Today marked the world premiere of Selena Gomez’s highly anticipated Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.
Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Jay Asher, it tells the story of teenager Clay Jensen and his quest for answers into why his classmate and crush Hannah ended her life.
Part coming-of-age story and part teen mystery/thriller, the series (which Gomez executive produces) was first announced back in October of 2015. At the time, Gomez was slated to star as Hannah Baker. Shortly afterward, it was announced that she wouldn’t star but instead serve as one of the executive producers of the project. She even covers the song “Only You” for the series’ soundtrack.
Since then, fans of the original novel have been anxiously awaiting the Netflix adaptation of the story. Fans have been hoping the long wait would be worth it and that the 13-episode season would stay true to the form of the original best-seller. So far, it seems to have been worth the wait, as early reviews have indicated all around praise for the show.
Currently, the series holds an impressive 94 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critics’ overall review from the website states “13 Reasons Why complements its bestselling source material with a gripping look at adolescent grief whose narrative maturity belies its YA milieu.”
Other reviews have agreed with this sentiment. Screen Rant calls it compellingly dark, TV Fanatic says it’s captivating and provocative, and these are just a few of the positive adjectives used to describe the teen series in these early reviews.
However, no series is without its mixed to bad reviews to counter any praise. The Guardian gave the series a somewhat mixed-negative review. It deemed the series possibly the first Netflix original to be “too bleak to binge.” The online streaming giant is known for creating binge-worthy original series, having fans of its content watching entire seasons of shows in a matter of days. Here, the series’ graphic depiction of rape, misogyny, and suicide, while realistic, is at times is hard to watch unfold on screen. As a result, viewers may need a little breather in between episodes.
In addition, the review notes that the series centers on the suicide of a teenage girl and the 13 cassette tapes she leaves behind with reasons and clues as to why she did it. Even with this character at its center, the series tends to “be more about boys than girls,” perhaps failing to address the real concerns of misogyny that takes place in a high school setting.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Selena Gomez has said that kids need to see this series. For her, the series’ content really hits home as she was struggling with personal demons at the time of filming. She states that kids need to see raw and truthful stories that they can start conversations about the important topics explored in the series “without starting from the place of fear or having to protect their own secrets”.
The lead roles of Hannah Baker and Clay Jansen are played by Katherine Langford and Dylan Minnette, respectively. About the series, the two actors have told E! Online that they had a lot of help from professionals in order to research their roles. They met with psychologists and specialists to help them understand how students have dealt with their character’s issues in real life. In addition, they also said that while Gomez is very busy, she did play a “paramount part” in the development of the drama.
Will you be binge-watching the new series? Were you a fan of the original novel by Jay Asher? What are your thoughts on the Netflix adaptation? Sound off in the comments section below!
Check out the official trailer below.
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]