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Explicit 13 Reasons Why Falls Short of Book

Rachel Wood, Staff Writer

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Let me just start by saying I’m not a film critic. This review is purely based on an average viewer’s opinion and the actual content of the show. Im not going to criticize the actors, director, or anything like that. I just want to tell you my mixed thoughts about popular tv series.
13 Reasons Why is a Netflix original TV series based on Jay Asher’s book published in 2007. The story takes place at Liberty High where a girl named Hannah Baker commits suicide and leaves 13 tapes for 13 people to listen to. On these tapes are the reasons she killed herself. In the story we see a boy named Clay Jensen go through the emotions of finding out everything about his friend Hannah through the tapes and how it lead to her fatal choice. The story, while fictional, can teach good lessons and touch the hearts of all the viewers. This show was produced with the help of Selena Gomez and hit Netflix on March 31st. To say it became popular is an understatement. As soon as this show was released, thousands of people watched it and started to discuss it as well. Here’s my two cents worth of criticism:
13 Reasons Why has many problems in my eyes starting with the language. If you like watching movies with the F word in it quite often, this show wouldn’t bother you. But for me, someone who doesn’t mind necessary cussing, I found the hundreds of F words a little bit extreme and minimizing towards the powerful dialogue.
For me, this series had more problems in the content due to the fact that it wasn’t like the book. Back in fifth grade when this book came out, I immediately fell in love with the story. I’ve always found stories like this interesting, but the tv series exaggerated many things. In the book Hannah kills herself by “swallowing a handful of pills,” but the tv series depicts a graphic scene where Hannah slits her wrists and bleeds out in the bath tub. The tv series also shows intense partying and rape scenes that are very uncomfortable to view. The book focused more on the suicide and bad things that come from it instead of the drama. We as viewers are captivated by the drama that follows the suicide more than the problem of her committing suicide itself when we watch the series. The book gave more insight into the emotions and the intense scenes were much easier to read about than view. I can’t tell if it was hard to watch because it was so realistic, or if it was because I knew it wasn’t the right plot. Either way, the harsh reality of the tv series was hard to handle, but it did make for good tv drama that everyone seems to love.
This show while influencing the viewers to take a step back and see how they treat people did somewhat of the opposite to me. It made me think about how terrible people have treated me. Through Hannah’s stories on the tapes, we find out secrets and the evil nature of her classmates. If a viewer feels like a bully, they might rethink how they act, but what about non-bullies and victims of bullying? Could this show possibly backfire? I think so.
If you don’t get enough drama at our school and would like to spend close to 13 hours submerging yourself in a fictional high school filled with twisted drama, then you will want to watch this. Overall, I would say if you haven’t read the book, read it. And if you haven’t seen the show, watch it. It’s one of those series and books that need to be experienced for yourself.
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Explicit 13 Reasons Why Falls Short of Book