Updated: Oct 2, 2020
13 Reasons Why has a big history, with many dubious efforts for a movie and all, but ended being a series driven teenage drama. It was Jay Asher's best selling novel, which became quite a trend for big studios to go for movie adaptations. We all heard that Selena Gomez was somehow related to it, roped in to play the titular character Hannah Baker. But much like the movie never happened, likewise, she also didn't play it. But Selena Gomez appeared as the executive producer of the show.
The story is so much revolving around the teenagers, with all the high school drama and family issues a normal teen goes through. What is effective in this Netflix series is the casting, with Katherine Langford winning hearts and awards with her terrific performance. The plot revolves around a teenager's suicide and the reasons why she did it. Obviously, it was a very weird way of sending the reasons safely in the box of cassette tapes. It has 13 episodes for the 13 reasons. Season 1 specifically deals with Hannah Baker's story and the reasons, and the main character Clay Jensen played by Dylan Minnette gives an in-depth character of a troubled teenager. The show is basically Clay's reaction to the tapes, while all the other friends of his just wanted to hideaway.
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The box of tapes suddenly becomes a nightmare as Clay goes through each of em'. He gets into an accident, completely breaks down, and faces a lot of mental issues. The first season is kinda worth watching for any high-school teenagers. The pure chemistry that Clay and Hannah have, which always remains in the background all the while pushing for a big climatic environment drives the series. The episode never lags, its awesome music and soundtracks, dear Lord, 'The Night We Met' track and all melt you. In the episode where Prom Night happens, you kinda will be merged into that violet shaded gym where all the miracle could happen.
But the director had moved exactly where he wanted, and the show is full of relatable stuff happening to the teenagers. On one side, we see how to rape, suicide is intertwined and on the other side, you get to see how the incident could even traumatize, depress, and lead to a very sizzled path. The part where Clay Jensen listens to his tape, and how he responds to that is the actual epicenter of an emotional involvement he gives. The other major character like Jessica, Alex, Justin, Bryce, Tony, Zach, Tyler, and Monty provides a powerful high-school atmosphere. Beware the environment is a little toxic, but when actually you get to see and experience such immoral acts which are considered normal to the patriarchal society, eyes and ears get opened for an all outstanding. Season 1 delivers on this note and tries to end with a justice-backed climax which is quite hanging.
Season 2 had all the chances to bring up justice, and it did too but in an awful way. For the generic viewer, season 2 will offer a lukewarm experience. Now it gets refreshing when you find that Clay has got away all that but is now back with something else. This time Hannah Baker is not a permanent character leaving Clay to take the series alone. What's interesting was the ghost feature they added, it's like when finally he could do all of the other stuff, you get that notification. We get to see a character development nobody would've expected from Clay, and a new locker room mystery to solve. While Clay himself goes through the ghost feature, he also pushes himself to be the father figure to bring justice to Hannah, and help down his friends. Season 1 had quite content to get warned, but Season 2 pushes it further by maximizing that on a single episode. The locker room case is solved and again we get a show-off with series villain Bryce Walker. The court drama happens, and it goes on like forever, much to the will of a rich spoiled brat. The friendships that Tyler makes with punk-dude, and Monty's violence, coupled with Alex recovering from a near-death, Jessica battling with newfound courage and extra empathetic Zach, how Hannah's Mom moves on after the episode, all mixes the series aura.
The series provides a very obnoxious sequel to the evergreen season 1. Season 2 lacked pace, wasn't completely plot-driven. It was more of a character development, which really made the viewers fast forward some moments. The point of explaining things through Polaroids and unfinished storytelling made loopholes. We all get to hate the moment when the judgment occurs, which climaxes the series 2 with no so-much extra drama. However, given the story, and how it is presented we definitely get to understand the various situations and backgrounds different characters had to develop. Season 2 ends on a cliffhanger, and dangerous situation but hopefully we'll get through this.
Now when it comes to Season 3, things will get pretty out-of-hand even for the screenwriters, and the viewers. Now the part where it all goes wrong obviously was the void Hannah Baker left in the story. The void wasn't easily filled in by the new character Ani Achola played by Grace Saif. The new character all of sudden was involved in all the drama the students had gone through. Its like one of the black viewers just auditioned for some unknown role, which turned out to be a big turnover. The viewers were attached to Hannah Baker's POV story-line, which explicitly became the Ani's. The story has so much power to go into the great mystery, but the direction was flawed with unwanted flashbacks and timeline changes.
Fans had so much anticipation after season two's cliffhanger ending. Their expectation was raised to another level when the main villain, whom we all came to hate so badly goes all missing and possibly dead. The season involves in this, and it is lazy enough for the direction to point out what was wrong. Meanwhile, everyone was hooked onto whodunit, the show was sympathizing with the villain. Although this dramatic and very drastic character arc villain goes though is quite unacceptable. It was just like Game of Thrones projected Night King as an ever great evil, who was finished off like a baby. Season 3 pushed the screen-space for the introduction of a new character, but it failed to fill the problem with the storytelling concept. Ani Achola gave a good appreciable effort as a newcomer, but the need for her to connect all the other events was sincerely disapproving.
While we all could say the mystery solved was being little jazzed, the point of the story remains invisible to us. Clay is more like a crazy person, showing a hell lot of transformation of character from the broken kid in Season 1. Tyler gets onto the redemption episode, Zach, Jessica, Alex, and pretty much now acts as the season one's Clay. All this happening, Justin goes on in an off-and-on relationship with Jessica, while Alex pursuing desires somewhere else, which possibly marks him for unwanted patch-ups. I agree that season 3 sucked when compared to season 1, but the direction has taken away from Hannah's story-line to teenager's plot, where high school really shook-up. Damn, I even thought that I was not having all this drama in my high-school as shown in these series. But on a serious note, sometimes violence, rape, suicide becomes a circumstantial decision for the person involved. All considered I could see something lurking on in season 3 which will attack in season 4.
Season 4 made big changes and amends regarding their character take. The se