Critical Condition: 13 Reasons Why

13 Reasons Why (Netflix, from today)

13 Reasons Why is undoubtedly sincere, but it’s also, in many important ways, creatively successful: It uses some of TV’s most popular forms and accessible strategies—the love triangle, the coming-of-age story, the murder mystery and the grounded high school drama—to pull viewers into a suspenseful tale that will keep most of them engaged until the final scene fades out. The main conceit of the series is explained in the opening minutes: Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) has killed herself, and the drama’s narration comes from audiotapes she recorded before her death.” — Variety.

“There are also more than a few moments that tilt too far into the I Know What Your Pretty Little Vampire Diaries Did Last Summer trope of teen shows; the sensationally implausible problems of reckless, poreless youth. But Reasons is also a crackling whodunnit — or at least whydunnit. And as much as it can be hobbled by archetypes and cliché, the series also smartly self-corrects, offering something rare in Millennial mass entertainment: A frank, authentically affecting portrait of what it feels like to be young, lost, and too fragile for the world.” — Entertainment Weekly.

“A steady 13-episode descent into grief and emotional confusion, 13 Reasons Why is an honorably mature piece of young-adult adaptation, fleshing out Jay Asher’s well-regarded novel in a way that allows its cold-hearted high-school environment to breathe while revolving around tremendous lead turns by Dylan Minnette and particularly Australian newcomer Katherine Langford.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

“Young viewers may find the combination of thriller and morbid teenage melodrama in 13 Reasons Why addictive, though parents should be aware that it contains startlingly naturalistic depictions of rape and suicide. The rest of us won’t have as much patience for the show’s excessively convoluted, repetitive and unlikely story, or for the narrative gimmick reflected in its title.” — New York Times.

“Ostensibly about teenagers, the series instead is overburdened with adult concern. In the same way Thirteen Reasons Why shows up on teachers’ summer reading lists, the TV series is full of parents knocking on bedroom doors asking if everything’s okay and being firmly, resoundingly told to go away. Nothing for these teens is ever okay. There are 13 episodes lasting 13 super-sullen hours — a passive-aggressive, implausibly meandering, poorly written and awkwardly acted effort that is mainly about miscommunication.” — The Washington Post.

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One Response to “Critical Condition: 13 Reasons Why”

  1. Having watched the first episode of 13 Reasons Why, I’m really impressed and hooked, it’s so well done :)

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