“Hey, it’s Hannah. Hannah Baker. That’s right. Don’t adjust your… whatever device you’re hearing this on. It’s me, live and stereo.” These are the first words of Hannah Baker’s suicide vocal note and the beginning of Clay Jensen’s journey through the tapes’ listening. Even if he will take “10 years” to listen to them, the message remains clear! Here is our analysis of 13 Reasons Why.
13 Reasons Why : The buzz around the TV Show
First of all, the promo around this TV show is lit, between the trailer and the website which allows us to snoop into Hannah’s phone, where we can see the bullying evidences she’s been through. We feel involved and we realize the impact we have on each other. Because we ALL killed Hannah Baker. This is insane!
Because I had already read Jay Asher’s book, I thought I knew what to expect. The book made me really sad, so watching it on a screen was worst. 13 Reasons Why is Netflix’s buzz in this early 2017. The show tries to challlenge and compete with the best-seller from which it comes from. And, the thematic about school bullying truly reflects the persisting evilness in our society.
13 Reasons Why in Summary
So, we all know the plot : Hannah Baker, a 17 years old high school girl killed herself and decided to explain her reasons through audio cassettes. The tapes will be transmitted to all who precipitated her choice, the bullies and the ones who let her down. Yes, this is so morbid and in this, the show resonates like a lesson for the youth and the victims of bullying. Because suicide is not romanticized. The scenes are hard to watch, like the suicide one shooted without sad music, the blue and cold lightening of the bathroom and Katherine Langford’s (Hannah) screams as only sound… To tell you everything, I hit the mute button during the scene and I looked away. Suicide is not glamorous! In this scene, we can see loneliness, sadness, and the will to end a pain by creating an other one… It was awful!
Justin Foley: The one who lied (Tapes 1 & 9)
Jessica Davis: The one who let her down(Tapes 2 & 9)
Alex Standall: The one who fed the rumors (Tape 3)
Courtney Crimsen: The selfish one (Tape 4)
Tyler Down : The one who stalked her (Tape 5)
Marcus Cole: The one who misjudged her (Tape 6)
Ryan Shaver: The one who abused of her trust (Tape 7)
Zach Dempsey: The one who isolated her (Tape 8)
Sheri Holland: The one who fled (Tape 10)
Clay Jensen: The one who loved her (Tape 11)
Bryce Walker : The one who took without asking (Tapes 12 & 9)
Tray Porter (guidance consellor): The one who didn’t believe her (Tape 13)
Tony Padilla : The mysterious friend
Analysis of the TV Show
Contrary to the book, in the TV show, we can follow the other characters and humanize them, like Justin. Sincerely, I don’t like him! But he did some messy stuff because he was desperate. He was a coward and detestable in order to not having to suffer in return. In fear and sadness, we are sometimes alone. All the characters are so complexed because, on one side they are Hannah’s bullies but on the other side, they are bullied by the others, except Courtney, Mr Porter and Bryce (a**hole). A huge vicious circle which proves that nothing is all black or all white. Hannah was also Jessica’s “bully” when she didn’t help her.
And yet, we can’t stop at that because with our curious nature seeking for sensation, viewers and characters, everybody was focused on the why Hannah killed herself. And nobody noticed Alex who tried do to the same. The question that we ask ourselves “Am I my brother’s keeper ?” (cf. Genese 4v.9). Obviously, it’s easier to deny our responsability towards each other.
Ahhhh, Individualism you won’t let go!
This show is a beautiful review of the human kind which is capable of the best and the worse. But the big lesson is that little things can save lives. A smile, a hello, a little bit of interest, a compliment and little things can destroy lives as well. This is what Hannah was talking about: the butterfly effects. There might be a season 2 and it will be a huge challenge to equal the first one, which made Netflix’s history !
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)