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THE 1 REASON WHY I ENDORSE • 13 REASONS WHY

© 2017 Ron Barbagallo

THE 1 REASON WHY I ENDORSE 13 REASONS WHY

She's pretty.

 

A little too pretty even for TV.

 

Girls who commit suicide are depressed. Often too depressed to have the self-worth to put on hair and makeup. Getting out of bed can be a struggle. Throwing off the covers and planting one's foot on the bedroom floor means you've decided to leave your comfort zone, and you're asking the outside world to judge you.

 

The shield that the insecure and sensitive need to deflect 'the slings and arrows' is not necessarily something one is gifted with at birth. Many times it's something one's parents skip over nurturing inside you, and you end up lost as others use you in a way that puts you down as it elevates them.

 

So you hurt, and you hide that hurt as you scroll down the digitally permanent world of HateBook and try on the rites of passage that teens go through as they stroll around InstaHam High School mimicking the mating rituals of adults.

 

13 Reasons Why is currently streaming on Netflix, and its subject matter takes on all of this. It's adapted from the 2007 novel of the same name by author Jay Asher and I recommend you binge-watch it with care. It's also a project Tom McCarthy is involved with as one of its executive producers. He also directed two of its episodes. Many of you might remember McCarthy as the screenwriter/director of the feature film The Station Agent, and the man who lent so much downward gravitas to the otherwise silly Saturday Morning cartooniness of Pixar's computer animated feature Up.

 

McCarthy is no stranger to films that deal with bereavement. It's a subject he takes on with a quiet hovering. More than capable of bringing lightness to dark, McCarthy likes to go to places we pretend do not exist, and 13 Reasons Why is right in his lexicon. It's a TV series that takes on teen suicide by way of using its aftermath to explain itself. You know, delving into the aspect of suicide that everyone lies about when they make such empty feel-good proclamations like "She's in a better place." or "At least she's at peace." Or this one: "It's a victim-less crime."

 

Anyone who has received a handwritten suicide note from a loved one knows none of these are true. Especially the part about it taking no casualties. Like a beast with many tentacles, a loved one's suicide takes on nothing but casualties.

 

All too often, suicide has the flavor of someone's final 'fuck you' to those around them, to those who missed the warning signs, and be aware 13 Reasons Why is not afraid of seasoning its 13 episodes with the big and the small of those.

 

So, despite this type of subject matter, why am I recommending 13 Reasons Why?

 

Because — It's HONEST.

 

It might be the first honest portrait of the 13 car collision that it takes for this sort life-to-early-death misstep to occur. (Actually, make that - 14 cars; Hannah is as much a 'reason' here as anyone else.)

 

Yeah, yeah. At first glance, yes, it appears to be a Gregg Araki reshaping of Beverly Hills 90210 with a diversity dab of Donnie Darko-lite, and it is that. All of that. Araki even directs two of its episodes.
13 Reasons Why has an appealing multi-cultural cast and is full of retro-Emo-styled music. It's set at
a time in life that is full of hope. Its storytelling has its moments of drama and reveal.

 

But 13 Reasons Why is also more delicate and intricately constructed than you might expect, and while it tries to entertain, it also does the unthinkable. — It informs.

 

Because death and suicide are subjects we tend to skip over. Death and suicide are awkward to talk about. It reminds us that we're far from perfect. So, for the ones who can throw off the bed covers with ease and know how to use makeup to fit in, it's the primordial, dog-eat-dog ego-raising of life that one prepares you for - the translucent student in the high school hallway who only wants to fit in but, instead, has to navigate past the 'take no prisoners' mentality of the selfish and the carnivorously immature.

 

Therefore, as someone who has survived a loved one's handwritten note, I recommend this Netflix series that ably takes on a subject others avoid. And that's because it's brave enough to try and capable enough to succeed.

“13 REASONS WHY” is currently streaming on Netflix.

This review is owned by © Ron Barbagallo.

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ARTICLES ON AESTHETICS IN ANIMATION

BY RON BARBAGALLO:

 

The Art of Making Pixar's Ratatouille is revealed by way of an introductory article followed by interviews with production designer Harley Jessup, director of photography/lighting Sharon Calahan and the film's writer/director Brad Bird.

 

Design with a Purpose, an interview with Ralph Eggleston uses production art from Wall-E to illustrate the production design of Pixar's cautionary tale of a robot on a futuristic Earth.

 

Shedding Light on the Little Matchgirl traces the path director Roger Allers and the Disney Studio took in adapting the Hans Christian Andersen story to animation.

 

The Destiny of Dalí's Destino, in 1946, Walt Disney invited Salvador Dalí to create an animated short based upon his surrealist art. This writing illustrates how this short got started and tells the story of the film's aesthetic.

 

A Blade Of Grass is a tour through the aesthetics of 2D background painting at the Disney Studio from 1928 through 1942.

 

Lorenzo, director / production designer Mike Gabriel created a visual tour de force in this Academy Award® nominated Disney short. This article chronicles how the short was made and includes an interview with Mike Gabriel.

 

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, an interview with Graham G. Maiden's narrates the process involved with taking Tim Burton's concept art and translating Tim's sketches and paintings into fully articulated stop motion puppets.

 

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit, in an interview exclusive to this web site, Nick Park speaks about his influences, on how he uses drawing to tell a story and tells us what it was like to bring Wallace and Gromit to the big screen.

 

 

For a complete list of PUBLISHED WORK AND WRITINGS by Ron Barbagallo,

click on the link above and scroll down.

The phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is:
1 (800) 273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

 

This is the website in support of the Jay Asher novel: 13 REASONS WHY.

 

13 Reasons Why, an original series currently streaming on Netflix.