I haven't been putting up my little movie and TV reviews lately, and I really should get back to it.
MINOR spoilers. Nothing big.
Both these shows are on Netflix. 13 Reasons Why
Rotten Tomatoes: 81% (season one). 54% (season two)
I have never read the book for this series, and I did not watch season two.
It's about a girl named Hannah who commit suicide, and she left tapes behind to those who caused her to do it.
It came off as pretentious to me--I got very strong John Green vibes while watching this series ("what teenager talks like that?" came up many times in my mind). Not to say it was horrible, but it wasn't great either.
There are several problems I have with this series.
We're supposed to feel sorry for the girl who took her life, but mailing revenge tapes to those who caused her to do it is a dick move. Especially when a few of those kids did really stupid things--one kid made a list that said she has the best a$$, one published a poem of hers without her permission in a school magazine, and one made her feel like she wasn't good enough to be with him. Then to go and mail them a tape and say, "here: have part of the blame in my life ending" is terrible. I get that it's supposed to be a slow build, but sending revenge tapes to the specific kids who made dumb little mistakes is needlessly cruel and accidentally insinuates that any little mistake you make as a teenager might lead to someone's suicide. Now, if the show had played up the fact that making the tapes as post-suicide revenge was a not-so-good idea on Hannah's part, then I'd be more okay with it.
I'd never read anything about the show before watching it, but I could tell from episode one that the girl who commit suicide was going to be raped (not even tagging that as a spoiler because it's so dang obvious) . Oh my God, I am SO tired rape in entertainment.
Yes, rape is a terrible thing--one of the worst things that can happen to you. But couldn't we have a story about a teenage girl who takes her life for reasons other than sexual trauma and rape? Most teenagers who commit suicide haven't been raped, so it would be far more educational, relatable and memorable to teens watching the show if the reasons for Hannah's suicide were more subtle. That's not really a critique per se... I just want something else.
Lastly, each episode is an hour long, when they could've been about thirty mins.
Positive things: Nice concept, good acting, keeps you watching. Also, I though the scene where she takes her life was pretty good--makes you feel icky.
I won't recommend this one, but who knows, it might be your thing. Maybe watch the first episodes and see how you feel.
Rotten Tomatoes: 98% (season one), 97% (season two)
Two seasons so far. Loved both!
The basic premise of season one is: someone spray-painted graffiti (of dicks) on the cars of 27 teachers. Who did it and why?
The kids in this series are believable as teenage characters--they're crass, they try to act mature but aren't, and they have realistic teenage challenges and consequences for actions.
And it's funny! Very funny.
AND. It might just surprise you. The ending of each season really surprised me. Like... it made this old soul feel things. There's a level of sincerity and even a little realism that really spoke to me.
Can't say too much about it, so I'll just say: Thoroughly recommended. Loved it!