13 Reasons Why
|13 Reasons Why|
|Based on||Thirteen Reasons Why|
by Jay Asher
|Developed by||Brian Yorkey|
|Narrated by||Katherine Langford|
|Opening theme||"Oh in This World of Dread, Carry On" by Eskmo|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||26 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||49–70 minutes|
|Picture format||4K (Ultra HD)|
|Original release||March 31, 2017– present|
13 Reasons Why (stylized onscreen as TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY) is an American teen drama web television series developed for Netflix by Brian Yorkey, based on the 2007 novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. The series revolves around seventeen-year-old high school student, Clay Jensen, and his deceased friend Hannah Baker, who has killed herself after having to face a culture of gossip and sexual assault at her high school and a lack of support from her friends and her school. A box of cassette tapes recorded by Hannah in the lead up to her suicide detail thirteen reasons why she ended her life. The series is produced by July Moon Productions, Kicked to the Curb Productions, Anonymous Content and Paramount Television, with Yorkey and Diana Son serving as showrunners.
Dylan Minnette stars as Clay, while Katherine Langford plays Hannah. Christian Navarro, Alisha Boe, Brandon Flynn, Justin Prentice, Miles Heizer, Ross Butler, Devin Druid, Amy Hargreaves, Derek Luke, Kate Walsh, and Brian d'Arcy James also star. A film from Universal Pictures based on Thirteen Reasons Why began development in February 2011, with Selena Gomez set to star as Hannah, before being shelved in favor of a television series and Netflix ordering the show straight to series in October 2015, with Gomez instead serving as an executive producer.
The first season was released on Netflix on March 31, 2017. It received positive reviews from critics and audiences, who praised its subject matter and acting, particularly the performances of Minnette and Langford. For her performance, Langford received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a Drama Series. However, its graphic depiction of issues such as suicide and rape, along with other mature content prompted concerns from mental health professionals. In response, Netflix added a warning card and from March 2018, a video that plays at the start of each season warning viewers about its themes.
In May 2017, Netflix renewed 13 Reasons Why for a second season; filming began the next month and concluded that December. The second season was released on May 18, 2018, and received negative reviews from critics and mixed reviews from audiences. A third season was ordered in June 2018 and is set to be released in 2019. Critical and audience reaction to the series has been divided, with the program generating controversy between audiences and industry reviewers.
- 1 Premise
- 2 Cast and characters
- 3 Episodes
- 4 Production
- 5 Reception
- 6 Beyond the Reasons
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
In season one, seventeen year old Clay Jensen returns home from school one day to find a mysterious box on his porch. Inside he discovers seven cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his deceased classmate and unrequited love, who killed herself two weeks earlier. On the tapes, Hannah unfolds an intensely emotional audio diary, detailing why she decided to end her life. It appears each person who receives this package of old-style tapes is fundamentally related to why she killed herself. Clay is not the first to receive the tapes, but there is implied detail as to how he should pass the tapes on after hearing them. There appears to be an order to distribution of the tapes, with an additional copy held by an overseer should the plan go awry. Each tape recording refers to a different person involved in Hannah's life contributing to a reason for her suicide. The tapes refer to both friends and enemies.
In season two, months after Hannah's suicide, Clay and the other people mentioned on the tapes, as well as close friends and Hannah's family members, become embroiled in a civil legal battle between Hannah's parents and Liberty High School. Alleging negligence on the part of the school, Hannah's mother pursues her perception of justice, while her reluctance to settle pre-trial and her personal circumstances eventually break up her marriage with Hannah's father. The story unfolds with narratives illustrating Hannah's story told by those who present in court at trial.
Clay, who perceives himself as Hannah's failed protector, embarks on an investigation using whatever evidence he can find in an effort to impact on the civil case between Hannah's parents and the school. Clay also endeavors to expose the corrupted culture of the High School and its favor of wealthy, sports savvy male students over the average student, which especially compromises the integrity of young girls such as Hannah.
Throughout season two, Clay appears to be communicating with the ghost of Hannah as a plot narrative device.
Cast and characters
- Dylan Minnette as Clay Jensen, a close friend of Hannah who becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to her.
- Katherine Langford as Hannah Baker, a teenager whose suicide and recorded audio cassettes spark the events of the series. (seasons 1–2)
- Christian Navarro as Tony Padilla, Clay's best friend at Liberty High who tries to help him deal with Hannah's death.
- Alisha Boe as Jessica Davis, a student who starts attending Liberty High at the same time as Hannah.
- Brandon Flynn as Justin Foley, a student at Liberty High who comes from an abusive family and is in a relationship with Jessica.
- Justin Prentice as Bryce Walker, a student from a rich family and the captain of the football team at Liberty High.
- Miles Heizer as Alex Standall, a student at Liberty High, the ex-boyfriend of Jessica and a former friend of Hannah.
- Ross Butler as Zach Dempsey, a cowardly but kindhearted friend of Justin and Bryce at Liberty High.
- Devin Druid as Tyler Down, a bullied student at Liberty High and an avid photographer.
- Amy Hargreaves as Lainie Jensen, Clay's attorney mother.
- Derek Luke as Kevin Porter, a guidance counselor at Liberty High.
- Kate Walsh as Olivia Baker, Hannah's mother, who is determined to uncover the truth about the events leading to her daughter's suicide.
- Brian d'Arcy James as Andy Baker, Hannah's father and Olivia's husband. (season 2; recurring season 1)
- Timothy Granaderos as Montgomery de la Cruz, a bully who is a student at Liberty High. In season 2, he secretly terrorizes a number of individuals testifying at Hannah Baker's trial. (season 3; recurring seasons 1–2)
- Brenda Strong as Nora Walker, Bryce's mother. (season 3; recurring season 2)
Introduced in season one
- Josh Hamilton as Matt Jensen, Clay's father, a psychologist.
- Michele Selene Ang as Courtney Crimsen, a closeted student at Liberty High who is responsible for spreading rumors about Hannah to protect the secret of her own sexual orientation. In season 2, she comes out on the stand during the trial of Hannah Baker, confessing her actions against Hannah that landed her on the tapes.
