13 Reasons Why: TV Show Review (TW: Suicide, Depression, Sexual Assault, Mental Health) Also Spoilers

I finally finished watching 13 Reasons Why on Netflix, and now I am go give my thoughts on the series.

First, let me discuss my views on the book. I felt the book was little over hyped. I did like the ideas the book portrayed such as how bullying leads to suicide, the problem I had with the book was mainly the character of Hannah, and I didn’t connect with her like I did with Clay. I also feel that we didn’t get enough depth about the character on the tapes.

The show, follows the same beats of the show, it starts after the suicide of Hannah Baker, Clay receiving the tapes and starts listening. In the book Clay listens to the tapes in one sitting, but in the show he takes his time to listen to each tape and process the information. That was one of the show main strengths, is not just listening to tapes but also seeing how the school and the other characters on the tapes react to them as well.

Each episode is one tape, that was a big plus because the story could also be more fleshed out. I remember when I first read the book a movie was optioned with Selena Gomez playing Hannah. A movie would not have done the book justice. A TV show made it so much better, and part of me kinda wishes that Hollywood should adapt YA novels into TV series instead of movies.

Another plus was how the characters were a lot more fleshed out, and you them on the tapes and also after the suicide. The characters I felt were more fleshed out were Jessica, Justin and Alex. WIth Jessica especially with what happened to her is who I felt had the most development throughout the show. Justin, while it was a douchy thing that he did , you also see a glimpse into his family life. Alex, is a character who actually really felt bad with what happened to Hannah.. Some other characters such as Marcus and Courtney who didn’t really change in the end and kept conspiring against Clay.

The performances were also very outstanding. Katherine Langford who plays Hannah does an amazing job with the role. She added a lot of depth to the Hannah role, which I always felt was lacking in the book, in which we only see Hannah through the tapes and not her as a person. Another amazing performance is Dylan Minnette who plays Clay is also outstanding in the role, and you really feel for Clay throughout the show. Kate Walsh who plays Hannah’s mother is also great in the role. She does a great job at playing a grief sicken mother dealing with her daughters suicide. Hannah’s parents don’t really play a role in the books so I was glad that it was included in the show. The rest of cast are also very good, and I think it has the best teen cast since Friday Night Lights.

The show also takes a few liberties with the book. It deals with a lawsuit brought forth by Hannah’s parents. Also how Clay listened to the tapes, instead of one night its about a few weeks. Another is how Hannah committed suicide. in the book she overdosed on pills, while in the show it she slit her wrists. Hannah’s suicide could seen as very triggering.

Now to give my thoughts on themes of the show. This show is very split on how it handles suicide and depression. One half says it raises awareness of teen suicide, another side says it trivializes suicide. Some people will say that Hannah’s suicide and the use of the tapes sees it as more of an act of vengeance rather than trying to deal with her mental health problems.

As someone that has dealt with bullying, dealing with depression and has on a few occasions contemplated suicide. I think there is no right or wrong way to write suicide, or mental health stories, and I feel that Hannah’s story shouldn’t have to match my story or anyone else’s. While for some the material the show addresses could be triggering I could fully understand if anyone doesn’t want to watch the show. I kinda wish that both the show and the book did a better job at addressing Hannah’s mental health issues.

In the end, 13 Reasons Why was a very good show that expanded on the book and fleshed out a lot of characters. If they make a second season, I think they will address the lawsuit, maybe Bryce getting arrested for rape, Alex’s suicide attempt and maybe Tyler shooting up the school. I want to see where the story goes.

Season MVP: Katherine Langford, Kate Walsh and Dylan Minnette

Best Episodes: Tape 1, Side A, Tape 6, Side A and Tape 7, Side A.

Season grade: A

Stranger Things: TV Review

Hello everyone,

Here is another TV show review, and this is one of the most talked shows of the summer. Stranger Things.

If I were to describe the show I would describe it E.T. meets X-Files with a little bit of Super 8.

The main story-line of the show is the disappearance of a young boy named Will Byers, and how his mother (Winona Ryder) and his friends try to find him and figure out how and why he disappeared. As his friends are looking for him they come across a young girl (Millie Bobby Brown) who has strange powers and who may have a clue of what happened to Will.

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This show is a basically an ode to 80s sci fi movies, and what I loved about the show is the acting of the boys. It was nice to kids act like normal kids, they rode bikes, played games and stayed out till the street lights came on. It really did feel like a throwback series.

