Netflix has served up some compelling mysteries over the years, from the bleak homicides of The Killing to the Amblin-soaked paranormal shenanigans of Stranger Things. With their upcoming series 13 Reasons Why, the streaming network looks to be trying to give Pretty Little Liars some competition in the “photogenic teens with secrets” genre.
13 Reasons Why stars Dylan Minnette (Goosebumps) and Katherine Langford in an adaptation of author Jay Asher’s 2007 YA mystery novel of the same name. It’s got a compelling enough hook: what would you do if the girl you were crushing on committed suicide, but left you a gift that could hold the key to figuring out why she killed herself? It turns out she had 13 reasons, see…
The teaser is as cryptic as you’d expect, but the synopsis below provides a few more details.
Based on the best-selling books by Jay Asher, the Netflix Original Series 13 Reasons Why follows Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) as he returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who tragically committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Will Clay be one of them?
It’s definitely an interesting hook that presents lots of possibilities. Did Hannah (Langford) really kill herself, or was she murdered? Is she telling the truth on the tapes, and is it the whole truth? Why would she leave them for Clay specifically? The first season runs 13 episodes long, so we’re betting each episode will reveal one of Hannah’s “reasons why.” That could make for addictive viewing, depending on your tolerance for teen melodrama.
The series was created by playwright/theater director Brian Yorkey, who wrote the 2008 Off-Broadway rock musical Next to Normal. It’s his first produced TV or film work, so it’s hard to judge the show’s caliber at this point. Pop sensation Selena Gomez is an executive producer, however, if that changes your interest level at all.
13 Reasons Why premieres on Netflix Instant on March 31.