13 Reasons Why
13 Reasons Why star Dylan Minnette (Clay) 13 Reasons Why/Facebook

The Netflix drama “13 Reasons Why” has sparked controversy for its storyline, subject matter and its graphic scenes. Even celebrities shared their opinion about the suicide-focused show. Before you binge-watch it, here are some things you need to know about the new hit drama.

1. It is pure fiction

It was adapted for television based on Jay Asher’s book of the same title. The story focuses on teenager Hannah Baker, who committed suicide and left 13 tapes behind.

2. The tapes

Hannah left 13 audio recordings to explain why she took her own life. The tapes are intended for the people who were somehow involved in her death.

3. Selena Gomez-produced project

Selena Gomez and her mother bought the rights to turn the novel into a TV show after they read it. The actress/singer originally wanted to play Hannah herself. She eventually gave the role to Australian actress Katherine Langford. Gomez then served as executive producer.

4. Graphic scenes

Although a viewer discretion warning flashes at the beginning of the episodes, the graphic depictions of suicide and violence will still make you cringe. So it is still wise to prepare yourself.

5. Warning issued

Headspace, a youth mental health foundation in Australia, has issued a warning against the graphic content of the show. The organisation claimed that it exposes viewers to risky suicide content that could result to possible “suicide contagion.”

6. Shannon Purser’s thoughts

Mental health organisations are not the only ones who issued warnings against the show. “Stranger Things” star Shannon Purser also advised people dealing with suicidal thoughts not to binge on “13 Reasons Why” because of its graphic scenes. “There are some very graphic scenes in there that could easily trigger painful memories and feelings. Please protect yourselves,” she wrote on Twitter.

Purser later clarified her statement in a series of tweets. “My only concern is that you all be safe and not unwittingly watch something that could affect you in a negative way emotionally,” she said.

7. Cliffhangers

There are many cliffhangers at the end of the series. Will the people involved in Hannah’s death face repercussions? What is Tyler (Devin Druid) planning? What happened to Alex (Miles Heizer)? Did he survive his suicide attempt? What will happen to Mr. Porter (Derek Luke)?

8. Different ending

The book version has a positive ending. In the original ending, Hannah survives her suicide attempt. The paperback edition of Asher’s book already reached the number one spot in the New York Times Best Sellers list.

9. Season 2

Although the original book had no sequel or prequel, Asher admitted that he is not closing doors for a possible second instalment of the TV adaptation. He said that a second season is likely since some characters’ stories were left open-ended.

10. Movie version

The original plan was to make “13 Reasons Why” into a film from Universal Pictures, not a TV show. Netflix, however, picked it up late 2015 and adapted it for television, BBC notes. Tony-winning Brian Yorkey penned the TV series. The version broke Twitter records when it was streamed worldwide on March 31 with 3.4 million tweets.


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