Show Review: Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why

Speechless.

Disgusted.

Brokenhearted.

Angry.

T-minus twelve hours since I finished the first season of Thirteen Reasons Why and I am still reeling from the emotional aftermath.

Thirteen Reasons Why is a Netflix Original Series based off of the 2007 young adult novel by the same title by Jay Asher. The show is the story about why a high school junior took her life. Instead of leaving a single suicide note, she records thirteen cassette tapes explaining the events that led up to her decision. Each tape is dedicated to a different person who she feels is partly responsible for her decision due to their actions or inactions. These tapes are left with strict instructions for the person to listen to all the tapes and then pass them onto the next person responsible.

I won’t lie. This story is a powerful one if you give it a chance. With its Pretty Little Liars meets Degrassi feel, some viewers may waive it off as another melodramatic teenage story that tries to deal with tough issues, but fails. I think Thirteen Reasons Why is a beautifully horrific embodiment of the worst-case teenage suicide scenario.

Certain topics are just difficult to talk about and/or portray, but Thirteen Reasons Why dives right into the heart of suicide, sex, rape, bullying, and teen culture including drinking and partying. Having only been out of high school for four years, the behaviors I witnessed and experienced are still fairly fresh and so far this show is the truest depiction of how high school actually functions; the so-called popular kids aren’t all perfect nor were they always popular, friendships suddenly end with no warning, the social groups interlace, and the school staff brushes off opportunities to engage in students’ real lives.

I love how Tony, the “keeper” of the tapes, keeps telling Clay that the tapes are Hannah’s truth. I think that one phrase is so important to situations like these, because how actions are perceived by another person are a complete mystery and we never really know how someone will react to them. The events leading up to Hannah’s suicide are brutal, sometimes hard to watch and sometimes hard to hear, but the events are brutal and hurtful enough to push Hannah over the edge. Some of the events might seem harmless or stupid or petty, but when these events are all stacking up on one person it makes a difference.

Thirteen Reasons Why makes you sick. You feel sick because you want to binge-watch it, but then feel guilty for feeling entertained by a real problem. You feel sick because some of the images and events will haunt you to your core. You feel sick because once it is over, you will be begging for another season.

For Book Readers:

It was very creative the way they incorporated this book into a television show. The original book probably could have successfully been made into a movie, but to make into multiple episodes and possibly other seasons, the writers had to do something to draw it out. I was pleasantly surprised by what they came up with. Instead of leaving it from only Hannah and Clay’s perspectives, you get to see what happened from multiple point of views as well as get background information on the supporting characters.

I read Thirteen Reasons Why probably seven or eight years ago during my first year of high school. Back then I had not experienced much involving the tough topics explored in the text, so I read it in one sitting and raved about it. It made me think twice about how I treated people for awhile, but the effects didn’t last as long as they should have. Now, having watched the show, I felt it not only did the book justice, but it was incredibly impactful!

The ending was remarkable. It was tragic yet had an air of lightness. The setup of the story was that you get to experience the aftermath of Hannah’s suicide through the different supporting characters’ lives. More death. More lies. More drugs. More drinking. More hurt. More depression. There was a lot of spiraling out of control that is easy to miss while you are watching the first twelve episodes, because you are so focused on Hannah, but the season finale brings to light how everyone else is reacting and coping to the tragedy. It was provoking and brilliant.

If you choose to watch Thirteen Reasons Why, I hope the story stays with you for a long time and I hope it changes the way you see the people around you and the way to treat others. Let this story change you!

 

Related Articles:

  1. http://www.teenvogue.com/gallery/rape-culture-in-tv-movies
  2. http://www.tvguide.com/news/13-reasons-why-ending-spoilers/
  3. http://www.tvguide.com/news/13-reasons-why-netflix-differences-book/

Show Review: Santa Clarita Diet

Are you baking cookies? -Abby
No, it’s vanilla extract and essentials oils, baked in the oven at 350. It’s an old realtor trick. Makes the house smell like home. -Sheila

The Santa Clarita Diet was… um… interesting. It was recommended to me by my roommate who had only seen the trailer. I thought it sounded pretty stupid, but Saturday night I was at Jeremiah’s and was going to just veg and watch one of my shows, but he made a fuss begging me not to watch Grey’s Anatomy or Criminal Minds, so in an attempt to irritate him, I clicked on the Santa Clarita Diet. The first episode was so awful that we couldn’t tear our eyes away. I am a fan of Drew Barrymore and he of Timothy Olyphant, so we felt that the show had potential, but it just went from awful to bad to worse to terrible.

The great thing about the show is that it doesn’t feel like the actors are trying to be amazing, it just feels like they are having a great time. So if you watch it with that attitude, it can be a lot of fun. Jeremiah and I found ourselves cracking up from how stupid the premise was and how dumb the actors were.

I don’t have much to say, because this wasn’t a show I would have picked. The storyline has potential, but the acting and execution is truly horrible. The season finale was a serious letdown compared to the prior episodes and I really feel this could have been a great one season only little online mini-series, but of course they want to milk it, so most likely this will get a second season. We can only hope for the best at this point.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for a light, silly, comedy that isn’t trying very hard, then give the Santa Clarita Diet a chance. I got some great laughs and some good smirks from watching it. It can be binged in one sitting or drawn out, but just remember that it is awful, but run with it.

