This March sees the hotly anticipated release of 13 Reasons Why on Netflix, the high school drama series adapted from the novel by Jay Asher.
The 13-part series is exec produced by Selena Gomez and stars Dylan Minette and newcomer Katherine Langford. Find out everything you need to know about the new series here.
When is 13 Reasons Why coming to Netflix?
The series is available on Netflix NOW. In Britain, the series landed at 8am on Friday 31st March.
What do we need to know?
The series tells the story of teenager Clay Jensen, who returns home one day to find a box of cassette tapes on his doorstep, recorded by Hannah Baker – a girl in his class who had tragically committed suicide two weeks earlier.
I’m watching already and want to talk about it.
Great! Check out our recaps for the first three episodes, and let us know your thoughts.
13 Reasons Why recaps
Is 13 Reasons Why based on a book?
Yes, the Netflix series is based on the bestselling 2007 novel of the same name by Jay Asher. However, the creators have said that the book will differ in certain respects, while remaining “faithful” to the original story.
“It’s a tremendous responsibility,” said screenwriter and adaptor Brian Yorkey. “It’s different from the book, it’s not exactly the book, but it’s faithful to the book in all the important ways, and it continues my love for the story of 13 Reasons Why.
“What we tried to do was to go deeper and broader in telling Clay’s story, and really build out the relationship between Clay and Hannah, which is absolutely in the book,” Yorkey continued. “Having more real estate with 13 hours of television, we get to spend more time with it.”
Who’s in the cast of 13 Reasons Why?
Newcomer Katherine Langford stars as Hannah Baker (below, right), the girl who leaves the mysterious box of tapes. Not only has the 20-year-old Austrialian actress never had a major TV role before – she hadn’t even met her co-stars before filming for the series began.
“We have this thing we do in Los Angeles that we call ‘chemistry reads’, which we like to put these poor actors through,” Yorkey explained. “Hours and hours of reading opposite different actors. Prior to making this huge television series, our two lead actors had never been in a room together. But we adored them both so much, and we knew there was going to be chemistry, and we were right.”
Langford’s co-star is Dylan Minnette (above, left), who plays teenage boy Clay Jensen.
As writer Brian Yorkey explains above, the series will differ from the book, but the aim is to remain faithful to the core story.
“Especially when you’re adapting a well-loved piece of literature, you’re contending with many many readers’ visions of who should play these roles,” Yorkey added when discussing how Katherine Langford and Dylan Minnette were cast.
“The book takes place in one night,” explains star Minnette. “Clay listens to the tapes in one night. But in the show, Clay listens over the span of a few days, two weeks roughly.”
That, say the writers, allow them to tease out relationships and characters that are only hinted at in the novel – and, ultimately, face head on the reality of a young girl who tragically committed suicide.
“In telling a 13-episode television series about a young woman who commits suicide, are you in some way glamourising or championing what she did?” wondered writer Yorkey.
“We set about telling the story in such a way that we would understand both the tragedy and the senselessness of what she did. We could bring hopefully all viewers, but especially teen viewers and young adult viewers, into Hannah’s story and help them to understand how there were ways that she could have survived what she was going through.
“There were ways that the people in her life could have behaved differently, even just a little bit differently, that might have drastically changed the outcome.”