13 Reasons Why TV Show Review |Cinedote|[Giveaway]

I think everyone has heard about this TV Show for a while now, but for those of you who haven’t, here’s a brief summary: Clay Jensen discovers a box of 13 tapes recorded by Hannah Baker. She committed suicide before recording those and explained to him the 13 reasons why she ended her life.  And of course, it was a book adaptation! *thumbs up for book magic * There’s a lot of controversies surrounding this show and I think this post was much needed to express my opinion about it.  I came to an agreement with myself that in this particular situation, I won’t read the book before watching it. Simply because I wanted to have an unbiased opinion of the TV show without having to compare the books vs. the movie feeling. I want this review to be only about the TV show.

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MY RATING: ★/5

Thirteen Reasons Why, as a cinematic piece, is an EXCELLENT show. think the acting of the teenagers were spot on, and on point.  They master the odd, awkward and ugly reality. Maybe that’s the reason people didn’t like watching it, because ”hey, reality sucks” and this show makes it happen in front of your eyes. I even cried in a particular scene because of how very difficult it was to watch. You can feel the struggles of the character, their pain and the injustice surrounding their situations. The central plot is very clear from the start, you have 13 tapes divided in 13 episodes (you can feel that some actions are repetitive but you can understand that they didn’t have a choice to make it as gap fillers). As Clay discover the truth about what happened, he decides to act on it and even seek revenge for Hannah.

Hannah Baker is a very interesting character because not only does she have depression and suicidal thoughts, her tapes are a way of revenge, but they are also her doors to freedom. That thirst for blaming people and leading people to believe they are one of the reasons why she died is a very unique perception, because not everyone thinks like that. You shouldn’t blame yourself for someone’s suicide. The first thing we learn in psychology is that if your friend is dealing with suicide, you don’t try to act as the therapist. You remain available for them, encourage them to talk about it but you can’t bring it on yourself. A suicide is not only the society’s failure to keep the individual alive, but also their own thoughts. #Mental Illness. Their perception of reality is so altered by aggressive and dark thoughts they are telling to themselves that the brain convinced itself to end it, once and for good.

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A lot of articles stated that “How 13 Reasons Why gets suicide wrong” or “Hannah Baker didn’t show any sign of depression like I (the author of the article) do”.

Alright, let’s get this straight my friend.

EVERYBODY. I mean, EVERYBODY’s experience is different. I think even if you’re depressed, you shouldn’t judge someone else’s depression. It’s like saying “you can’t possibly have depression, because I have it and it looks nothing like that.” This is mental health issues we are talking about. How do you have the right to dictate how someone should feel it? It’s not for nothing that we have a set of symptoms for mental illness. Because everyone lives it differently. Hannah Baker shows signs of depression. CLEARLY. She expressed in thoughts, in her behavior, in the little details. A very important quote in the show : How does it look like? Nothing. It looks like Nothing. That quote resonates to me so badly because.. yes, I know people (who I was very close to) who had suicidal thoughts and I knew nothing about them. You can spend time with the person everyday, seeing them at school, being close to them and they could be still be suicidal. Why? Like depression, anxiety disorder, or any other mental illness. Humans are complex, our emotions are bottled up in a environment that provide too much stimulus and stressors for us to deal with. Some people are very good at hiding their struggles, some less. The best we can do as a friend and a family member is paying attention to the little shift of their behaviour.

And why doesn’t anyone talk about CLAY? I was watching the whole season 1 and searching discussions about it, but no one wants to talk about Clay’s mental health? He’s had some severe visual hallucinations affecting his reactions during his daily activities. That’s a big indication that he’s not well either. The anger, the resentment he felt was very well portrayed in the show. 

Now, as a psychology bachelor student, I had some minor problems with how they depict mental health issues too. The way they portray the counselor, it may not be representative of every counselor, but that scene was sad.  I think a therapist would try to guide everyone’s lives for the better, sometimes they don’t. Hannah’s suicide is already a hard realization for the authorities: that they had failed in their task not only as a counselor but as parents and school directors. But that doesn’t mean getting help from a professional is useless. 

ROMATICIZING

“Mental Health Groups Don’t Want You To Watch ’13 Reasons Why” and “Is 13 Why Romanticizing Suicide ?” WHAT A F*CKN QUESTION. Would you ask this question for other TV shows as well? Because buddy, I have news for you: it’s a TV Show. Since when does a TV show not romanticize something? I think what the authorities fear about this show is that teenagers won’t be able to differentiate between what’s happening on screen and what’s real. That’s a little controlling in my opinion.

 I think the only purpose of this TV Show is to spark discussion about suicide and school bullying, and traumas. And they succeeded.  It’s triggering I don’t deny it. They have rape scenes, violent and horrible events. I think it’s one’s personal decision to watch it or not. All this sensational censorship phenomenon is the same thing with any censorship we had in the past: pornography, illicit drugs… and what good did that do? Did it stop anything? No, because humans are constantly evolving, adapting and I think this show is much needed for our generation. For parents and friends to realize that yes, your OWN kids can be bullies, your own kids can rape other kids, your own boyfriend can rape you. When facing that situation, you must act on it. If you are a witness, you must act on it too. 

