13 Reasons Why – A Review

Note: This post contains mild spoilers from the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why,” as well as some talk of suicide and sexual assault. Reader discretion is advised.

“13 Reasons Why” is the latest Original Series from Netflix. Based on the novel of the same name, the series begins after the “unexpected” suicide of high school junior Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) and follows Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) after he receives a box of 13 tapes anonymously. The tapes outline the “13 reasons why” Hannah committed suicide, with Hannah narrating 13 distinct events, perpetrated by classmates and others, over the previous year that led to her taking her own life.

The subject person of each tape has listened to the series and passed them on to the next person, mainly because of unspoken consequences enforced by Tony (Christian Navarro), a friend of Hannah’s with promises to keep. Whereas the previous recipients of the tapes had simply listened and passed them on, Clay takes a special interest in the tapes in an effort to eliminate some of his own feelings of loss over the death of Hannah, but also in an attempt to hold the others accountable for their actions. This doesn’t make him very popular with the other folks on the tapes, who pressure him to just get through them and get to the end and put it all behind him. This culminates in a conclusion that is just, yet open-ended enough to potentially lead to future seasons of the show. The true fallout is just beginning to be felt by the end of the 13th episode, and many loose strings are left untied.  Continue reading “13 Reasons Why – A Review”

A Disappointing End to a Decent Show

NOTE: If you plan on watching the How I Met Your Mother finale and haven’t done so yet, you might not want to read this as it is about my feelings about the ending of the show. You’ve been warned.

I suppose when a television show is on the air for nine seasons, people have a certain reaction to it, regardless of how “critically acclaimed” a show actually is. We saw this last week after How I Met Your Mother, a staple on CBS’ Monday night lineup since September 2005, ended its run, and we meet the mother. Technically, we met the mother with in the final scene of the previous season, but Ted Mosby and the mother, Tracy McConnell, have kids, get married (in that order), and in a “twist” ending that most people probably saw coming, Ted’s children realize the story is not really about how he met their mother, but instead a device to ask his now teenage children if it was okay to start dating “Aunt Robin,” because, as viewers found out two minutes prior, the poor mother died of “sad hospital scene disease.”

Before I expand on five of the issues that I had with the way the show ended, I would like to point out that HIMYM is not a show I watched from the beginning, nor is it one that I consider to be a great show. Of the shows currently on television that I watch, it is just outside the top ten. Had I not had hours upon hours of time to kill in Iraq in 2010, with ready access to all the previous seasons, I probably wouldn’t have ever watched the show. It’s not a terrible show either, but it is procedural and on a network that doesn’t view its audience as knowing what should be funny.* Continue reading “A Disappointing End to a Decent Show”

Fall Television Has Returned!

As promised in a previous post, this one will be about the shows that I am most looking forward to returning within the next few weeks. I’m only focusing on the “Big 4” networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX) because I watch a lot of the cable shows later when they come out on video and I can watch them all in order. I’m breaking it down by day, and just to prove that I watch way too much television, I’ll probably find something on every day. I guess we’ll see.

Sunday – Most Sunday nights will probably be spent watching football on NBC, but when I’m not doing that, I tend to check in on the cartoons on Fox. It’s not necessarily appointment viewing like some of the other shows as most of them aren’t serialized, but it’s easy to just drop in and check out what’s going on with Family Guy or American Dad! without missing anything. Continue reading “Fall Television Has Returned!”

It’s Not Just TV…

If you know me in real life, you know that I watch a lot of television. I write about it on occasion, but I figure it has been a while since I’ve written anything truly substantial on the topic. Since I will be watching this season’s final three episodes of my favorite show Breaking Bad, I thought I would spend a post or two discussing some of my favorite shows. With the fall television season upon us in a few weeks, future posts will be my thoughts on upcoming shows this fall, both what I am excited to see return, as well as new shows that I might be checking out. But first, as the title implies, I will be spending the first post discussing the awesome network that is HBO.

I haven’t had direct access to HBO since I left Virginia in December, so there have been a handful of shows that I have missed in the meantime. Fortunately, I have a couple of friends that have been able to give me access to the various programs through different means, allowing me to catch up on some of the critically acclaimed — or panned — shows. This post will generally cover the five shows that I went out of my way to watch over the past couple of months. Personally, I think that all five shows are pretty decent, although one of the shows has devolved into campy humor at its finest. Continue reading “It’s Not Just TV…”