Movie Review: Before We Go

Before We Go is a movie that Chris Evans starred in and directed. I added it to my Netflix que a while back and just got around to watching it and I am pleased to say that I genuinely really liked it by the end! It has an indie film feel to it, but it also has a heartwarming charm to it. The beginning started off kind of slow, but after 20 or so minutes I was interested in the characters.

This is one of those movies that is based on New York City happenstance. There are a lot of movies that revolve around this notion that strangers meet in NYC and magic happens. Although I don’t believe in this, I will admit that it is a guilty pleasure plot that I enjoy.

Nick and Brooke both find themselves in New York on this fateful night and coincidently Brooke misses her train, but really needs to get back home and Nick is avoiding attending a certain event, so being a true gentleman he offers to help her. So as the movie progresses, the two get into all kinds of mischief while you slowly learn about each of their pasts and circumstances.

I like the mystery and the way it unfolds. I like the almost ending and how it doesn’t go the way you think it is going to. They were going for a “fill in your own ending” which always irritate me, because I like definite endings, but I am still really happy with the way it turned out and I am actually smiling while writing this. Definitely watch if you are a sucker for New York City movies, romance movies, indie love films… just watch it!

Show Review: Graceland

Graceland revolves around a beach house in Los Angeles that housed 6 agents: 4 FBI, 1 DEA, and 1 Customs. This house was their safe haven that they could return to after working in deep cover operations in order to bust drug cartels, gangs, and money launderers. It sounds like a good idea, but as the show unfolds you see that going under has its consequences.

The agents living in the house are the main characters. Mike- a fresh faced FBI agent straight out of Quantico is stationed in LA in order to spy on another agent. Paul- an old time field agent and tough guy who the bureau thinks is up to something. Charlie- a badass female agent who can’t give up once she sets her mind on a case. Johnny- a skinny hispanic agent who is all heart and normally runs tactical. Paige- the DEA agent who has a lot of passion and understanding for those around her. And Dale- a Customs agent who likes to do his own thing unless a favor is asked of him.

After finishing the show, I noticed that each season revolves around one big case from episode one until the last. Little cases take place in between, but they all add up to one crazy finale! Season one focus on an arms dealer and a ghost drug dealer. Season two a scary Mexican cartel and a ring of human trafficking. Season three a mob like/gang like European family.

Between all the busting bad guys and tough calls, there is also romance and drama. I found it to be very entertaining and it has an interesting twist for a show about cops. Every episode is full of surprises that keep you on the edge of your seat. Sadly, it was cancelled after three seasons, but you can find those seasons on Netflix. I suggest checking it out if you are into creative cop dramas.

In the Criminal Justice System there are Names My Sisters Call Me

So this title might have confused you a little bit, so I shall explain. This past week I managed to complete all sixteen seasons of Law and Order: SVU on Netflix and finished reading Names My Sisters Call Me by Megan Crane.

Names My Sisters Call MeI was given this book from a friend who was cleaning out her bookshelf. She couldn’t remember when she had gotten it or if she had read it, but let me take it off her hands. I liked the cover a lot, but wasn’t quite sure what it was about from the synopsis, but figured why not give it a shot.

BEST DECISION EVER! This book had me hooked from the first few pages. I was continuously cracking up and somehow found a way to relate even though I only have a brother. Reading this really was a treat!

The main character, Courtney, was fantastic! She would have these moments that I can only describe as Lizzie McGuire moments where you could just see a little animated her expressing her inner thoughts. She was hilarious and I identified with her on so many levels. I liked the lesson towards the end of the book and I actually felt all the characters were well thought out and important.

It was a cute chick-lit story, but went deeper than I was expecting. Definitely recommend to anyone with sisters or who loves chick-lits and needs a good laugh.

law and order svuLaw and Order: SVU is one of my all-time favorite shows. I was introduced to it when I was hanging out with my old children’s minister. I was hooked from the first episode and just fell in love. It was what got me into my interest of law and I even joined my high school mock trial team, because of it.

In the beginning I was a huge fan of the Benson and Stabler duo! They were kicking butts and taking names; Finn and Tutuola were just fun additions. They were a great team and I just couldn’t get enough of the sickening stories.

Some people seem to get tired of the stories, because they are all too similar, but it never phased me. I especially loved the episodes that were law heavy, because the court scenes were kick ass!! Alex Cabot was my favorite attorney, but Barba was rubbing off on me in the last couple seasons.

After completing the first 12 seasons a couple years ago, I boycotted the show, because I was bitter that Stabler left and they replaced him with Amaro who was from Cold Case and that cross just weirded me out. A few weeks ago I caved and needed a good law show and just decided to finish it up. Glad I did! I know the show has to end sometime, but it is just so good and the stories are so horrifying, but it is addicting.

Now I am on my journey to completing all of my previously started shows on Netflix that I never finished. First up, Gilmore Girls.

❤ a girl