Another stand out is Winona Ryder’s performance as Joyce Byers. She did a good job at playing a mother whose son has disappeared. Also David Harbour who plays the local sheriff on the case, also does a really good job.

If you are a fan of sci fi and 80s movies, this is a show I highly recommend. The only reason I am very vague in this review is because I don’t want to give anyway too many spoilers because the show is very good, and it should be watched.

I really hope season 2 dives deeper in the shows mythology, because I believe we are seeing a new version of the X-Files.

Season MVP: Winona Ryder and Millie Bobby Brown

Best Episodes: The Disapearance of Will Byers and The Body

Grade: A

Game of Thrones Season Six Review with Spoilers

Yeah, I meant to do an episode by episode review of the season but than I got really bust and didn’t have time to watch the episodes live, so this is me doing a season six review of Game of Thrones.

This season, in my opinion is seriously the best season the show has put out since season three. I really liked that this was the season in which stuff was getting done, story lines are moving forward. Also as a book reader I was excited for what the season had to offer because since the last two books Winds of Winter and Dreams of Spring hasn’t been released yet I really didn’t know what was going to happen.

Lets discuss some story lines. First Bran’s story line in sort of flashing back to when Ned Stark was fighting in the war. He was finding out some family secrets with the help of the Three-Eyed-Raven and also learning the significance of the White Walkers and where they came from.

One of the key parts is in the episode The Door in which he was flashing back to when Ned was a child and met Hodor who could actually speak, but while he was there he may have led to Hodor’s sanity and maybe Bran is manipulating time, especially when Hodor was told to “Hold The Door” which led to him saying Hodor, and also his death.

Another key story line was Arya in Bravoss. When working for the Faceless Men she is tasked to killing an actress, who basically stars in a Westeros version of the Ember Island Players from Avatar: The Last Air Bender. After she fails her tasks, she ditches the Faceless Men, but soon after she confronts Walder Frey in the best way possible; killing him after letting him know she killed his sons and baked them in a pie.

While Maisse Williams and the Arya story line was pretty brief within the episodes it did make an impact on her character and her development.

In the Iron Island, after the death of Balon Greyjoy, Euron takes control and willing to kill both  Yara and Theon to take his power. Yara and Theon leaves to make their way to Meeran in order to meet Dany, and start an alliance with her. While it was also a brief story line it did lead to Yara and Dany shippers.

After Daenerys, manages to leave the Dothraki army she finally returns to Meeran and trying to maintain control from the Slavers with the help of Tyrion, and in Battle of the Bastards she succeeds by using her dragons. Also with the help of Yara and Theon finally manages to maker way to Westeros while also naming Tyrion, Hand of the Queen.

At the wall, Jon Snow coming back from the dead is now dealing with the fact that Ramsey Bolton has Rickon and using him as a bargaining chip in order to get Sansa back. Snow is trying to form an alliance with other house in order to have an army to fight Ramsey Bolton to back back Winterfell. The Battle of The Bastards episode was such a great episode, with great visuals and Ramsey Bolton being the bastard that he kills Rickon by making him run towards Jon and killing him right when Jon gets to him.

When it felt that all hope was lost, Sansa with the help of Littlefinger brings to Knights of the Vale in order to fight the battle with Jon Snow defeating Ramsey in a hand-to-hand combat. It was so great seeing the the Stark banner back in Winterfell and seeing the Starks reclaim the North. Also the Ramsey Snow death scene was so good to watch especially seeing Sansa feed Ramsey to his dogs.

Finally in Kings Landing, Cersei is dealing with the power struggles in regards to her sin, King Tommen and the Grand Maester who basically took over Kings Landing and his ruling by proxy. Cersei is spending most of the season trying to gain power back at Kings Landings and it comes to a head at the finale when she is suppose to be on trial, she doesn’t show up and in her absence burns the trial room and all inside including the Grand Maester and Queen Margery. King Tommen then kills himself which leads to Cersei becoming Queen once again. But not before killing most of her enemies including the Nun who “shamed” her.

What a great season it was and it took so many twist and turns. It really pushed the stories forward and you could tell that the show is coming to close. Dany, and her crew is on their way to Westeros. Cersei is on her way to becoming the Mad Queen and the Starks took back the North. It was truly one of the best seasons the show has done.

