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Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why initially got us curious because of Selena Gomez’s involvement. Though her name doesn’t appear in the billing, Gomez signed on as the miniseries’ executive producer. But there are a lot of other reasons to watch this dark and brooding, coming of age Netflix Original.
1 It’s based on a New York Times best-selling novel
A good piece of literature coming to life is a dream for its avid fans. Such was the case for 13 Reason Why, which was based on Jay Asher’s novel of the same name. The miniseries does its best to stay true to the story, the characters and the message.
2 The plot is something we can all relate to
We were all young and impressionable once, and 13 Reasons Why reminds us just how we were as teens or high schoolers; the feeling of being the new kid, making friends, young love, betrayal, bullying or being bullied and so on.
3 It proves just how real and dangerous high school drama can be
The miniseries follows the story of a student, Hannah Baker, who kills herself after a series of failures brought on by select individuals from her school. She was betrayed, slut-shamed, sexually harassed by her peers. She cried for help, but nobody listened.
4 The casting was perfect
13 Reasons Why’s casting was pretty flawless and many critic reviews can attest to that. Katherine Langford was a convincing and relatable Hannah Baker; young, beautiful, smart as a whip but vulnerable. Meanwhile, Dylan Minette makes for an unforgettable Clay Jensen; handsome, nerdy, misfit but naïve.
5 It tackles suicide and its possible triggers we often ignore
The Netflix Original received both praise and backlash for its treatment of a sensitive issue like suicide. But the more important news is that the series initiated a conversation about the subject matter and its possible triggers, and encourages us to really listen when someone we know cries for help.
6 You can’t just get over bullying
13 Reasons Why touches on themes not many people want to talk about such as bullying. As adults, we think bullying makes a person stronger. But it wont, because bullying, whether on or off social media, has detrimental effects on an individual; it can push someone over the edge.
7 The show is a lesson on compassion and sensitivity to others
“Everyone is just so nice until they drive you to kill yourself,” once said Clay Jensen in the series. His statement was not to simplify suicide, mental illness or other sensitive issues, but to remind us to be kind, and to think before we act or speak.
8 It’s racially diverse
More than the literally diverse cast, 13 Reasons Why veers away from stereotyping characters from different racial backgrounds. Read: Asian teens are not nerds, people of color are not “sassy.”
Ratings and reviews aside, 13 Reasons Why is worth watching for the mere fact that it sparked conversation on issues that are still largely stigmatized. So speak up, ask for help and join the conversation.