OVERALL1

I think overall, I need to remind everyone that this is a work of fiction inspired by a fictional novel. Of course it won’t depict 100% real life events but they are pretty close. The message of the author is a lot can accumulate and convince the person to act upon it. And more importantly, what would you learn from it? To pay more attention to what you do, what you say, for words are as powerful as actions. Soul crushing.

giveaaway

-CLOSE –

WINNERS ARE : Donna from Chocolate’n Waffles  and @wildbi3ber on Twitter! We decided to giveaway 2 books 😉 One for WordPress commenter and one for the Twitter retweet! 

OPEN INTERNATIONALLY

I’ll be reading this book now that I binge watched it haha 😀 Thought some of you might want to read it too, and since I have 2 copies kindly from Penguin, I would love to giveaway my 2nd copy! 

To participate : 

  1. You can retweet this post on Twitter

  2. OR Leave a comment telling me that you’d like to participate 
  3. You have until May 5, 2017

SIMPLE AS THAT 😉

IMG_6077 copy

   

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34 thoughts on “13 Reasons Why TV Show Review |Cinedote|[Giveaway]

  1. aishwaryas39 says:

    I loved your post! Especially the part where you mentioned how Clay’s mental health issues were overlooked in the show and how depression is a disease that every person experiences differently. Can’t wait for the book review! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Trang (Bookidote) says:

      Thank you!! I think that people are so focused on what Hannah did or what she didn’t do :O They forgot about Clay and how he’s dealing with it. I always appreciate it when you pass by and read my reviews! 😀

      Like

  2. TwinBookmarks says:

    We watched the show first but had already heard about the book way before the show (and knew the ending kind of) – we have to agree with you and say the acting was totally spot on and there were a few scenes that definitely made us uncomfortable but all on all it was great; there was a message in this show which you can’t say for most.

    Like

  3. fictionbookdude says:

    I really enjoyed your review Trang! I have watched the first episode of this show but haven’t continued with it for some reason. It does sound very interesting and I like that it makes people aware of mental health issues. I believe that mental health is the most important thing and everyone should be more perceptive (to see signs) and empathetic towards people who suffer from it. Again, great review of the show.
    I would love to enter for the giveaway of it and read it myself. Thanks for hosting a giveaway by the way! Best, Nikola 🙂

    Like

  4. vybemusic says:

    AMAZING REVIEW! I agree word for word! The flak this show has gotten concerning the romanticizing of suicide etc is excessive and ultimately missing the point of the whole show. and i too was wondering why nobody seemed to care about Clay. Book was amazing too (better than the show if i might say so myself).

    Like

    • vybemusic says:

      Also i would like to participate for the giveaway. Haha. my friend let me borrow it three years ago and it became my favorite book, but i never got a copy for myself haha.

      Like

    • Blackbird Writes says:

      This is a great review! I’ve not watched the show and probably wouldn’t have, but your excellent review has changed my mind and interested me in taking the emotional journey with these characters.
      Thanks again!
      Blackbird

      Like

  5. By Hook Or By Book ~ Book Reviews, News, & Other Stuff says:

    I just finished watching this a couple of hours ago and I agree with everything you’ve said. Absolutely brilliant and spot-on review Trang! In addition to Hannah and her story, most of the kids involved were struggling with serious issues. In addition to Clay’s heartbreaking journey of discovery, Alex was showing severe signs of distress, and so was Tyler. Jessica of course goes without saying. Did you watch the 1/2 hour PSA? They interview not only the cast members, writers, producers, and Jay Asher, but also a teen advocate and some mental health experts. I don’t think this glorified suicide in any way. If anything it showed that it’s painful, and messy and has repercussions for those you leave behind. Because of a series of incidents Hannah had gotten to the point where she felt like an object that was of no use to anyone. I think many of us, even as adults, have felt like this at one time or the other. Anyway, I’m sorry for going in. This just really got to me. I’m not on twitter, but I’d love to enter your giveaway if that’s possible?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Trang (Bookidote) says:

      EXACTLY!! I thought the show illustrates everyone’s distress very well. It wad subtile from Jessica going erratic to Alex frustration and that ending… With him and Tyler!! I didn’t watch the half hour PSA BUT NOW YOU MENTIONED I WOULD! Thank you for the tip!! Yess the adults offering their support was present with Clay’s Father sharing his stories being bullied too. And no problem at all!! The WordPress comment option was made because I thought some may not have twitter hehe

      Liked by 1 person

  6. By Hook Or By Book ~ Book Reviews, News, & Other Stuff says:

    Reblogged this on By Hook Or By Book and commented:
    Many of you have already heard of Netflix’s controversial new series 13 Reasons Why which is based on the YA book by Jay Asher and explores the events leading up to a young girl’s suicide as well as the repercussions. Trang over at https://bookidote.com has written one of the best reviews of it that I’ve come across, so I felt the need to share.