- Steven Silver as Marcus Cole, the self-centered student body president at Liberty High, who is responsible for humiliating and attempting to sexually assault Hannah on a date. In season 2, he is suspended from school after lying on the stand during the trial and following the leaked release of the tapes soon after.
- Ajiona Alexus as Sheri Holland, a student and cheerleader at Liberty High who forms a bond with Clay but is also on the tapes when her actions result in Jeff's accidental death.
- Tommy Dorfman as Ryan Shaver, a student at Liberty High who betrayed Hannah's trust.
- Sosie Bacon as Skye Miller, an estranged friend of Clay. In the second season, Skye and Clay date for while before she leaves for a "fresh start", following another self-harm incident which resulted in her bipolar disorder diagnosis.
- Brandon Larracuente as Jeff Atkins, a student at Liberty High and friend of Clay, who died in a tragic car accident.
- Steven Weber as Gary Bolan, the principal at Liberty High.
- Keiko Agena as Pam Bradley, the Communications teacher at Liberty High.
- Mark Pellegrino as Deputy Bill Standall, Alex's father, a police officer.
- Joseph C. Phillips as Greg Davis, Jessica's father, a member of the Air Force.
- Cindy Cheung as Karen Dempsey, Zach's mother.
- Henry Zaga as Brad, Tony's boyfriend. In season 2, it is revealed that the couple broke up sometime between the events of season 1 and 2.
- Giorgia Whigham as Kat, a friend of Hannah and her former next-door neighbor.
- Robert Gant as Todd Crimsen, one of Courtney's fathers.
- Wilson Cruz as Dennis Vasquez, the lawyer representing Hannah's parents at the end of season 1 and during season 2.
Introduced in season two
- Jake Weber as Barry Walker, Bryce's father.
- Meredith Monroe as Carolyn Standall, Alex's mother.
- R.J. Brown as Caleb, Tony's boxing trainer and boyfriend.
- Anne Winters as Chlöe Rice, a smart, clueless, popular girl at Liberty High and the new head cheerleader who is also Bryce's girlfriend. At the end of season 2, it is revealed that she is pregnant.
- Bryce Cass as Cyrus, an edgy, cynical mischief maker who serves as an unexpected champion of the downtrodden. He befriends Tyler and the two together embark on smear campaigns against bullies.
- Chelsea Alden as Mackenzie, Cyrus' sister, an artsy and witty girl who is not afraid to speak her mind. In season 2, she briefly develops a relationship with Tyler, though the latter breaks it up.
- Allison Miller as Sonya Struhl, a smart and ambitious young litigator, who defends the school during the Hannah Baker trial.
- Brandon Butler as Scott Reed, a student at Liberty High who is on the baseball team.
- Samantha Logan as Nina Jones, a well-respected track star who befriends Jessica over shared sexual assault pasts.
- Kelli O'Hara as Jackie, a passionate advocate for victims of bullying.
- Ben Lawson as Rick Wlodimierz, the baseball coach at Liberty High, who supports and protects his players.
|1||13||March 31, 2017|
|2||13||May 18, 2018|
Season 1 (2017)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||1||"Tape 1, Side A"||Tom McCarthy||Brian Yorkey||March 31, 2017|
Clay Jensen finds a box filled with audio cassette tapes anonymously left on his front doorstep. He plays the first in his father's boombox and realizes they have been recorded by his recently deceased classmate Hannah Baker, before he accidentally drops and breaks the boombox when surprised by his mother. Clay steals his friend Tony's Walkman to continue listening. Clay listens to the first tape, in which Hannah begins to relate the experiences that led to her suicide. She starts by sharing the story of her first kiss, with Justin Foley, who goes on to inadvertently spread a salacious rumor that begins the sequence of events leading to her suicide. Clay is revealed, through numerous short flashbacks, to have been in love with Hannah and to have worked with her at the local movie theater. It is revealed in this episode that Hannah has put her friend Tony in charge of the tapes.
Tape subject: Justin Foley, for spreading a racy picture of Hannah along with a sexual rumor about their encounter.
|2||2||"Tape 1, Side B"||Tom McCarthy||Brian Yorkey||March 31, 2017|
Hannah reminisces about her friendship with two other new students: Jessica, who moves frequently because her father is in the Air Force, and Alex, whom they met at a coffee shop. Jessica and Alex eventually begin a relationship and stop spending time with Hannah. When Alex breaks up with Jessica, she very publicly blames Hannah. In the present, Hannah's mother, Olivia, finds a note in her daughter's textbook that leads her to believe Hannah was being bullied. Clay asks Jessica about the tapes, which results in Bryce Walker's circle of peers meeting to discuss how Clay is listening to Hannah's recordings.
Tape subject: Jessica Davis, for mistakenly blaming Hannah for her breakup with Alex.
|3||3||"Tape 2, Side A"||Helen Shaver||Diana Son||March 31, 2017|
As Clay attempts to pursue a romantic relationship with Hannah, her relationships are threatened by a "best/worst list" made by Alex Standall, who has put a "target" on Hannah. In the present, Hannah's mother, Olivia Baker, seeks out the school principal about her suspicion of bullying and makes a disturbing discovery. In the midst of his investigation, Clay turns to Alex for answers, who not only feels regret for his actions on the tapes, but also warns Clay against trusting Tony, whom Clay later sees in a violent exchange with his brothers. As Justin tries to recuperate from his recent slump, Bryce strong-arms Clay and Alex into a drinking contest in an alleyway.