Grade: A+

Season MVP: Kit Harrington and Lena Heady

Season Best Episodes: The Door, Battle of The Bastards and The Winds of Winter.

 

Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 2: Home (with Spoilers)

And now for my episode 2 review of Game of Thrones, and this episode is where the story really picks up.

We see Bran Stark, after being absent for all of the previous season, getting visions of his fathers life when he was a child and seeing Hordor who was called Willis actually talk. It is also worth noting how much puberty Bran went through in the course of the season. He also gets word of an impending war that is fast approaching.

The next story line is seeing Ramsey Snow taking control and trying to one up Joffrey in the being an awful person. He first kills his father Roose Bolton and then kills his baby brother who was just born along with the mother in order to maintain control. All I could say is yeah, Ramsey Snow is truly worse than Joffrey. While Joffrey was more drunk with power, Ramsey Snow is someone who would kill someone just to watch that person die and be amused by it.

Another plot is one of the Iron Isles and the death of Balon Greyjoy at the hands of his brother. As someone who read the books, this was a long time coming since he was killed in third book. This will basically introduce a power struggle for control of the Iron Isles.

Arya Stark is still blind and getting her training from the nameless men. While it was brief it still, hopefully it will lead to something in the future.

On Meeran, Tyrion is still dealing with the dragons with the absence of Daenerys, and keeping the people in line and maintaining order.

There was also a few brief scenes with Sansa, Brienne and Theon, with Theon leaving while the rest go to Castle Black.

Now for the one that everyone wants to know. JON SNOW LIVES!!!!!! While it was a little cliched how it happened, and I knew his eyes would open at the last minute than cut to credits, but it was handled well and kept me on my toes.

Overall, I thought the episode was much better than the premiere and really set up what is to come of the season which also gets me excited.

Tell me what you thought of the episode and do you have any theories comment below!

 

 

Game of Thrones Season Six Premiere: The Red Women (w/Spoilers)

Game of Thrones is back for season six, and now comes the part where everybody does not know what’s going to happen next because George RR Martin hasn’t even finished the last two books and the show finally caught up with the books.This is actually pretty exciting for me because I don’t have friends pestering me over what happens next.

What I am going to do is review each episode of season six and discuss them with you. I will also be posting spoilers so if you haven’t seen the episode yet do not read, unless you want to be spoiled.

Now the season six premiere like most of the season premieres in Game of Thrones picks up right where the previous season left off and in that case, Jon Snow dead after being stabbed several times. I know there is many theories that predict Jon Snow isn’t really dead, he will be resurrected and etc. but as of the writing for this review he is pronounced dead. Now there maybe a civil war between the nights watch man who support Jon Snow and the other watchman who don’t. This could be something that plays well into the season.

Next is Theon/Reek and Sansa escaping from Winterfell with Ramsey Bolton’s men out to get them. Of course they are both saved by Brienne and Podrick, with Brienne swearing her allegiance to Sansa, and Sansa accepting.

Another cliffhanger from last season was the poising of Mycella who was engaged to marry the Prince of Dorne, and now that she is dead, Queen Cersei believes in the witches prophecy that her three children will die. Also on Dorne the women have taken over by killing both the prince and his son, while also maybe declaring war on the Lannisters.

After escaping on her Dragon, Daenerys is now a prisoner for the Dothraki, and hoping to use the fact that she was marrid to Khal Drogo before he died, it actually backfired and now has to live the rest of her time in a temple for the widows. While on Meeran, Tyrion and Varys are now dealing with the aftermath of Daenerys escape and trying to keep the city in order.

All in all, I think this was a good season premiere that attempted to tie up what happened at the end of the previous season and also set up what is to come for the upcoming season. I will not grade each episode until I give my season review.

American Crime Story: People vs. OJ Simpson TV Review

American Crime Story is an anthology series on FX, which chronicles different cases in the US. This season dealt with the case of the People vs. OJ Simpson.

In order to fully under one must look at the time the trial was taking place. It was the early 90s, and the Rodney King verdict was still fresh in peoples minds. OJ Simpson was still the “American golden boy”, famous NFL player, a likable movie star, and was very charismatic. So when is ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ron Goldman was found dead and OJ was the suspect, no one didn’t really believe it at the time. From the white Bronco chase to the trial itself, it played like a soap opera. Of course in the end we all knew the verdict, but this series takes you inside the trial itself.

