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13 Reasons Why Review

Who pays for Tony’s gas? Honestly…

Being an adult, I am privy to modern television series and movies which are rated for mature audiences. So used to it that, in fact, killing off fan-favorite characters will make me go “Oh that’s brave. Clever. Did not see it coming. Didn’t think they had it in them but well done. You’ve piqued my interest.” I could stomach the goriest, the most sadistic presentations displayed by HBO and other cable channels. They might unsettle me for a while but I’d commend them and get back to my life sooner or later. Rarely comes a programme so good that it would leave a lasting impression on me.

This is one of them.

Starting 13 Reasons Why, I did not expect a show about high-schoolers to follow a plot-line any more sophisticated than the usual Breakfast Club-esque drama we’d get. I’d heard the controversies, heard the acclaim, seen the “Welcome to your tape” memes that plagued social media. Then I decided to give it a try. Episode 1 begins and the plot kicks in : A high school girl committed suicide leaving behind a set of tapes listing 13 reasons why she took her life. We follow Clay (Dylan Minnette) listening to each tape one episode at a time, the narration jumping back and forth to the past and present with only Clay’s band-aid on his forehead helping us tell the timelines apart. Its ingenious in its structure, with fantastic direction and performances complementing this high-quality drama. Particular praise to newcomer Katherine Langford for doing Hannah Baker’s character justice.

But apart from being just another lauded production, 13 Reasons Why stays with you for quite a while. Going through each episode and understanding Hannah’s point of view, I found myself relating to it on a personal level. In spite of never having suffered bullying this intense, I’d find myself mirroring the protagonist. She may be a drama queen, maybe not – the events chronicled on-screen depicting her account haunt you. You re-evaluate your life choices, aspiring to be considerate to others. Apart from that, you never want to go through it again. The plight of the protagonist, witnessing abuse through her eyes ensures that she doesn’t suffer alone – you do as well.

Maybe I’m just too close to it now. Maybe this feeling of uneasiness will fade as time slips away. But I still don’t find myself laughing at the memes. All I know is – the show’s effective. The message is clear but I’m not sure I wanna sit for round 2.

Rating : 4.5/5

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