13 Reasons Why Review


Last weekend, because I hate myself, I watched all of the new hit netflix teen drama show 13 Reasons Why in one sitting.

The series seems torn between a delusional female fantasy about the world after one’s death and a government mandated high school “stop bullying” video.

There is an uncomfortable contrast between the borderline romantic way the world suddenly all cares about the dead girl with all her grudges being vindicated post mortem and the seemingly intended message that you probably shouldn’t kill yourself. Either aware of this dilemma or not, the show is ultimately unable to follow through on its message and eventually hard pivots out of suicide and down the safe and well travelled road of deconstructing White American football culture, something done millions of times before by nearly every piece of media in the last 20 years.

Aside from its failure to deliver on its message, in its nearly 11 hour runtime 13 Reasons becomes host to a slew of odd assumptions and inaccuracies that speak to the mindframe of the people who indulge in media like this. The biggest thing that comes to mind is the show’s depiction of the school environment, the school is depicted as a totalitarian hellscape with students being searched, detained, and harassed by staff nearly constantly with the staff themselves being incompetent buffoons incapable of addressing any problem. Having partaken in several public schools myself I have a hard time believing this, school officials are certainly lazy and ineffective, but almost no one ever has an encounter with disciplinary staff or gets searched or anything like that, however it dawned on me while watching this that a certain group has always felt this way. That faux intellectual, safely edgy female demographic most likely to earnestly watch a netflix high school show have been complaining about dress codes and locker policy for years, in their perception school is a police state, they have to wear all of their clothing at once and can’t “express themselves” at all times, as this show’s audience their perception becomes reality on screen, the staff are unreasonably abusive, just like at their school.

Unoriginal wish fulfilment is scum of the lowest order.

2/10, one star, thumbs down