Episodes: 49 (hour)
TV show dates: March 31, 2017 — June 6, 2020
Series status: Ended
Performers include: Dylan Minnette, Katherine Langford, Kate Walsh, Brian D’Arcy James, Derek Luke, Brandon Flynn, Justin Prentice, Alisha Boe, Christian Navarro, Miles Heizer, Ajiona Alexus, and Tommy Dorfman.
TV show description:
A mystery crime drama based on Jay Asher’s young adult novel of the same name, 13 Reasons Why follows Clay Jensen (Minnette), who is sweet, if socially reserved.
After his co-worker, crush, and classmate Hannah Baker (Langford) commits suicide, Clay arrives home from school to find a package with his name on it, on his front porch.
Once inside, he opens it to find shoebox full of audio cassettes and a map of their town. Each side of the tape is labeled with a number between one and 13. On the first side, Hannah explains there are 13 reasons behind her decision to take her own life. She also lays out her rules for handling her recordings.
As he listens to the first cassette on his dad’s old boom box, Clay hears Hannah say, “If you’re listening to this tape, you’re one of the reasons why.” It’s then his mother, Lainie (Hargreaves), surprises him. He drops the boom box which makes the cassette player door stick, so he steals his friend Tony’s (Navarro) old Walkman from his car.
In her instructions, Hannah says that once he’s listened to them, he should pass the tapes on to the next person. She explains that she included the map and marked certain locations in town related to her 13 reasons.
Hannah explains she has left a copy of the tapes with someone she trusts. He will make sure that all the people who should listen to them — do so. Although she does not mention Tony in the recordings, he knows about them, but insists he didn’t know Hannah was going to kill herself.
Throughout the series, as Clay listens to the tapes, he flashes back moments in Hannah’s life. On her first date with Justin (Flynn) — the night of her very first kiss — Hannah slid down the rocket slide at Eisenhower Park, while wearing a skirt.
As she was sliding down, Justin took an up-skirt photo of her, with his cell phone. The next day, when his buddies are pressing him to see how far he went with Hannah, instead of keeping his mouth shut, or just answering honestly, he shows them the photo and lets them draw their own conclusions.
One of the guys grabs Justin’s phone and texts the picture to seemingly the entire student body. When the picture and the ensuing nasty rumors fly throughout the school, Hannah feels humiliated. She tries to reach out to Clay and feels stung by his cool reception.
The rocket slide photo is but the first strike in a campaign to smear Hannah. Next, she must deal with the release of another photo, rumors about her sexuality and promiscuity, and the betrayal of those she once called friend.
The series delves into rape culture, slut-shaming, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and bullying. It also looks at Hannah’s relationships with others, including fellow new kids Jessica Davis (Boes) and Alex Standall (Heizer). Through Hannah and Clay’s narratives, 13 Reasons Why delivers a heartbreaking story of grief, guile, and guilt.
Episode #49 — Graduation
Strengthened by the struggles they’ve endured, the friends say goodbye to high school and look toward the future.
First aired: June 6, 2020.
What do you think? Do you like the 13 Reasons Why TV show? Do you think it should have ended or been renewed for a fifth season?