Warning: Mildly spoiler-ish
It would be easy to dismiss Netflix’s latest hit as nothing more than fare for the Young Adult Fiction crowd. But it would also be a lie. This show was unexpectedly profound, dark, and yes… even important. Watch and discover your own reasons why this show is important. In the meantime, here are just a few of my top reasons why this is more than popular YA fluff:
This shit is brutal. But not gratuitously so. It sort of holds you in place, shakes you to the core and demands to be seen. And when you’re ready to look away, it holds you there still, now demanding to REALLY be seen. And more importantly… felt.
The concept of consent. There are so many ways of saying “No”. While you could argue that this is important for girls to watch, it’s probably equally if not even more important for boys to watch.
Real-life bullying is subtle. It’s not necessarily done by a mouth-breathing designated bully who looks like they’ve taken growth hormones half their life. It’s smart and covert, especially when it’s done by “friends”.
Like real-life bullying, real life-suicide signs are often subtle as well. A person doesn’t tend to exhibit an obvious laundry list of “warning signs” that we’ve all seen on posters plastered in school hallways.
Doing nothing can be nearly as bad as doing something awful.
Some people assume objectification will be received as a compliment. The reality is, objectification is objectification.
If you’re a parent, a kid, a human, a semi-human or have any interaction with humans… watch this now.
The show doesn’t bash you over the head with social commentary, but it is the core of the story and is skillfully woven through every fiber of this drama. Absolutely worth a watch for many reasons.
One more geek out note: The technical tools implemented to transition from past to present were brilliantly executed. It’s easy to get lost in a non-linear narrative, if it isn’t directed and edited with precision. Clay’s head wound served as an easy visual cue as to whether we were in the past or the present. The color temperature was often cooler in the present scenes, with past scenes when Hannah was still alive, tending to be warmer. The match cuts used in the past-present transitions were beautifully done (I am admittedly a nerd for a well executed match cut, and this series is full of them). The acting was pretty phenomenal, specifically Katherine Langford as Hannah Baker. She was strong, charming, cool. A girl I would want to be friends with. Hannah’s breakdown happened over a period of time, and Langford amazingly toed the line between the ups and downs in Hannah’s life, the pain, and the masking of it. Kate Walsh gave a heartbreakingly believable performance as Hannah’s mom, and Dylan Minnette was just the right amounts of awkward, charming, stoic, frustrating and likable.
Now, go binge. It will make you feel like shit, but maybe in an enlightening sort of way.