    Like

  7. lostartofreadingblog says:

    Great review, I’m torn I always read then watch. But it’s sitting there mocking me on Netflix, I might end up watching the show first, worked you right 🙂
    I would also like to participate in the giveaway please.

    Like

  8. Ruzaika @ The Regal Critiques says:

    This was by far the best review I saw of the show and I’m SO GLADD someone actually feels what I did about it. I’m a psychology bachelor student myself and I thought both the book and the show were spot on (though I admittedly liked the latter better). Great review/discussion Trang. Loved it! You’ve said exactly what I wanted to about this but couldn’t quite put into words. Thank you!
    Also, thanks for the giveaway- I read an e-copy of the book and would absolutelylutely love the chance to get my hands on a physical copy 😍

    Like

  9. thepunktheory says:

    I read the book back in the day when it first came out and I remember that it really got under my skin.
    So of course, I was super excited about this TV show. To be honest, I am impressed how good it turned out. The best word to describe for me is intense. I am glad that this very tough matter is addressed and that it raises awareness.
    Great post! 🙂

    Like

  10. LizScanlon says:

    I’ve seen people raving about this but I never really looked deeper into what this was about… I thought Netflix, teenagers.. not my thing. However, now that I know what this is about, I want to read the book.
    Your review is fabulous and I love how you stress that this is 100% fictional and also that depression is something that can’t be ‘put into a box’. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    Like

  11. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    This is a great post Trang, and I love how you’ve kind of answered back to the negative things people have been saying with some good points in favour of the show. I’m really glad you enjoyed this. 😀
    I’ve been debating whether or not to read the book/watch the show. I know everyone says it’s amazing, and your review for the show is amazing, but I don’t really like stories that deal with suicide, it’s kind of a trigger for me, so I just don’t think this is the book/show for me in the end.
    Still great review. 🙂

    Like

  12. Donna | Chocolate'n'Waffles says:

    Count me in! I want to participate! I love love love this review! OMG YES TO EVERYTHING YOU SAID ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH! I’m so sick to hear depression or anxiety or any illness should look a certain way. Yes, there are patterns that are similar and which help counselors give you what you need to help you, but everyone’s background is different, meaning everyone’s disease is feeding on different things and that changes the way the illness acts on you.
    I like that you chose to watch before reading, I decided to do the contrary! But maybe for this one you’re right, I’m considering doing it your way!
    FANTASTIC POST!

    Like

  13. whatthelog says:

    This is a really interesting post – I haven’t read or watched it, and I don’t think I’m going to because pretty much everything in it is a massive trigger for me. I’m interested to hear your thoughts though – what do you think to the campaign to get netflix to link suicide helplines at the beginning or end of every episode?

    Like

  14. Panagiota Goutzourela says:

    I haven ‘t read thw book and I also haven ‘t watched the serie, so I will not read your review yet…
    Sorry, but I don ‘t want to know any spoiler…
    Thank you for thw giveaway, <3.

    Like

  15. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    I’m very glad you liked the show, cos it looks a lot better than the book and I really want to watch it!! I will admit I had a huge problem with the book for blaming other people for their death- that thirst for revenge, in my opinion, was not something I liked about the book. I think this might have been better though in the show (although I’ll reiterate I haven’t seen it) because from a visual perspective it’s from the outside looking in. When told mostly from Hannah’s perspective, without it being mediated through any other means, I found it really hard to relate. Anyway, I hope you like the book more than I did (fortunately I’ve heard from other people that were like me in their feelings about the book and they found it was better on screen- so hopefully I’ll like that). I won’t be participating in the giveaway, since I’ve already read it, but wish good luck to everyone that does enter!! 😀

    Like

  16. mypaperinfinity says:

    Finally, someone else who gets it. I’ve been reading so many negative posts and reviews about this show it’s rare to find one that highlights what the show did right. Like you said, it’s a TV show, which means it’s never going to be 100% real, but it’s very close and I think that’s what scares a lot of people. Yes, in an ideal world, every counselor should do everything they can to help Hannah but, sadly, there are some who (like Mr. Porter) don’t or who go about it the wrong way.
    And I really don’t understand the criticism that Thirteen Reasons Why somehow glorifies suicide? If anything, I think it did a great job at showing the horrible aftermath by focusing on her parents’ and Clay’s grief.

    Like

  17. Sophie @ Blame Chocolate says:

    Glad to see this one here. It’s especially interesting since you’re a psychology student and, thus, have a completely different perspective on it from, say, everyone else.
    It’s true that a lot of people shouldn’t watch this show because it is triggering and it might be harmful to them. But to try and boycott it or something is just ridiculous. Reality is not always glamorous and easy, and the media sure loves to portray both sides. At the end of the day, it’s a person’s own choice to go for it or not.
    Great post, Trang! 🙂

    Like

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