Let me first talk about Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark. She was fantastic in this series. I was always a fan of hers since Studio 60 and American Horror Story, but in this series she really shines. She portrays Clark as a hard working attorney also dealing with a custody battle and how the media depicted her as a cold ice queen. She brought a lot of depth to the role and made Marcia Clark a much more rounded person than what the trial depicted her as.

Another standout performance is Sterling K. Brown as Chris Darden, Marcia’s co-consul on the case. He portrayed an African-American attorney who is brought on the case and facing criticisms such as being an “Uncle Tom”. He also did a very good job acting along side Courtney B. Vance who played Johnny Cochran, who was a former mentor of Darden. I think he gave such a great performance, and he deserves an Emmy nomination and maybe win for his performance.

The big standout performance was of course Courtney B. Vance as Johnny Cochran. He was explosive in this show, and he really highlighted how Johnny Cochran “lawyering” in the trial, as he tried to put the LAPD on trial.

 

The other performances were pretty serviceable. John Travolta as Robert Shapiro was little too mugging for the camera. David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian did a good job at playing a person whose best friend’s wife was murdered and had to deal with whether or not he did it. The only performance that wasn’t that great was Cuba Gooding Jr. I think the problem was not really his performance but how it was portrayed. He did a good job in the second episode which had the Bronco chase, but other episodes I couldn’t tell if his portrayal was that if OJ was guilty or innocent.

What I liked about the show is that it took you back in time during the trial and who it affected both sides, seeing how court strategy plays out. The prosecution displaying their evidence against OJ Simpson and the defense trying to discredit it. It also surprising took a look at what the jurors went through being sequestered for 8 months during the trial. I think the show painted a picture of what happened during that time especially how the media was involved, seeing daytime shows pre-empted because of the trial coverage, made everyone involved in the case sort of celebrities. It also showcased a little bit of the personal side of everyone involved in the trial that the media didn’t show which showcased these attorneys as people working on a case.

In the end, I thought the show was amazing and I look forward to what other cases the series looks into. I know next season will be Katrina related, but I hope the show covered other trials.

Grade: A

Season MVP: Sarah Paulson, Sterling K. Brown and Courtney B. Vance

Best Episodes: The Run of His Life, Marcia Marcia Marcia and Manna from Heaven

 

Mortal Instruments: Shadowhunters Review with spoilers

Tuesday was the season finale of the Freeform series Shadowhunters based on the Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare. Click here for my first impressions of the series.

First let me describe my history of the series, to be completely honest I only read the first two books and than I stopped. I hopefully will pick up the series again. With that said I don’t really have any context of how the TV show holds up to the book series, so I am judging this as a TV show itself.

Also while I am at it let me give you my views of the 2013 movie. It was ok, nothing special.

At first I felt that the series started the same as the movie, going to the club and Clary sees the Shadowhunters hunting demons. I felt the show started off a bit slow, but in regards to the fact that it is a supernatural show the show has to introduce the characters, plot and the  world to an audience who mostly didn’t read the books, but I think the show did a good job.

Now for the character. I actually prefer show Clary and Jace to movie Clary and Jace. They actually have chemistry and Jace doesn’t sound too emo. I also felt that the romance was handled a little better than the show. I actually like more of the supporting cast which includes Alec, Isabelle and Simon also did a pretty good job.

My main problem with the series is a lot of the plot lines. A first they have to get the Mortal Cup, than have to rescue Simon from vampires, Simon actually turning into a vampire, the politics of the Institute, Alec’s coming out story, plot line with the wolves, finding Valentine, saving Clary’s mother and dealing with the fact the Clary and Jace turned out to be brother and sister. I felt that with so many plot lines it was hard to keep track of what was going on and this is from someone who watches and enjoys Game of Thrones. I think the season could have used a bit more a polish just make the series a little more cohesive.

I also really hated the Clary and Jace brother-sister twist and I know from friends who have read the book what really happened, but even than the plot-line was stupid to begin with. I also think that the Alec coming out story line could have been better handled without him trying to marry a girl and than go for Magnus at the wedding.

I know the show did take liberties in regards to the book series, but I am not judging the show on how good an adaptation just on the show itself. As show I thought it wasn’t that bad. Hopefully in future they could make the plots more cohesive.

Grade: B-