As mortal beings, death will always loom over us. Whichever way you depart this lifetime, the saddest one must be to take your own life. In 13 Reasons Why, this theme is explored in depth.
People not familiar with the novel may think this is another sappy and shallow teen show that uses repetition and numerous romances to entangle their young viewers. Examples of shows like these are Pretty Little Liars and Vampire Diaries. 13 Reasons Why goes beyond the usual high school politics, unrealistic mysteries filled with an abundance of red herring you may as well be in the ocean, and worn out blood sucking creatures. It’s about Hannah Baker, a high school student who committed suicide and then sends out cassette tapes about the people who caused her great pain. The show masterfully weaves together the stories from the past and the current timeline as the people involved learn to process all of it. We follow Clay, who used to be close to Hannah, as he listens to the tapes and discovers the hidden misery within her soul.
What stands out in this show is the extraordinarily well done character development. These are not blank canvases; they are complex portraits of real humans. It’s easy to find at least one character you relate to on any level, whether it be academically, depression, substance abuse, or identity. Hannah is a sorrowful depiction of a young woman that is constantly dealt a bad hand and who must question herself whether it will ever get better. She’s not a typical Mary Sue whose only flaw is that she’s clumsy, no, Hannah is a morally grey character. Some of the decisions she makes are questionable of good nature, as well as one must wonder if she could have tried harder to get help. However, when you experience such betrayal and hardships, trying seems useless. It’s hard to get adequate help when you feel that no one cares. Great sorrow was chewing on her soul and its hunger never ceased.
What one can learn from 13 Reasons Why is that we all need to take a closer look about how we treat people. A smile may hide a hatred for life. So let’s take care of each other, it may save someone’s life.