Netflix’s New Series, ’13 Reasons Why’, Brings to the Forefront Sexual Assault, Bullying, and Suicide in American High Schools
On March 31, Netflix and executive producer Selena Gomez released an adaptation of the New York Times Bestseller, 13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher. 13 Reasons Why is the story of Clay Jensen, a teen who is left a box of cassette tapes recorded by his friend and classmate Hannah Baker. Hannah had committed suicide two weeks earlier, and these tapes recount the events that led Hannah to taking her life. Each of the 13 tapes is directed at a student who bullied her, or stood by and watched it happen. Clay is haunted by the lose of his friend and on a mission to somehow right the wrongs done to Hannah. While the other classmates featured on these tapes are out to keep their secrets hidden, by any means necessary.
The series, being criticized for its 13 episode length, takes a graphic and honest look into the troubles high school students are facing in America. Sexual assault, slut-shaming, abuse at home, and bullying are the heavy themes being discussed. Subjects tough to think about, but are a reality nonetheless. The series compliments the novel very well, and is being praised for its casting. The ending was left a cliffhanger, of sorts. Hannah’s story isn’t fully settled, and another of the teens is headed down a dark path. Alluding to another horrific reality, gun violence.
13 Reasons Why is streaming now on Netflix