting, stimulating, and flat out mysterious. Netflix has mirrored these successes with series like Stranger Things and Orange is the New Black.
Based on the book of the same name, 13 Reasons Why follows the tale of teenager Hannah Baker and her suicide. Fellow classmate and friend Clay Matthews discovers 13 tapes connected to her death. Each tape is an episodic recording of Hannah explaining the circumstances of her suicide.
Clay goes through a tape an episode and discovers things about people around him. Friends, classmates, they suddenly become different people as Hannah continues.
The show wraps the viewer in Clay’s journey through the tapes. It’s the best detail of the series. He goes from setting to setting discovering important events in Hannah’s life. It pieces together to reveal the 13 reasons she made her choice. The visuals also include Hannah in some instances, some that are deeper than you’d think. The inclusion of Hannah as an actress was a brilliant idea.
Dylan Minnette (Don’t Breathe, Goosebumps) plays a curious and shocked Clay who’s intrigued by Hannah Baker’s (Katherine Langford) tapes. His friend Tony Padilla (Christian Navar) knows about the tapes, and his involvement slowly grows through the series. The casting was an excellent choice since the lesser known actor formula works for Netflix.
The story gets better with each episode, which is a great recipe for Netflix shows. Streaming allows for one to shuffle through the series without breaks. 13 Reasons Why follows this formula well and keeps you captivated through the tapes. You feel like you’re Clay, listening to the tapes yourself and figuring out what happened.
While the series is exciting, some of the juvenile teenage themes make it hard to relate to some things. Then again, we were all teenagers once.
Available on Netflix
Time Commitment: 1 Season
Why Its Worth The Binge: Engrossing story, good pacing, and great characters.
– Leo Rydel
Follow me on Twitter @LeoRydel