To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t expecting much from the show since when I had read the book back in elementary, it did not strike me as deep as it could have. But I didn’t know whether to attribute my complete lack of empathy to the fact that I wasn’t socially woke yet or because it was just not a good book. So when Netflix and Selena Gomez teamed up to make a tv series adaptation, my curiosity was piqued but not enough to actually look forward to it.
But when people started talking about the graphic content the show had and all of the mixed reviews, I knew I had to watch it. So when I finally got the chance and time (university, release me from your clutches), I streamed it all in one night until the early hours of the next day. And I was sorely disappointed at how I spent so much time watching a TV show that I couldn’t even deem worth it.
The truth about depicting sensitive issues like mental health is that your imitation will always be under fire because there is no perfect imitation, only a close one. But 13 Reasons Why had not only been the farthest I had ever seen in depicting mental health problems, it had done nothing to give justice to people who suffered from depression and abuse like Hannah Baker, despite the show being entirely about her.
Before anything else, I want to mention that I do understand that the intentions of the creators of the show are ultimately good. In fact, I found myself enthralled by some of the scenes, and at first I even came to love the show. The cast were wonderful and the OST was great (except for that song Selena Gomez wrote because of how they made it out to be referring to the “could-have-been romance” of Clay and Hannah). The rare (yes, rare) scenes where the show actually calls out society on their hypocrisy were on point. But as things progressed, I had come to the conclusion that the show, in its entirety, was woefully inaccurate and ultimately not worth it and below are some of the points that I can’t help but call them out on that support my opinion.
TRIGGER WARNING: This show talks about suicide, sexual abuse, and rape so they will be brought up in this review. So if you are uncomfortable with any of those topics, please do not read any further. For a list of trigger warnings for the entire series (because Netflix only gave warnings for the last two episodes like what the fuck, Netflix), click here.