One thing that I need to make clear before I actually go into discussing and backing up the reason behind the title of my blog is that I am a book lover in fact. So for me to arrive at the decision that the series was indeed better than the book was once quite a hard one at the first period but then again facts are facts. As we go on to discuss the plot of the series and how it differed from the plot of the book at times and why I personally liked the show better, compared to the book you will see what exactly I meant.
For those who are not aware of what I’m talking about or maybe just wanted to catch up with the latest trend now that the last season is all set to be premiered, there is a book by the same name and a similar plot from which the famous show 13 Reasons Why was adapted. However, speaking from a point of view of popularity, the TV show would precede the book. In fact, I have met and known people who never knew such a book existed before they started watching the show and got hooked.
So clearly, the series is way more popular than the book. And there is a reason for it. So if you are considering whether or not to catch up with your share of the 13 reasons why show then I would say delay it no longer. Here is a brief summary of what the show would be about, trigger warnings, and a concise look at stuff that you might like or might not.
The plot revolves around a high school teenager Hannah Baker and her plight. We often agree on the fact that we never know what is going on in someone’s life, and so it is best to be always on our best behavior while dealing with another person. However, there are many who often fail to live up to this statement. 13 reasons why talks about the aspects of depression and an eventuality that is undesired by everyone- suicide.
Traveling back to the story, Hanna Baker has committed suicide and all she has left behind is a tape that contains the 13 reasons as to what happened and why it happened, and why she was pushed to the brink of taking such a drastic decision of taking her own life. There are seven tapes in total and Clay Jensen finds those tapes abandoned in front of his doorstep one day.
Quite naturally he goes on to listen to those tapes and starts to understand the struggle is that the girl had been put through. But alas all he can do now is to repent.
Hannah Baker and Clay Jensen even have a few sparks flying between them in the first season of the show. Then what was it that Hannah was dealing with and why did Clay never come to notice even a spec of it?
Is the show any good?
Well, as my rating of the show above might have already made clear, it is not the first show that I would recommend someone to watch. And the show does have its own share of plot holes and slow patches. Personally, I felt some of the patches could have been better shot or does work a little more emotion.
However, if I were to compare it with the book, as I am so clearly doing constantly at the back of my mind, it is way better. I have my own theories about this though. Firstly come on the book was released way back around 2013. Maybe people were not that ready for such a book. Another thing that I believe worked in favor of the Netflix show was probably the audio-visual effects. The show recounts the events as recorded in the tapes as Clay listens to them, while at the same time following up with related instances from when Hannah was alive.
Moreover, the acting skills of Katherine Langford who plays Hannah Baker, and Dylan Minette who plays Clay Jensen Are mesmerizing. You see when emotions come into play, the characters portrayed start to develop various layers (this is especially the case with the character of Clay Jensen), especially when stuff like depression and suicide are central themes. The actors, the protagonists as well as the side characters, pull off those layers with much brilliance. It is in fact difficult to keep Hannah Baker distinguished as a fictional character, such genuine and authentic is her portrayal onscreen. She is subtle as well as lovable – exaggerating the sense of loss, therefore. This is also why the flashbacks hit differently. You could be sitting through a scene and suddenly realize that the character is no longer there to lend her charm to your life (yup! You get sucked into it completely).
I am not going to lie to you – 13 reasons why is a very dark show. It does not try and sugar-coat stuff. It wants you to feel the damage that one might do while not being considerate of how others feel or what they might go through because of someone else’s insensitive behavior.
There are quite a few trigger warnings that I would like to make you aware of. First of all, suicide. One thing that I’ve seen many people interpret wrongly about the show is that it glorifies or romanticizes suicides. It is not the case. Neither does the show advocate the act in any way. It just shows what it is as it is.
Next up, there is a whole lot of mental issues that are portrayed in the series. Now you might either connect with Hannah, understand yourself, and speak up when you need yourself the most. Or you might get sucked into your own mental traumas further. It’s a risky game. So that is a call only you can make.
It is a show meant strictly for adults. Furthermore, it is a show meant strictly for people who can handle their mental traumas, understand the traumas of others, and how to make society a better place by being considerate. However, if you feel that you yourself are not quite ready to handle your mental issues, I would say putting it off for a while might be a wiser choice than giving way to your FOMO.