Tape subject: Alex Standall, for listing Hannah's ass as the best in school to make Jessica Davis jealous and for destroying her friendship with Jessica.
|4||4||"Tape 2, Side B"||Helen Shaver||Thomas Higgins||March 31, 2017|
Hannah hears someone outside her window, and confesses to her friend, Courtney, that she has a stalker. Courtney offers to help her catch the offender in the act. While waiting for the stalker to arrive, they play an alcohol-fueled game of truth or dare that leads to the two of them kissing on Hannah's bed. The stalker, school photographer Tyler Down, takes a photo of the girls and sends it around the school. This effectively ends Courtney and Hannah's friendship as Courtney distances herself from Hannah to avoid being revealed as one of the people in the photograph. In the present, Clay goes to Hannah's house and talks to her mother, though is unable to admit how close he and Hannah were. He also confronts Tony about the incident with his brothers. Tony responds that "people have to make their own justice" and proves he has an extra set of tapes. Inspired by this, Clay takes a naked picture of Tyler and sends it around the school in revenge.
Tape subject: Tyler Down, for stalking Hannah and spreading the photo of her and Courtney's kiss around the school.
|5||5||"Tape 3, Side A"||Kyle Patrick Alvarez||Julia Bicknell||March 31, 2017|
Courtney, afraid of her classmates finding out about her sexuality, spreads a rumor that the girls in the leaked photos are Hannah and Laura, an openly lesbian classmate. Courtney also adds to the rumor about Hannah and Justin, worsening Hannah's poor reputation. In the present, Clay takes Courtney to visit Hannah's grave. She leaves, not ready to face her involvement in the loss of her classmate or be more open about her sexuality. Tony arrives with Clay's bike and gives him a tape with the song he and Hannah danced to at the Winter Formal. Later, Justin, Zach and Alex force Clay into the car with them by stealing his bike and scare him into silence about the tapes by driving over the speed limit. They are pulled over by the police but face no consequences as the officer is revealed to be Alex's father. Clay denies knowing Hannah to his mother, who has been asked to represent the school in the lawsuit the Bakers are bringing.
Tape subject: Courtney Crimsen, for deflecting attention about both her sexuality and the photo Tyler took of her and Hannah by spreading further rumors about Hannah.
|6||6||"Tape 3, Side B"||Kyle Patrick Alvarez||Nic Sheff||March 31, 2017|
Hannah's date on Valentine's Day with Marcus does not go as planned due to the rumors that she is promiscuous. In the present, Alex gets into a fight with Montgomery and they both must appear before the student honor board. Clay helps Sheri on an assignment, and they nearly hook up, but Sheri reveals she is only there because she is on the tapes and wants Clay to like her despite her role in Hannah's death.
Tape subject: Marcus Cole, for humiliating and attempting to sexually assault Hannah in public on their Dollar Valentine date.
|7||7||"Tape 4, Side A"||Gregg Araki||Elizabeth Benjamin||March 31, 2017|
After Hannah refuses to go out with Zach, he gets revenge by sabotaging her emotionally during a class project. Zach removes compliments from Hannah's box, affecting her self-confidence. In the present, Clay hears Zach's tape and keys his car in an act of revenge, but things turn out to be different than they appeared. Clay is now having both auditory and visual hallucinations of Hannah during the day, including seeing her dead body on the floor of the basketball court during a game and hearing her tape playing over the school's intercom system. He returns the tapes to Tony, unable to continue listening.
Tape subject: Zach Dempsey, for stealing the "positive notes" destined to Hannah in Communications class out of revenge for her rejecting him and his help.
|8||8||"Tape 4, Side B"||Gregg Araki||Kirk Moore||March 31, 2017|
Hannah is touched by poetry recited by fellow student Ryan Shaver, and joins the Evergreen Poetry Club, a place where people write and perform their own poetry, and listen and critique others. Hannah presents some extremely revealing and confessional poetry at the poetry club after Ryan encourages her. Ryan betrays her by publishing the poem without her knowledge or consent in his school magazine. Almost everyone in school finds the poem hilarious, but Clay is both touched and disturbed by it, not realizing Hannah is the author. In the present day, Tony confides to Clay about the night of Hannah's death, and Clay takes back the tapes. Clay later gives the poem to Hannah's mother.
Tape subject: Ryan Shaver, for stealing a poem Hannah wrote detailing her personal problems and publishing it in the school newspaper without her consent.
|9||9||"Tape 5, Side A"||Carl Franklin||Hayley Tyler||March 31, 2017|
While hiding in Jessica's room during a party, Hannah witnesses Bryce Walker raping an unconscious and intoxicated Jessica. In the present, Marcus warns Clay the worst is yet to come and again attempts to scare him into silence about the tapes, this time by planting drugs in his backpack to get him suspended from school. Clay finally admits to his mother that he and Hannah were close. After getting suspicious legal advice from his mother, he goes to Justin's apartment to retrieve his bike and talk about getting justice for Jessica. Justin finally admits that what happened in the tapes is real, and claims it is better if Jessica does not know the truth.
Tape subject: Justin Foley (and seemingly Hannah Baker herself), for allowing Bryce to rape his girlfriend Jessica.
|10||10||"Tape 5, Side B"||Carl Franklin||Nathan Louis Jackson||March 31, 2017|
After the party, Hannah gets a ride home from her classmate, cheerleader Sheri Holland. They have what appears to be a minor accident, knocking over a stop sign. While Hannah wants to call the police to report it, Sheri refuses to do so, because she is afraid she will get in trouble. While Hannah is on her way to find a phone to call the authorities, the downed stop sign causes a serious accident at that intersection, resulting in the death of Clay's friend Jeff Atkins, which was incorrectly considered a drunk driving accident. When Hannah tries to tell Clay about the stop sign, he pushes her away, thinking she is being unnecessarily dramatic. In the present, Jessica's behavior becomes more erratic. Clay finds out that Sheri is trying to make up for her mistake in her own way, and he tells Jeff's parents that Jeff was sober when he died.
Tape subject: Sheri Holland, for abandoning Hannah after crashing her car into a stop sign, which ultimately caused the death of another student.
|11||11||"Tape 6, Side A"||Jessica Yu||Diana Son||March 31, 2017|
With Tony's support, Clay finally listens to his tape and is overcome with guilt to the point of contemplating his own suicide because he feels he did not do enough to prevent Hannah's death. Tony manages to calm him down. Justin finds out Jessica is at Bryce's home. He confronts her there and admits that Bryce raped her on the night of the party, causing her to break up with him. Olivia Baker finds a list with the names of all the people on the tapes, although she does not know what the list means.
Tape subject: Ostensibly Clay Jensen, for complying with Hannah's request to leave her alone at Jessica's party. However, Hannah is explicit in stating Clay is not included in the list, but is there because he must be, as he is part of the story.
|12||12||"Tape 6, Side B"||Jessica Yu||Elizabeth Benjamin||March 31, 2017|
After accidentally losing her parents' store's earnings, a depressed Hannah stumbles upon a party being thrown by Bryce. The night ends in tragedy when she ends up alone with him, and he rapes her in his hot tub. This leads Hannah to create a list of people (the one that her mother found in the previous episode) who she feels were responsible for leading her to her current circumstances, which becomes the inspiration for the creation of the tapes. In the present, everyone on Hannah's list is subpoenaed to testify in the lawsuit between the Bakers and the school. The subjects of the tapes disagree over what to do. Tyler eventually suggests they pin everything on Bryce, but Alex refuses and says they should tell the truth. Sheri turns herself in. Clay goes to Bryce's house, on the pretext of buying marijuana, to confront him about the events of the night he raped Hannah. Clay provokes Bryce to attack him and is badly beaten. However, Clay has been secretly recording their conversation and gets Bryce to admit that he raped Hannah. An unknown teenager with a gunshot wound to the head is treated by paramedics.
Tape subject: Bryce Walker, for raping Hannah in his hot tub.
|13||13||"Tape 7, Side A"||Kyle Patrick Alvarez||Brian Yorkey||March 31, 2017|
Hannah begins to record the tapes and then visits Mr. Porter to tell him about her rape. Hannah secretly records the conversation, hoping he will help her. When he does not, she heads to a post office, and mails the tapes to Justin Foley, then she goes home and takes her own life by slitting her wrists. In the present, Clay gives Tony the tape of his conversation with Bryce to copy. He confronts Mr. Porter about meeting with Hannah on her last day. He also hands over the tapes, including the additional tape containing Bryce's confession. Clay tells Porter that he is the subject of the final tape. The depositions begin, Marcus and Courtney deny their involvement in Hannah's death as much as possible. Zach and Jessica admit their mistakes. Before his deposition, Tyler hides ammunition and guns in his room, and then reveals the existence of the tapes during his interview. Alex is revealed to have been the teenager with the gunshot wound; he is in critical condition at the hospital. Justin leaves town out of guilt, but not before telling Bryce about the tapes. Jessica finally tells her father about her rape. At school, Clay reaches out to Skye Miller, his former friend, to avoid repeating the same mistakes he made with Hannah.
Tape subject: Mr. Porter, for not believing Hannah was suicidal and for not giving her proper help.
Season 2 (2018)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|14||1||"The First Polaroid"||Gregg Araki||Brian Yorkey||May 18, 2018|
Five months after the events of the first season, Hannah's trial moves to court. Tyler is the first to testify in the trial and does so truthfully. Skye and Clay are dating, but Clay starts to have hallucinations of Hannah. Mr. Porter confronts Bryce in the bathroom about raping Hannah. Jessica returns to school, as does Alex who survived his suicide attempt, but has lost much of his memory from before it, including the contents of Hannah's tapes. Tony is given the note Hannah left him the night she died, and is later seen burning it. Clay finds a Polaroid photograph in his locker, with a note saying "Hannah wasn't the only one".
Testified: Tyler Down, who talks about taking photos of Hannah and attempting to befriend her.
|15||2||"Two Girls Kissing"||Gregg Araki||Thomas Higgins||May 18, 2018|
Courtney reveals that she is a lesbian and had feelings for Hannah during her testimony. A group of protesters gather at the court to demand justice for Hannah, but Jessica and Alex are both threatened to avoid revealing anything incriminating when they testify. Skye and Clay fight over her suspicion that Clay is still in love with Hannah, and Skye is hospitalized soon after leaving Clay's house. Meanwhile, Tyler befriends a classmate named Cyrus.
Testified: Courtney Crimsen, who talks about her feelings towards Hannah and their kiss.
|16||3||"The Drunk Slut"||Karen Moncrieff||Marissa Jo Cerar||May 18, 2018|
Clay, riding home on his bicycle, is hit intentionally by a car, injuring him slightly. He visits Skye in hospital, but she breaks up with him. Clay and Alex try to encourage Jessica to reveal information about Bryce during her testimony, but she fails after seeing incriminating pictures of her stuck to the board in a classroom. Olivia asks her afterwards if she was the girl on the ninth tape, but Jessica does not answer. After discovering Jessica had been contacted by Justin, Clay finds him homeless in Oakland with Tony's help. With no other option, Clay lets Justin stay in his bedroom with him. Skye's parents move her to a psychiatric facility, and tell Clay not to contact her. Tyler meets the rest of Cyrus' friends while Bryce is asked to testify.
Testified: Jessica Davis, who talks about the hot-or-not list and hers and Hannah's friendship.
|17||4||"The Second Polaroid"||Karen Moncrieff||Hayley Tyler||May 18, 2018|
Marcus lies about what happened with Hannah the night they went out on Valentine's Day during his testimony (in order to protect his reputation) and briefly mentions Bryce, angering him. Cyrus and Tyler hear of Marcus' lies and prank him, going to a nearby field afterwards to shoot guns. Clay finds out that Justin has been taking heroin and he and Sheri help him onto the path to sobriety. Jessica shows the threatening note she was left before her testimony to Mr Porter. Alex continues to be frustrated about not being able to remember anything and asks Clay for the tapes, who sends them to him. Jessica and Alex skip school and share a kiss. Clay also finds a second Polaroid photograph in his locker, which shows Bryce having sex with an unconscious girl, alongside a note saying "he won't stop".
Testified: Marcus Cole, who lies about what happened with Hannah the night they went out.
|18||5||"The Chalk Machine"||Eliza Hittman||Nic Sheff||May 18, 2018|
Tyler is confronted by Mr. Porter, who suspects he was behind the pictures of Jessica found in the classroom before her testimony, but he denies involvement. Ryan testifies and talks about Hannah's poems, saying they were written about Justin and that she and Justin maintained contact even after falling out. Afterwards, Olivia invites Ryan to help her decipher Hannah's poems for additional clues, but Ryan soon leaves after Olivia mentions missing pages in Hannah's journal, which Ryan had torn out. Clay realizes the Polaroid photos were taken at school and attempts to find out where. Chlöe meets with Bryce's parents and his mother notices bruises on her. Jessica attends her first group therapy session. Mr. Porter finds a brick thrown through his car window, with a threatening note attached; he later confronts Justin's mother and is arrested after a violent incident with her boyfriend.
Testified: Ryan Shaver, who talks about the poems he wrote with Hannah and who she wrote them about.
|19||6||"The Smile at the End of the Dock"||Eliza Hittman||Julia Bicknell||May 18, 2018|
Zach testifies and reveals that he and Hannah had a romantic relationship the summer before she died, but they kept it secret. After the testimony, Clay reacts angrily and confronts Zach, ignoring his apologies, while Bryce teases Zach about his relationship, prompting a small fight between them. Justin returns to school and talks to Jessica, but she asks him to leave. He then faints after seeing Bryce, and on his return to Clay's house, has to hide as someone breaks in, at which point Clay's parents find out he has been staying there, but allow it to continue.
Testified: Zach Dempsey, who talks about his relationship with Hannah the summer before she died.
|20||7||"The Third Polaroid"||Michael Morris||Brian Yorkey||May 18, 2018|
During Clay's testimony, he is forced to reveal he and Hannah did drugs at a small party one night and spent the night together, and Clay ignored a comment Hannah made the next morning about wanting to die. Alex's birthday party is derailed after a number of arguments break out. When Clay leaves the birthday party, he finds a Polaroid photograph left on his car, with a note reading "The Clubhouse". After reading comments posted online about his testimony, Clay anonymously uploads Hannah's tapes to the Internet. Meanwhile, Bryce is seen having sex with Chlöe without getting proper consent.
Testified: Clay Jensen, who talks about his friendship with Hannah.
|21||8||"The Little Girl"||Michael Morris||Felischa Marye||May 18, 2018|
After the release of the tapes, Bryce returns to school to find his locker vandalized and his "confession tape" Clay recorded being shared among students. After Marcus is blackmailed, he calls Bryce a rapist during a speech at a ceremony, in front of a large group of parents and students, in order to protect his own reputation. Clay finally contacts Skye again and meets with her at the psychiatric facility, but she tells him she is moving to a different state. Justin overdoses on heroin, but Alex saves his life – he then returns to his mother's home.
Testified: Andy and Olivia Baker, who talk about Hannah's life and the bullying at Liberty High.
|22||9||"The Missing Page"||Kat Candler||Rohit Kumar||May 18, 2018|
When testifying, Mr. Porter reveals that since Hannah's death he has come to believe that Hannah was raped by Bryce. He then emotionally apologizes to Hannah's mother for the part he played in her suicide. Justin steals money from his mother's boyfriend, and when confronted by his mother, leaves her some suggesting she leave too in order to escape the relationship. Bryce confronts and threatens Clay under the assumption that it was Clay who blackmailed Marcus into publicly accusing Bryce of rape. Later, Clay is violently beaten at school by four masked students. He is then approached by Cyrus who invites him to join him and Tyler in vandalizing the school that evening, but when he does, he sees a group of students entering a storage shed next to the baseball field, which he correctly guesses is the location of The Clubhouse. He texts Justin and they reconvene. Meanwhile, Olivia contacts a girl, Sarah, and her mother and asks them not to testify.
Testified: Pam Bradley, who talks about the atmosphere at Liberty High, and Kevin Porter, who talks about the day Hannah asked help from him.
|23||10||"Smile, Bitches!"||Kat Candler||Kirk Moore||May 18, 2018|
Tony is asked to testify, but chooses not to reveal that Hannah left him her tapes because he owed her a favor after she helped him evade arrest. During Sarah's testimony, she reveals Hannah was part of a trio of girls who bullied her at another high school. After an argument between Tyler and Mackenzie, his friendship with Cyrus breaks down. Offering marijuana, Sheri tempts some male students into taking her to The Clubhouse, where Bryce takes a picture of her and two other boys on a Polaroid camera, placing the photograph in a box filled with many others. She learns the code to unlock the door and shares it with Clay and Justin. During a baseball game, Zach confronts Bryce, tells him he knows Hannah was not lying, and quits the game. He goes to The Clubhouse to find Clay and Justin there, and hands Clay the box of Polaroid photographs taken in the Clubhouse, confessing that it was him who had given Clay the first three photographs. Clay reviews the photographs at home with Justin and Sheri, and they find a pair of photographs which show Bryce raping Chlöe. Clay also finds a picture of Hannah.
Testified: Sarah, who talks about Hannah bullying her and Tony Padilla, who talks about his friendship with Hannah.
|24||11||"Bryce and Chloe"||Jessica Yu||Marissa Jo Cerar & Thomas Higgins||May 18, 2018|
While testifying, Bryce lies and claims that he and Hannah had a casual sexual relationship, and that she falsely accused him of rape after he brought an end to it. When Bryce returns to school, Justin attacks him and a fight breaks out, which evolves into a mass brawl. Jessica shows Chlöe the two pictures of Bryce and her in The Clubhouse, and Chlöe confesses that she posted the pictures of Jessica in the classroom before she testified. Olivia, her legal team, and Jessica ask Chlöe to testify, and she agrees, but on the stand she testifies that she remembers Bryce having sex with her and remembers consenting. The box of Polaroid photographs taken from The Clubhouse is stolen from Clay's car, and Alex is sent a package containing a gun and a threatening letter. Bryce's mother later asks him whether he was telling the truth in his testimony, and, after being pressed, he confesses to raping Hannah. Flashbacks reveal that Bryce wanted a relationship with Hannah and was rejected himself. Clay becomes mentally tormented by hallucinations of Hannah, to the point where he contemplates both murdering Bryce and killing himself, but Justin manages to calm him down.
Testified: Bryce Walker, who lies about raping Hannah, and Chloe Rice, who talks about the clubhouse but also lies about being raped by Bryce.
|25||12||"The Box of Polaroids"||Jessica Yu||Hayley Tyler & Brian Yorkey||May 18, 2018|
Justin receives a death threat before going to testify, but he tells of Bryce raping Jessica during his testimony nonetheless. After Alex realizes that Montgomery is responsible for intimidating people during the trial, Alex, Clay, Justin, Tony, Zach, and Scott confront Montgomery and he admits to stealing the box of Polaroid photos. However, after Montgomery takes Alex to a deserted location to retrieve them, he reveals he was lying and escapes. As a result, Jessica is encouraged by her friends to report her case of sexual assault to the police. After the Baker trial concludes and the jury find the school district not responsible for Hannah's death, both Bryce and Justin are arrested outside the courtroom for their involvement in Jessica's rape. Mr. Porter is fired after a performance review, and Tyler is placed on a diversion program after one of his social media posts reveals it was him who vandalized the school.
Testified: Justin Foley, who talks about his relationship with Hannah and confesses about Bryce raping her.
|26||13||"Bye"||Kyle Patrick Alvarez||Brian Yorkey||May 18, 2018|
|One month later, after Bryce's sexual assault trial for raping Jessica, Bryce is convicted but sentenced to only three months' probation. Justin is sentenced to six months' probation and can only be released to one of his parents, neither of whom can be found. This leads Clay's family to adopt him. Clay discovers he was included on a list of eleven "reasons why not" Hannah had written before her death. Tyler returns to school but is beaten and brutally sodomized by an enraged Montgomery and two of his friends. Justin is secretly shooting up heroin. Nina is shown with the box of Polaroids, which she burns. The following night, at a school dance, Jessica and Justin share an intimate encounter, and Chlöe tells Jessica she is pregnant. Tyler arrives at the dance planning to carry out a mass school shooting, but Clay learns of his plan and confronts him, encouraging him not to do it. He peacefully disarms Tyler as Tony arrives to drive Tyler away in his car. As the car departs, sirens of the approaching police cars can be heard, and Clay is left holding Tyler's assault rifle in front of the school.|
Universal Studios purchased film rights to the novel on February 8, 2011, with Selena Gomez cast to play Hannah Baker. On October 29, 2015, it was announced that Netflix would be making a television adaptation of the book with Gomez instead serving as an executive producer. Tom McCarthy was hired to direct the first two episodes. The series is produced by Anonymous Content and Paramount Television with Gomez, McCarthy, Joy Gorman, Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Mandy Teefey, and Kristel Laiblin serving as executive producers.
Filming for the show took place in the Northern Californian towns of Vallejo, Benicia, San Rafael, Crockett and Sebastopol during the summer of 2016. The 13-episode first season and the special were released on Netflix on March 31, 2017.
On May 7, 2017, it was announced that Netflix had renewed the series for a second season. Filming for the second season began on June 12, 2017, but was briefly halted in October in response to the then-ongoing Northern California wildfires happening around the areas where the series was being filmed. Production on the second season wrapped in December 2017. The second season was released on May 18, 2018.
On June 6, 2018, Netflix renewed the series for a third season, which is set to be released in 2019.
The marketing analytics firm Jumpshot determined the first season was the second-most viewed Netflix season in the first 30 days after it premiered, garnering 48% of the viewers that the second season of Daredevil received, which was the most viewed season according to Jumpshot. The series also showed an 18% increase in week-over-week viewership from week one to week two. Jumpshot, which "analyzes click-stream data from an online panel of more than 100 million consumers", looked at the viewing behavior and activity of the company's U.S. members, factoring in the relative number of U.S. Netflix viewers who watched at least one episode of the season.
The first season has received positive reviews from critics, with much of the praise for the show being aimed at its acting, directing, story, visuals, improvements upon its source material, and mature approach to dark and adult subject matter. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an 80% approval rating with an average rating of 7.2/10, based on 51 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "13 Reasons Why complements its bestselling source material with a gripping look at adolescent grief whose narrative maturity belies its YA milieu." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 76 out of 100, based on 17 critics, indicating generally favorable reviews.
Jesse Schedeen of IGN praised 13 Reasons Why, giving it a 9.2 out of 10, "Amazing", stating that the show is "a very powerful and hard-hitting series" and "ranks among the best high school dramas of the 21st century". Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe gave a glowing review for the show, saying, "The drama is sensitive, consistently engaging, and, most importantly, unblinking." Maureen Ryan of Variety asserts that the show "is undoubtedly sincere, but it's also, in many important ways, creatively successful" and called it "simply essential viewing". Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly gave the entire season a score of B+, calling the show "a frank, authentically affecting portrait of what it feels like to be young, lost and too fragile for the world". Daniel Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter also praised the show, calling it "an honorably mature piece of young-adult adaptation", and citing its performances, direction, relevance and maturity as some of the show's strongest points.
The acting, particularly Katherine Langford as Hannah and Dylan Minnette as Clay, was frequently mentioned and widely lauded in several reviews. Schedeen of IGN praised the cast, particularly Minnette and Langford, stating: "Langford shines in the lead role... [and] embodies that optimism and that profound sadness [of Hannah's] as well. Minnette's Clay is, by design, a much more stoic and reserved character... and does a fine job in what's often a difficult role." Gilbert of The Boston Globe praised the chemistry of Langford and Minnette, saying that "watching these two young actors together is pure pleasure", while Schedeen of IGN also agreed, saying that they are "often at their best together, channeling just the right sort of warm but awkward chemistry you'd expect from two teens who can't quite admit to their feelings for one another". Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter also praises both actors: "Langford's heartbreaking openness makes you root for a fate you know isn't possible. The actress' performance is full of dynamic range, setting it against Minnette's often more complicated task in differentiating between moods that mostly go from uncomfortable to gloomy to red-eyed, hygiene-starved despair."
Ryan of Variety also gave praise to not only the two leads, but also the supporting cast of actors, particularly Kate Walsh's performance as Hannah's mother, which Ryan describes as "career-best work". Positive mentions from various critics, such as Ryan, Feinberg and Schedeen, were also given to the supporting cast of actors (most particularly Alisha Boe, Miles Heizer and Christian Navarro's respective performances of Jessica, Alex and Tony). Liz Shannon Miller of Indiewire, who enjoyed the show and gave it a positive score of B+, gave praise to the racial, gender and complex diversity of its supporting cast of teens.
Another aspect frequently mentioned within reviews was the show's mature and emotional approach to its dark and adult subject matter. This was favorably reviewed by critics, such as Miller of Indiewire, particularly her statement that "the adult edges to this story ring with honesty and truth." Miller, and Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter, also stated that the show can be difficult to watch at times, while Schedeen of IGN states that it is "an often depressing and even uncomfortable show to watch... a pretty emotionally draining experience, particularly towards the end as the pieces really start to fall into place."
Numerous critics also praised several other aspects of the show. Feinberg highlighted the show's directors, saying: "A Sundance-friendly gallery of directors including Tom McCarthy, Gregg Araki and Carl Franklin keeps the performances grounded and the extremes from feeling exploitative", while Gilbert of The Boston Globe praised the storytelling: "The storytelling techniques are powerful... [as it] builds on the world established in the previous hour, as we continually encounter new facets of Hannah's life and new characters. The background on the show keeps getting deeper, richer."
Conversely, the series has also received criticism over its portrayal of teen angst. Mike Hale of The New York Times wrote a critical review, writing, "the show doesn't make [Hannah's] downward progress convincing. It too often feels artificial, like a very long public service announcement." He also criticized the plot device that has Clay listening to the tapes one by one instead of all in one sitting like the other teens did, which Hale felt was unbelievable: "It makes no sense as anything but a plot device, and you'll find yourself, like Clay's antagonists, yelling at him to listen to the rest of tapes already."
Writing for The Guardian, Rebecca Nicholson praised some aspects of the show, including the performances from Minnette and Walsh, but was troubled by much of the plot, writing, "a storyline that suggests the love of a sweet boy might have sorted all this out added to an uneasy feeling that stayed with me". Nicholson was skeptical that the show would appeal to older viewers, unlike other series set in high school such as Freaks and Geeks and My So-Called Life: "It lacks the crossover wit of its forebears... It's too tied up in conveying the message that terrible behaviour can have horrible consequences to deal in any subtleties or shades of feeling. It's largely one-note – and that note is horrifying. 'It has to get better,' implores one student towards the end, but given its fairly open ending, an apparent season two setup, it does not seem as if there's much chance of that happening."
Washington Post television critic Hank Stuever wrote a negative review, finding 13 Reasons Why "contrived" and implausible: "There are 13 episodes lasting 13 super-sullen hours – a passive-aggressive, implausibly meandering, poorly written and awkwardly acted effort that is mainly about miscommunication, delivering no more wisdom or insight about depression, bullying and suicide than one of those old ABC Afterschool Specials people now mock for being so corny." He also wrote that he found Hannah's suicide tapes "a protracted example of the teenager who fantasizes how everyone will react when she's gone. The story ... strikes me as remarkably, even dangerously, naive in its understanding of suicide, up to and including a gruesome, penultimate scene of Hannah opening her wrists in a bathtub."
David Wiegand of the San Francisco Chronicle gave the series a tepid review, saying that it was plagued by character inconsistencies, particularly Hannah. He praised Langford's "stunning performance" but noted, "There are times when we simply don't believe the characters, when what they do or say isn't consistent with who we've been led to believe they are... At times, [Hannah] is self-possessed and indifferent at best to the behavior of the popular kids. At other times, though, relatively minor misperceived slights seem to send her into an emotional tailspin. No doubt, teenagers embody a constant whirl of conflicting emotions, but the script pushes the bounds of credibility here and there." He noted that overall, the series worked: "The structure is gimmicky and the characters inconsistent, but there are still at least 13 Reasons Why the series is worthy."
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The second season received largely mixed to negative reviews from critics, with criticism aimed at the poor execution of its topics; many declared it unnecessary. Rotten Tomatoes reports an approval rating of 27% with an average rating of 5.5/10, based on 25 reviews. The site's critical consensus states, "By deviating from its source material, 13 Reasons Why can better explore its tenderly crafted characters; unfortunately, in the process, it loses track of what made the show so gripping in the first place." On Metacritic the season has an average score of 49 out of 100, based on 16 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Catherine Pearson from DigitalSpy wrote a negative review, calling the season "even more problematic" than the first. She ends the review saying that, "Unrelenting depression seems to shroud the season, briefly lifted only to collapse back down as the show's thirteenth episode, once again, delivers a deeply disturbing scene of suffering." Jordan Davidson from The Mighty wrote that he "felt sick" after watching the final episode of the season.
A scene in which the character Tyler is attacked and sexually assaulted during the finale also caused controversy from fans and critics of the series, with some describing it as "unnecessary" and "traumatizing". The series' showrunner has defended the scene, saying that it was included in an attempt to "[tell] truthful stories about things that young people go through in as unflinching a way as we can".
The series has generated controversy over its portrayal of suicide and self-harm, prompting Netflix to add strong advisory warnings prior to the first, twelfth, and thirteenth episodes. School psychologists and educators expressed concern about the series.
The superintendent of Palm Beach County, Florida schools reportedly told parents that their schools had seen an increase in suicidal and self-harming behavior from students, and that some of those students "have articulated associations of their at-risk behavior to the 13 Reasons Why Netflix series".
The Australian youth mental health service for 12–25 year-olds, Headspace, issued a warning in late April 2017 over the graphic content featured in the series, due to the increased number of calls to the service following the show's release in the country. Netflix however, demonstrably complied with the Australian viewer ratings system, by branding the series as "MA15+" when streamed via its own interface. They accompanied its presentation with additional warnings and viewer advice, and ensured that counselling referrals were included and not easily skipped at the conclusion of each episode, even including an Australian accent in the voice over for those referrals every fifth episode.
