Spotlight On...13 Reasons Why (2017) (TV)

5:23 PM

Yes! It's the return of 'Spotlight On...' - we tried out this segment for 2 months but dropped it simply because those posts were being out-read by others. However, I had to bring it back because I needed to cover this show - I have been waiting to talk about it for a while, I was just waiting for a reason - the teaser trailer that was dropped a couple of days ago became that reason. Selena Gomez is the executive producer of this show - producing is kind of new to her so I'm exciting to see how she does and whether she picks good projects to back. Gomez has had the rights to the original book for years so I read the book a few years ago and enjoyed it. Now, it's 2017 and we're finally here, an adaption of 13 Reasons Why is just a couple of months away...

I'm going to do this 'Spotlight On...' a little differently - as the series is called 13 Reasons Why, I thought I'd say 13 Reasons Why toy should be excited for it whilst incorporating background info, plot details and more! Here we go....

DETOUR - here's a quick summary of the plot from IMDb...
"Thirteen Reasons Why, based on the best-selling series by Jay Asher, follows teenager Clay Jensen in his quest to uncover the story behind his classmate and crush Hannah's decision to end her own life."

1. Selena Gomez, The Producer. Of course this is the main reason I am excited for this series - this is probably the most excited I have been for the launch of a TV series since Wizards of Waverly Place. Gomez has only previously produced the reunion of Wizards of Waverly Place in 2013 - that was received well by fans and did very well in the ratings - she was off to a promising start. She also has her sights on 'Rising' - an Empire-esque series featuring a Latina cast. Gomez is the most followed person on Instagram and she's certainly using her platform to promote the series, I think it should perform solidly. As an executive producer on the series, Gomez will have overseen everything from the casting to the writing to the filming. Gomez also revealed this was a passion project for her and it has also been found out that Jay Asher (the author) thought Selena was the only person who had the same vision as him and that's why he sold her the rights to transfer it to screen. Gomez has also produced a show that her fans will be interested in - Gomez's fans are mostly in their teens and this is all about a high school drama.

2. The Source Material. This series is based off of the bestselling book by Jay Asher. It is a book that many American students have read as part of English class but has also circulated all around the world. It is also a very good book - a page turner. I would recommend (unless you don't want to spoil it for yourself) you read the book because it is unlike most books in the way that it is written. A bestseller being turned into a screen adaption is usually a good sign - let's hope the creative team have done it justice.

3. Dylan Minnette as Clay. Knowing Gomez oversaw the casting, I am happy she was able to spot the talent that is Dylan Minnette - I thought he was likeable and good in Goosebumps but was brilliant in Don't Breathe - one of my favourite films of 2016. Clay plays an important role in the story, he is one of the leads so they needed a good actor and they've definitely found one. Many fans wanted Logan Lerman as Clay - I think Dylan Minnette is a great alternative as they could easily be doppelgängers.

4. Katherine Langford as Hannah. Clay may be one of the leads but Hannah is the central character. It is unfortunate that 13 Reasons Why took such a long time to be made as Gomez was originally set to play Hannah. However, I think it shows that Gomez was really passionate about this project as she was ok to still make it without being in it - giving the role to a young actress who could do with the big break. We haven't seen much for Langford on screen but her appearance is fitting and I have faith in the creative team that she is the right choice.

5. Tom McCarthy. The first two episodes of this show are directed by Oscar nominated director Tom McCarthy, the director of Spotlight - the Best Picture winner of the 2016 Oscars. What could possibly go wrong? The series is sure to be off to a strong start! I think it also shows how great the source material and script must be if someone hot off of the Oscars stage is willing to sign on to this. No details have been revealed on who is directing further episodes but at least we know the series will be off to a strong start.

6. 13 Episodes. This may not seen like a big detail but it obviously means more than the series being 13 episodes long - the book is 13 chapters - each chapter is about a different person that Hannah addresses. This suggests they're going to be doing the series in the same style and I'm really happy about that. Even if the plot goes off the rails compared to the book (hopefully it won't), I'm pleased it will be faithful in the styling and the way it is put together/made.

7. Binge Watch. This is kind of generic to any Netflix series but I'm pretty sure this is being released as a full season which means all 13 episodes will be available at once! A whole day or weekend to watch 13 Reasons Why? Yes please. You can definitely guarantee a review from me once I've completed the series. I never used to be into binge-watching but I've started doing it more recently - imagine if it's a series I'm actually really excited this....!!?

8. Diverse Cast. What's really good about the cast for this film is that it seems very diverse and quite representative of an actual set of students in a school. Not only is this good because it gives opportunities to those who typically find it harder to get work in this industry but it also shows that the show is going to be quite current. The book was written many years ago now so it is good that is has been modernised to fit with society and culture today. It's not like Zoolander 2 that was so outdated - 13 Reasons Why seems to be successfully moving with the times.

9. Thriller? Mystery? My favourite types of films and TV shows are definitely the ones with a mystery element and even though I have read the book so know the mystery, I am going to enjoy seeing how they execute it. I think the mystery/twist is pretty predictable but I think the whole season being released at once will be beneficial to this - viewers won't be waiting week after week thinking about the mystery, they will just keep watching for 13 hours or more. The trailer also seems to have made the show seem like a thriller and I do love a good thriller, even if the book wasn't as thrilling as this seems to be...

10. Not Rushed. Like I mentioned, Gomez has had the rights to this project for years (and I mean years) - Originally, it was going to be a film made by Universal with Gomez starring but Gomez's busy schedule and uneven box office performance probably delayed this. However, studios like Universal adapt bestselling books super quickly all the time and they misjudge box office (see The 5th Wave, The Host, Beautiful Creatures etc). This shows that 13 Reasons Why isn't just being made for financial success, there is actually some passion within the creative team - they have waited till they felt they could truly get it right.

11. Poster. The poster can be seen in the header of this post. I think the poster is interesting - it does look like a poster for a headphone company. However, I like that they are definitely keeping the idea that Hannah has left audio recordings - they could have easily got rid of that element all together and just turned it into a Pretty Little Liars teen drama but they have stayed faithful to the book and what makes it unique. The tagline is also interesting and so true to the plot. I do like the poster - it isn't one I will remember but there are still details there that get me excited for the show.

12. Trailer
A video posted by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on
I really like this trailer - it is different, doesn't give too much away but tells you just enough. The series is being cleverly marketed to appeal to the correct target audience - the trailer is full of quick edits, is sized to fit a phone screen, was originally posted on Instagram and is subtitled in case people are just scrolling and don't have their volume up. Grace Randolph called Suicide Squad 'Snapchat the movie' but I think 13 Reasons Why is being marketed as 'Snapchat the TV series'. This is also a weird thing to pick up on but the font is of a similar style to The Girl on the Train's marketing materials - another recent thriller that viewers may subconsciously relate to this show.'If you wanna know the truth, just press play' is a great way to end the trailer as it does create a lot of intrigue - audiences are going to want to watch to find out the truth - this is something books and films are recently all over these days - what people think happened and then what actually happened - I love it. I also like the text 'They all killed her' as to those who haven't read the book, it will put tons of thoughts and theories into their minds but I think it's also powerful to those who have read it as they know the exact context.

13. Release Date. I know this one is kind of a cheat but the show comes out in just over 2 months! It's pretty close and I'm really excited for it. 13 Reasons Why hits Netflix March 31st!

So there we have it, 13 Reasons why you should be excited for 13 Reasons Why...I'm starting to talk more about TV on this blog so I hope that is ok!

See You Soon!

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