Netflix Series Review – 13 Reasons Why

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Netflix Series Review – 13 Reasons Why

Kelsey Thompson and Melanie Black

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***SPOILER ALERT IF YOU PLAN ON READING THE BOOK OR WATCHING THE SERIES!!!

On March 31, Netflix released 13 Reasons Why. It takes the 2007 novel to the big screen. For the most part, the show stays true to the book but some changes were made to update the storyline and make the situations more relatable and real for people viewing the show today. Here are the top 5 differences between the book and the Netflix series:

  1. Clay and Hannah’s closer relationship

In the novel, Clay and Hannah are good friends but only at work. Also, their relationship seems more one-sided so you don’t quite understand why Clay is so affected. However, in the show, Clay and Hannah have a strong, underlying connection filled with words that were never said. This helps build up Clay’s grief because he is in love with her but it is too late for him to say anything.

  1. Hannah’s parents’ lawsuit against the school

Hannah’s parents are barely characters in the book, however, in the show they are prominent characters. They file a lawsuit against the school because they feel as if the school either knew about the bullying going on in school or that there was more suicide/mental illness awareness they could have done before Hannah killed herself. The show helps show the grief parents can go through if they have a child that commits suicide.

  1.     Courtney and Hannah’s plan

In both the book and the show Courtney and Hannah create a plan to catch Hannah’s picture taking stalker. In the book, they give each other massages to try and tempt the stalker to take pictures. In the show, they planned to just stay up all night in hopes of seeing him. While pulling the all-nighter, they got a little drunk and shared a kiss. The stalker took a picture of this and it spread all around the school. This started Courtney’s storyline which was that she was a lesbian and was too scared to come out so she ended her friendship with Hannah.

  1.     Hannah’s suicide

The show made Hannah’s suicide so much more real and graphic by cutting her wrists in her bathtub. The show unglorified suicide and made the viewers understand the pain someone who commits or contemplates suicide goes through. In the book, they didn’t really discuss how Hannah committed suicide other than saying she took unknown pills.

  1.      Alex’s suicide (or attempted suicide?)

Season one ends with Alex being taken to the emergency room in critical condition with a gunshot to the head. You don’t know if he survives or dies at the end so this leads viewers to believe that there will be a second season tying up the loose ends. Alex never even attempted suicide in the book so that was a whole new storyline added into the show.

Overall, the series is amazing and the changes from the book truly add to the storyline. They make the show feel extremely real and the added situations and storylines make it so that anyone watching can relate to at least one character or one thing that happens.  If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit their website. https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/