13 shocking reasons to watch '13 Reasons Why'

13RW is not your typical teen drama

People can’t stop talking about the provocative new series on Netflix 13 Reasons Why that debuted on March 31.  There is a lot to say about the show.  It delves deep in the lives of teens and it pulls no punches.

From the moment it starts, you know that the plot is about a dead girl.  Biggest spoiler alert - they weren’t bluffing.  Optimists may think that the tapes are a “what if” rather than, “yes, this terrible thing really happened.”  So for clarification purposes, the smart, beautiful and interesting Hannah Baker does kill herself, and it is shown in graphic detail by series end. The focus of this story is to unravel the mystery of why this tragic thing happened.

13RW is something special, but it is not for everyone.  Young children and pre-teens, the generally squeamish and people who wish to live in denial about teen depression and suicide should steer clear.  But older teens, young adults and especially the parents of teens or young adults should give it a look. It would strike a better dialogue if watched together, even though that though that will make some uncomfortable.

This show is not just for entertainment; it is an education on consequences and how, to quote Hannah Baker, why “little things matter.”

13RW has been a long-time passion project of executive producer Selena Gomez.  This series was based on the 2007 young adult novel by Jay Asher, and has Diana Son and Brian Yorkey as co-showrunners. The diverse, yet gifted cast is made of mostly young beautiful people – many of whom at least seem like new faces, even though many have been around for awhile.

This show should be nominated for any ensemble acting award offered including SAG, as the cast is truly marvelous.  It is hard to pick a standout amongst them because they are all good. If we really had to, there is one: Kate Walsh. Walsh is able to display the desperation, anguish, anger, fear and confusion that goes with losing a child without ever going over the top. Her performance was passionate, nuanced and remarkable. She is the best in a series that has no worst.

RELATED: A chat with Justin Prentice the most hated star of 13 Reason Why

13RW isn’t perfect. It runs too long, never really delves into some of the psychological issues that the story covers and the conceit of Hannah creating these tapes as a project in the first place makes her seem too self-aware to not go to her parents before it is too late. However, it is important.  The stories are interesting. These realistic depictions of bullying, sexual harassment, teenage isolation and grief strike a chord with anyone who watches it. Being a teenager is hard.  Every main character is shown to be a complicated mix of good and bad which leaves you at the edge of your seat waiting to know what happens.

Click next for our 13 shocking reasons why you need to watch 13 Reasons Why:

If you, or if you think someone else needs help, please reach out and talk to someone. To find help in your area 13reasonswhy.info for more information or for immediate help text HOME to 741741 or call 1-800-273-8255.

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