Despite the supremacy of streaming media giant Netflix, 2016 wasn’t just about unlimited growth for the service. The arrival and subsequent success of Stranger Things and its ilk brought about a definite increase in subscribers, but the rise in competition from other providers has flooded the US marketplace and forced Netflix to make an even bigger push in attracting overseas subscribers.
While Netflix has done well in foreign markets, their analysis of the US subscriber additions has showed that growth in 2017 will be a challenge. Netflix attributes this to a multitude of factors, one of which is that a hit series like Stranger Things doesn’t come along every day. But Netflix does seem to realize the appeal of mystery and horror in its programming, especially with regards to its younger demographic. This is the target of its upcoming series 13 Reasons Why.
Based on the award-winning, 2007 YA novel from author Jay Asher, 13 Reasons Why is now being prepped by Netflix as a new mystery series for the spring. The first announcement trailer can be viewed above and judging by this initial glimpse, the series seems primed to tell a story of secrecy and backstabbing when it premieres March 31st. Not unlike Stranger Things, the cast of 13 Reasons Why is also primarily made up of relatively fresh faces to the screen.
The plot of the series revolves around 13 audiocassettes that Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette – Don’t Breathe) finds waiting for him after arriving home from school one day. The cassettes are a gift from Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), a former classmate who reveals how 13 different people contributed to her suicide. These tapes are to be passed amongst the 13 in the order the recordings demand, but if they do not reach their intended, a second set of the tapes will be released to the entire school. Back in 2012, the novel was set to become a film at Universal with Selena Gomez attached, but when that fell through, it found a home at Netflix.
On the surface, it’s tempting to dismiss 13 Reasons Why as yet another high school melodrama, but with the arrival of Riverdale and a third season of Scream on its way, it’s become apparent that a decent mystery series will keep viewers engaged. So far, no recent series has quite reached the same buzz heights as Stranger Things, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s not possible.
13 Reasons Why found great success as a novel and that alone will bring in a certain built-in audience, but a well put together and intriguing mystery series is hard to resist. If 13 Reasons Why can replicate its allure as a TV series, it could very well find itself as a new favorite amongst a young but growing genre on Netflix.
13 Reasons Why begins March 31st, 2017 on Netflix.