13 Rea­sons Why

The Washington Post - - MOVIES -

(TV-MA)

STREAM­ING Age 16+ Dis­turb­ing book adap­ta­tion sheds light on teen sui­cide.

“13 Rea­sons Why” is an in­tense, dark Net­flix drama based on the pop­u­lar young adult novel “Thir­teen Rea­sons Why” by Jay Asher. This is def­i­nitely not a light watch or for younger kids. The dis­turb­ing story ex­plores a trou­bled teen’s mo­ti­va­tions for com­mit­ting sui­cide, open­ing af­ter the fatal event, with all ap­pear­ances by the de­ceased Han­nah in the re­flec­tions of a boy who har­bored a se­cret crush on her. Mes­sages about treat­ing peo­ple with re­spect and not tak­ing others for granted are prom­i­nent, but the fact that Han­nah blames others for her sui­cide is prob­lem­atic and may send the wrong mes­sages to some sen­si­tive teens. The se­ries doesn’t shy away from ma­ture is­sues, as Han­nah’s sui­cide is shown in great de­tail, as is more than one graphic rape scene in­volv­ing a teenager. There’s teen drink­ing, voyeurism (a boy cir­cu­lates a pic­ture of a girl in a com­pro­mis­ing po­si­tion af­ter a sex­ual en­counter) and lots of swear­ing (“f---,” “s---” and “a-holes”). Al­though this chal­leng­ing story could help par­ents start con­ver­sa­tions with teens about such is­sues as bul­ly­ing, iso­la­tion and de­pres­sion, the way the se­ries ad­dresses th­ese is­sues is com­plex and may be con­fus­ing for im­pres­sion­able view­ers. (13 60minute episodes) Via Net­flix stream­ing.

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