A friend of mine mentioned this show, so when I subscribed to Netflix for a month, I decided to check it out. The first episode wasn’t all that great to me, and the girl who had killed herself came off as a sociopath who was having too much fun with this game of telling people how they contributed to her killing herself.
Despite that, I watched a few more episodes, and I can say, that after episode one, the show really opened up and became relatable. The characters were all experiencing things that most of us probably saw or went through ourselves in high school. I now understood the appeal of the show. I also saw the romanticizing of the death that critics had gotten so worked up about. However, those critics must not have stuck around for the entire 13 episodes, because yes, the first nine episodes are relatable things that we could all experience and imagine doing, but the last four episodes, oh my goodness.
The show gets super dark. People are dying, getting raped, fights, more suicides, I mean, the amount of drama that will just break your heart in this show will put any soap opera to shame.
As I watched the show, I also read the book. This was one of those rare times where it was faster to read the book than watch the show. Each chapter, which was an episode, could easily be read in fifteen minutes.
In the books, Clay listens to the tapes in one night. Start to end, with him adding his own internal dialogue mixed in with the tapes. It makes for an interesting narration of the novel and it worked well.
The show had Clay take a week or more to get through the tapes, and his day to day life filled up most of the time. The secondary characters all got full back stories, to include the addition of several homosexual characters which are not in the book.
The ending of the novel is also not as dark as the tv show. I was bawling during those last four episodes, but didn’t bat an eye when I read the book. So, to me, the translation from book to show was done wonderfully.
Hannah’s words were verbatim from the novel, from what I could tell, which was a nice touch.
Overall, I would recommend this book and show for anyone who enjoys a good drama. The book is well written and the style unique. The acting and additional plot lines in the tv show, well above what I usually see in movie theaters.