WARNING: TALK OF SUICIDE AND RAPE. ALSO, SPOILERS.
Summary: Follows teenager Clay Jensen, in his quest to uncover the story behind his classmate and crush, Hannah, and her decision to end her life.
The Good: This was a struggle for me, to find some good that wasn’t tainted by the bad. However, to be fair, there is some good here. The casting is brilliant, the acting is excellent, and – well, yeah. That’s pretty much all I have for this category.
The Bad: There was absolutely no mention of mental illness here beyond random “Was she depressed?” here and there throughout the series. The adults seem more interested in covering their own asses than the fact that a girl in their care went and slit her wrists. It felt like a real world version of Harry Potter for a while there – bullying? There’s no bullying here. We know not what you speak of.
Also, any mentions of suicide helplines or support for those having issues dealing with thoughts of suicide are in the background, used a prop. It’s a minor afterthought to further the premeditated revenge plot of the lead character.
Yeah, let’s not kid ourselves here. Yes, she suffered a lot of shit, but it didn’t end with some catastrophic event that lead to her slitting her wrists. It ended with a well thought out plan of revenge to be enacted once she was gone to be carried out by her friend on her behalf.
And it takes until the last of the tapes, until Clay, for someone to ask why are they covering for a rapist? Tony, who seemed clear-headed up until this point should have brought these tapes straight to the police and Hannah’s parents the moment he understands what Bryce had done.
The Ugly: The worst aspect of this series is how they romanticize suicide. I can easily see the effect this will have on those without any common sense: see how you, too, can get your revenge on your tormentors! Is life not going well for you? Have you made some really shitty decisions compounded by bullies and other douchebags? Well here is a step by step instruction manual on how to get vengeance from beyond the grave and not have to deal with the fallout.
And let’s not forget the rape. Did she get tested? What about STDs? Pregnancy? How many other girls had the asswipe done this to? Hasn’t anyone ever said anything?
And now they might renew? To what, go over the fallout of the depositions? Will Clay suddenly become a bad guy in all this, even though as soon as he knew someone was wrong – as soon as there was something actionable he went and got a confession so that he could bring it to someone. I don’t know where they can go with this, but I dearly hope it can’t get worse. I really hope they don’t go the school shooting route that was hinted at in the last couple scenes there, as it would be too much.
They already admitted to ignoring all the bullying going on. That kid already admitted that he was stalking everyone.
The whole series is just one big fuck up. It was a contrived conspiracy plot centered around some high schoolers that fell very flat.