Note: Language. And spoilers for Life Is Strange.
Recently, I decided to see if the popular Netflix series 13 Reasons Why was worth the hype.
I got halfway through episode 4 before I stopped.
I was willing to accept the premise: A high school girl blames everyone expect herself for the choice she makes.
I was willing to forgive our protagonist masturbating to a picture of the girl who would eventually kill herself — a scene I skipped when it became all too clear what Clay was doing with that cloth he pulled our of a drawer. Watching a teenage boy masturbate is not my idea of entertainment.
But the straw that broke the camel’s back was characters’ refusal to talk to each other about their struggles.
Whether it was teens talking to teens, teens talking to their parents, or teens talking to authority figures, it’s like there’s a force-field around the characters of 13 Reasons Why preventing person-to-person interaction.
I know mystery is a pillar of drama, but 13 Reasons Why felt needlessly complex. It felt like mystery for the sake of mystery: Mystery at the expense of common sense. If people just sat down and said “___ is how I’m feeling. And ___ is why,” the question of “What do we do about Hannah Baker’s suicide?” would be answered in 5 seconds.
The most infuriating character of all was Tony.
I kept hoping that someone would pin Tony against a wall, tell him to cut the bullshit (pardon my French), and just explain what his deal is.
Because, Tony, to quote Jack Sparrow:
While watching 13 Reasons Why, I would always eventually think to myself “I would rather be playing Life Is Strange.” One reason why being: The characters in Life Is Strange actually talk to each other about what they’re going through.
Maybe I’ll give the series another chance soon. After all: This could all just be hyperbole — I could be totally wrong and characters in 13 Reasons Why really do open up to each other. But my first impression was not a good one. The impression I walked away with from the 4 episodes I watched was: A lot of cloak-and-dagger with no method to its madness other than stringing out the story of a teenage girl’s suicide for as long as possible: