13 Reasons Why, Netflix’s hit new show, is an impossible endeavor. Adapted from the #1 New York Times bestselling young adult novel by Jay Asher, 13 Reasons Why revolves around a suicide and prominently features cyberbullying and sexual assault. For many, the subject matter is deemed too weighty; for others, the “teen drama” genre is dismissed as insubstantial. But these seemingly contradictory elements combine in a way that makes the show all the more important. For all of its flaws – and the internet proclaims that there are many – 13 Reasons Why succeeds in bringing certain issues into the open, promoting discussion in order to de-stigmatize. Through a staggeringly talented cast of young actors, the show also offers a more authentic look at the teenage experience (as opposed to, say, anything on the CW) that should be embraced by current teens, former teens, parents of teens, and pretty much everyone else, too.
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