After reading the 13 Reasons Why, I definitely had to watch it. It’s a Netflix Original Series and all 13 episodes can be watched on NETFLIX right now.
I’m gonna say it now at the very beginning. I actually liked this better than the book. It’s quite rare for me to prefer a movie/tv adaptation over the book because normally the adaptations lose important details that are present on the books. In this series, however, they’ve actually added details that were missing on the book and it made everything more interesting and more alive.
In the book, the readers only read about Hannah’s and Clay’s perspectives. We only hear their versions of the truth. I’m not saying that Hannah was lying, only that her perception of the events is different from how another person might see it. It’s interesting to also see the reactions and consequences of Hannah’s tapes on the lives of the other people mentioned on the tapes and not just Clay’s. Also, each character mentioned by Hannah on her tape was given a backstory in the series. We get a glimpse of their lives and it helps us understand why they are the way they are. In a way, the series was able to humanize the characters and create a sense of empathy for them; no matter how bad they might have been to Hannah, their actions do not define who they are.
There are definitely changes in the story so it’s not a complete adaptation from the book.
- In the book, Clay was able to listen to the tapes in a day. In the series, however, Clay finishes listening to the tapes in several days. This is actually the mildest difference I noticed.
- There were additional characters in the series like Jeff Atkins (Clay’s friend whom he tutors), the parents (played a more active role in the series), and Sheri (originally Jenny in the book).
- A large part of the series also focuses on Hannah Baker’s parents who are also looking for answers. In the book, they were hardly mentioned but in the series, they played a much bigger role which makes a lot of sense since what kind of parents would not want to seek justice for their child’s death especially since they believe that Hannah was bullied or treated badly in school which pushed her to her decision.
- The sequence of the tapes are different. Clay was 11th in the series. In the book, he was 9th.
- Hannah’s suicide was more gory in the series where she decided to slit her wrists whilst in the bathtub. The book was more mild with Hannah overdosing on pills (which actually makes more sense since her parents own a pharmacy store).
There are other changes I’m sure but I wasn’t able to note them all down.
For entertainment value, 13 Reasons Why is a very good show. It shows the harsh reality of life. It puts into spotlight the effects of suicide, bullying, spreading of rumors, sexual assault, emotional assault and many other topics that are difficult to discuss. The show, however, requires strict parental guidance as it does portray such topics that may be misconstrued or misunderstood by troubled audiences as a glamorization of suicide. I’m sure that is not the intent of the series but rather the opposite however, to the sensitive minds of audiences who may be playing with the idea of suicide, I worry that there might be a misinterpretation of the idea which is why STRONG PARENTAL GUIDANCE is advised.
All in all, a good series and I wouldn’t mind getting a Season 2. It would be nice to have a definite closure for every puzzle piece. It sure did leave us hanging even more so than the book did.
NinthMelody rating: 9/10