Reasons why there should be more ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’

Matt JohnsonSpecial to the Southern News

It has become almost impossible to scroll through Twitter without reading about Netflix’s new hit show, “13 Reasons Why.” The show has received a 90 percent approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes and has been captivating audiences ever since all 13 episodes became available for streaming.

The story, adapted from Jay Asher’s novel, takes you through the journey that Clay Jensen, played by Dylan Minnette, goes through following the suicide of his friend, Hannah Baker, played by Katherine Langford. The series shares a narrative that is relatively similar to the book and touches on several sensitive topics such as suicide, bullying and sexual assault.

At the beginning of the first episode Clay receives 13 tapes, which were recorded by Hannah before she took her own life. Each tape gives detailed explanations of how bullying ultimately lead to her suicide. The shows timeline switches back and forth between present day and flashbacks to when Hannah was alive. The director uses this strategy in order to show the aftermath of the suicide as well as what lead up to it.

The series creates a lot of new plot that is not present in the book. The major differences between the original book and the show cannot go unnoticed. In the book there is no specification of the character’s sexual orientation or their ethnicity, but the show has multiple characters that identify as gay and the cast is very ethnically diverse. The most significant change between the two is the court case. The book does not mention the court case, but one of the main plot points in the series is the legal battle Hannah’s parents intend to initiate with the school over the death of their child.

These differences are what would allow the series to continue. The show has a more elaborate plot and creates new storytelling opportunities that would allow the narrative to be further explored through the lens of multiple characters. Season one tells the original story, but with new details that can be elaborated on if the series were to continue.

Viewers  have been continuously asking if a second season is even necessary since the original story in the book has been told in full throughout season one. This is true, but season one does not give the viewer much closure. With additional plot and characters, the end of season one hints that there is more to come. There are several loose ends to be tied such as the death of a second student and the unfinished court battle.

In an entertainment industry where every new movie is a sequel and every show is a spin off, why not explore and elaborate on the plot of a book? Season one was met with mostly favorable reviews and there is a lot more that this series can offer. Hannah’s story may have been told, but there is far more to this story. The show also offers important life lessons about the repercussions of bullying and how schools need to take initiative to prevent it from happening. As of now Netflix has not announced any plans for a season.


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