Spring is here! Enjoy the warmer weather and longer days by loading up your DVR and spending more time in front of the TV. Our preview guide to the season’s biggest premieres will help you plan your viewing.
The 1-Sentence Pitch: Via a set of 13 cassette tapes she recorded and left for various classmates to listen to, Hannah Baker (Australian newcomer Katharine Langford) reveals the big and little reasons she committed suicide.
What to Expect: Based on Jay Asher’s bestselling young adult novel of the same name, the series and its perfectly selected cast dives deeper into all the violence, heartbreak, and fear that her life was never going to get better that led Hannah to believe there was no reason to even keep trying. Faithful to the book, the series expands the story of Hannah, her friend Clay (Dylan Minnette), and everyone who factored into her desperate decision. “When we first meet Hannah, she’s this vivacious young woman, and she’s so full of life, and she’s goofy and charismatic, but throughout the season, we see her kind of deteriorate and go to darker and darker places and deal with things that are very hard,” Langford says. “Knowing that there are people out there who feel this way, you want to do the best you can [to portray her]. I felt very safe on set, and I was glad to work with such a great team, to be able to do this.” Adds Minnette, “I [signed on] because, with all these people attached, and with Netflix producing, I really felt like the story would be told in a way that others probably wouldn’t dare to tell it… there would be no boundaries. Teenagers can talk like teenagers, they can do things that teenagers do, and you can also portray some of these really terrible acts, and show them in a real and raw and unflinching way. Otherwise, it wouldn’t affect viewers as much as it should. I just knew they were going to tell the story the way it deserves to be told and do it justice.”
It’s Still Entertaining: Heavy, dark subject matter notwithstanding, the series is still meant to entertain. “It’s not a PSA, because nobody would enjoy that,” Minnette says. “We are getting important messages across, and we do want to do that, but you also have to make it entertaining, and tell a good story, a thrilling story. You want the audience to be involved and invested, and then in the end, you break everyone’s hearts. You will desperately wish that Hannah won’t take her life.” — Kimberly Potts
(Photo by: Netflix)