In response to the graphic nature of the show and New Zealand's high youth suicide rate, which was the highest among the 34[a] OECD countries during 2009 to 2012, the Office of Film & Literature Classification in the country created a new rating, "RP18", allowing individuals aged 18 and over to watch the series alone and those below having to watch it with supervision from a parent or guardian.
In April 2017, the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) in the United States released a statement regarding the series, saying: "Research shows that exposure to another person's suicide, or to graphic or sensationalized accounts of death, can be one of the many risk factors that youth struggling with mental health conditions cite as a reason they contemplate or attempt suicide." NASP sent a letter to school mental health professionals across the country about the series, reportedly a first for NASP in response to a television show. The following month, the United States Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (SCCAP) released a statement also noting how strongly the show may serve as a trigger for self-injury among vulnerable youth. They lamented the depiction of mental health professionals as ineffective for youth who have experienced trauma and may have been considering suicide. The statement implored Netflix to add a tag following each episode with mental health resources, and a reminder that depression and suicide can be effectively treated by a qualified mental health professional, such as a clinical child psychologist, using evidence-based practice.
Similarly, clinical psychologists such as Daniel J. Reidenberg and Erika Martinez, as well as mental health advocate MollyKate Cline of Teen Vogue magazine, have expressed concerns regarding the risk of suicide contagion. However, Eric Beeson, a counselor at The Family Institute at Northwestern University noted that "it's unlikely that one show alone could trigger someone to attempt suicide." Mental health professionals have also criticized the series' depiction of suicide itself, much of which violates widely promulgated recommendations for reporting on actual suicides or not depicting them in fiction, in order to not encourage copycat suicides. The season finale, which depicts Hannah's suicide in graphic detail, has been particularly criticized in this regard. Nic Sheff, a writer for the show, has defended it as intended to dispel the myth that suicides "quietly drift off", and recalled how he himself was deterred from a suicide attempt by recalling a survivor's account of how painful and horrifying it was.
The NASP statement also criticized the show's suggestion that bullying alone led Hannah to take her life, noting that while it may be a contributing factor, suicidal ideations far more often result from the bullied person having a treatable mental illness without adequate coping mechanisms. Alex Moen, a school counselor in Minneapolis, took issue with the show's entire plotline as "...essentially a fantasy of what someone who is considering suicide might have—that once you commit suicide, you can still communicate with your loved ones, and people will suddenly realize everything that you were going through and the depth of your pain ... That the cute, sensitive boy will fall in love with you and seek justice for you, and you'll be able to orchestrate it, and in so doing kind of still be able to live." Other counselors criticized the depiction of Hannah's attempt to reach out to Mr. Porter as dangerously misleading, since not only does he miss obvious signs of her suicidal ideations, but says he cannot report her sexual assault to the police without her identifying the assailant. School counselors are often portrayed as ineffective or clueless in popular culture, Moen says, but Porter's behavior in the series goes beyond that, to being unethical and possibly illegal. "It's ridiculous! Counselors are not police. We don't have to launch an investigation. We bring whatever information we do have to the police", she told Slate.
In May 2017, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) along with the Centre for Suicide Prevention (CSP) released a statement with similar concerns to the ones raised by NASP. CMHA believed that the series may glamorize suicide, and that some content may lead to distress in viewers, particularly in younger viewers. Furthermore, the portrayal of Hannah's suicide does not follow the media guidelines as set out by the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) and the American Association of Suicidology. CMHA and CASP did praise the show for raising awareness about "...this preventable health concern," adding that, "Raising awareness needs to be done in a safe and responsible manner. A large and growing body of Canadian and international research has found clear links between increases in suicide rates and harmful media portrayals of suicide." Ways in which the portrayals of suicide may cause harm, according to CMHA and CASP, include the following: "They may simplify suicide, such as, by suggesting that bullying alone is the cause; they may make suicide seem romantic, such as, by putting it in the context of a Hollywood plot line; they may portray suicide as a logical or viable option; they may display graphic representations of suicide which may be harmful to viewers, especially young ones; and/or they may advance the false notion that suicides are a way to teach others a lesson."
One study found the release of 13 Reasons Why corresponded with between 900,000 and 1,500,000 more suicide-related searches in the United States, including a 26% increase in searches for "how to commit suicide," an 18% increase for "commit suicide," and a 9% increase for "how to kill yourself." A review, however, found that it is unclear if searching for information about suicide on the Internet relates to the risk of suicide.
|2017||Gold Derby Awards||Breakthrough Performer of the Year||Katherine Langford||Nominated|||
|2018||Golden Globe Awards||Best Actress – Television Series Drama||Katherine Langford||Nominated|||
|Guild of Music Supervisors Awards||Best Music Supervision in a Television Drama||Season Kent||Won|||
|Imagen Awards||Best Actor – Television||Christian Navarro||Nominated|||
|MTV Movie & TV Awards||Best Show||13 Reasons Why||Nominated|||
|Best Performance in a Show||Katherine Langford||Nominated|
|NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series||Carl Franklin for "Tape 5, Side B"||Won|||
|People's Choice Awards||The Bingeworthy Show of 2018||13 Reasons Why||Nominated|||
|The Drama Show of 2018||13 Reasons Why||Nominated|
|The Drama TV Star of 2018||Katherine Langford||Nominated|
|The Show of 2018||13 Reasons Why||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||Best Actress in a Drama / Genre Series||Katherine Langford||Nominated|||
|Best Drama Series||13 Reasons Why||Nominated|
|Television Academy Honors||Television with a Conscience||13 Reasons Why||Won|||
Beyond the Reasons
With the release of the first season of the series, Netflix also released 13 Reasons Why: Beyond the Reasons, an aftershow documentary television film. The 29-minute documentary featured cast and crew of the series, and mental health professionals discussing their experiences working on the show and dealing with difficult issues, including bullying, depression and sexual assault. A second Beyond the Reasons special was released with the second season of the series.
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