My 13 reasons why you should avoid Netflix's 13 Reasons Why

If you subscribe to Netflix, you should know about the book to film adaptation of Jay Asher's novel, Thirteen Reasons Why. I remember reading the book years ago on a recommendation, and fell in love with the story. It took me through so many emotions as I read Hannah's story. You can see my thoughts on the novel here, because this post isn't about the novel per se.

This post is about what bothered me about Netflix's attempt at capturing this story. So here goes, my 13 reasons why I shouldn't have watched "Thirteen Reasons Why" on Netflix.

1. The language. My goodness, the language. I understand that teenagers curse worse than sailors in many situations, but if you aren't bothered by the ridiculous use of the f bomb as both an adjective, verb, and general space filler-- there is a problem. I stopped counting in one episode its use because I reached 20 before the half way point. Twenty! I don't think they even bothered to come up with other words. Many people feel it was realistic, but I disagree. I work with teenagers. They don't all speak like that. I felt making every character use that word so often really boxed them in and portrayed a stereotype. Instead of kids that curse when they are angry or overwhelmed, they became kids that dropped f bombs just because they could. It was completely overused in my opinion.

2. Why did so much have to be added? What's wrong with just telling the book's story? Why must every film attempt try to make its own story in the process? WHY?! Some parts I felt worked well enough, others did not.

3. Some scenes were so graphic. Ok, this is me being a bit sensitive, but those rape scenes. I just couldn't deal. It was too real. I know it's a huge part of the story, but why couldn't they just hint at it or something? Was there really a need to show all of Bryce's thrusting and such? It made me want to throw up. I also don't like they switched up Hannah's suicide method and made it (yet another) super graphic scene. Wasn't really necessary. She could have just taken the pills like the author intended.

4. Some of the modern updating made for serious plot holes. There were times that I wanted to scream, "Just use your phone, idiot!" but the character in question didn't have one. But 10 seconds later, they are playing on the new iphone. That does not work for me. If we're being honest, the people that say it was "so real" better be taking notes that it is unlikely a teenager goes anywhere without his/her phone attached to their hand. I have to yell at mine to put his down all the time.

5. The Bakers. That is all. Okay, not really. Why does Hannah's mom have such a large presence? She seems to drop hints along the way that the reader never got. The parents' role makes sense because you can see their pain. It felt real. But them being in the picture so much complicates the plot too much. Again, another time filler for the sake of trying to create 13 episodes to match 13 tapes.

6. Okay, not really. That whole lawsuit fell flat. I didn't mind adding that in, actually, until the end. The 13th episode felt rushed. It was a quick, last minute attempt to tie in all the extras. Personally, I don't think it worked too well. It left more questions and wonderings than it answered.

7. Who the heck is Sheri? Still don't understand the name change.

8. I kind of missed Clay's book references, especially when he filled out the dollar valentine as if he were a famous book character.

9. Who is Jeff? (I actually liked him.) Maybe Mr. Asher should have thought about making a Jeff. It worked for the show, but again, not true to form here. When Jeff dies, that's pretty upsetting.

10. Going back to the idea of extra backstory, I don't remember the other characters being after Clay. I really didn't like Marcus' and Justin's "get him" attitude. Seemed a bit stupid. Were they seriously considering killing Clay? Really? I also don't recall Clay being so bent on justice against the others. I know it's been a while, but I feel like I would have remembered that. Going against the others the way he did doesn't really seem to fit with his character that is being portrayed (both in the book and film).

11. This might be due to a bad memory, but was Tony gay in the book? I liked the character they made for the show, but I just don't recall him having a huge presence in the book. Again, this felt like a creation fueled by the need to fill 60 minute episodes.

12. Jessica and Justin's created story made me want to vomit from annoyance.

13. It would have been pretty badass if Clay got a confession from Bryce on tape, but.... Am I really supposed to believe he takes that kind of beat down and then sits and has a drink with the attacker? And am I supposed to believe that Bryce gives Clay "mad respect" for surviving such a beat down? C'mon!

Overall, I think there were elements of the film I thought helped the story along. But I am a book purist. If there is going to be a film, it needs to stick to the book. As far as book to film adaptions go, this one does a much better job of sticking to the original but there were still things added that I felt took away from what could have been an amazing experience. Do yourself a favor, read the book.

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