Monday, May 1, 2017
It’s time to jettison misconceptions – unless you are under 21! The threat to one’s sense of identity as a mature consumer of all things cultural should surely prevent even glancing at the first episode of Netflix’s Thirteen Reasons Why. An American High School setting. Early forays among late adolescents in a world of rocky identity against a volcanic background of sexual awakening does not augur well for box set bulimics. Yet, a glance became a stare and a stare became hours of intensely disturbed concentration. Thirteen episodes of subtly appropriate young adult dialogue in which deep, eternal issues are played out through the behaviour of a brilliant cast, leaves you drained but frighteningly educated. For those parents with teenagers it is a must, a connection with this rapid-filled period of parenting in a world they themselves have never experienced, the centrality of technology in self-identity and the fear of falling foul of others. For non-parents of the age group and the rest of us it is a prism revealing darkness and light, as much a journey into an opaque culture as The Wire. Add to this its moral core against the unrelenting motifs of rape and suicide and you have something very extraordinary.