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’13 Reasons Why’ changes the game for Netflix shows

Dylan+Minnette%2C+who+plays+Clay%2C+in+13+Reasons+Why%2C+listens+to+the+recording+tapes+of+his+close+friend+Hannah+Baker+that+committed+suicide.
Dylan Minnette, who plays Clay, in 13 Reasons Why, listens to the recording tapes of his close friend Hannah Baker that committed suicide.

Dylan Minnette, who plays Clay, in 13 Reasons Why, listens to the recording tapes of his close friend Hannah Baker that committed suicide.

Dylan Minnette, who plays Clay, in 13 Reasons Why, listens to the recording tapes of his close friend Hannah Baker that committed suicide.

by Blen Mesfin, Assistant Editor

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Netflix has once again created a binge-worthy TV show that will have you up all night crying. Based on the 2007 best-seller, Selena Gomez and her team worked for 7 years to bring the novel 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, to Netflix on March 31st. This mystery surrounds high schooler, Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) and her seemingly sudden suicide. The story starts with the protagonist, Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette), receiving a box of 13 cassette tapes. Before Hannah died, she left these tapes explaining her death and each tape was dedicated to someone who played a role in her downwards spiral. The idea was for each person mentioned on the tapes to listen to all 13 then pass them on to the others who “ruined her reputation”, “broke her spirit” and “broke her soul.”

Hearing her say these words, Clay is confused as to why he is on these tapes since he had a crush on her and never did anything wrong. The story parallels Clay listening to the tapes and going to the places that Hannah described, with the actual events as they happened before Hannah killed herself. Because this juxtaposition was used, there was never a dull moment, as the story was switching point of views and shifted focus from one character to another.

13 Reasons Why is very unlike any other show Netflix has ever produced. The storyline hits close to home for many young teens who are struggling with bullying, sexual assault and depression. The show masterfully portrays these very relevant themes in a way that is so truthful. Nothing is romanticised or more dramatic than it needs to be, explaining why the show has a 95% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

This show also consists of a very diverse cast, which isn’t seen often these days on television. There was representation from all groups and the show worked very hard to stray away from stereotypes seen in today’s society. The two head cheerleaders, Jessica and Sheri, are played by Black actors Alisha Boe and Ajiona Alexus, respectively. The role of the ivy-league bound, student body president, Marcus, is played by another Black actor, Steven Silver. The role of Zach, the school’s’ star basketball player is played by Asian actor Ross Butler. Christian Navarro is a Latino actor who plays the role of Hannah’s trusted tape guardian. The show isn’t only diverse from a racial standpoint, but socioeconomic statuses as well.

Overall, this series is a must see for anyone who has struggled with virtually anything in their lives. They way the show portrays how someone can be happy then progressively get to the point where they are suicidal while no one notices, is such an important topic in our society and hopefully now, will be taken more seriously.

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’13 Reasons Why’ changes the game for Netflix shows