Selena Gomez is many things: actress, singer, mental health activist, possibly fake girlfriend of The Weeknd. And she is now officially the co-producer (with her mom, Mandy Teefey) of a television series, 13 Reasons Why, and though we applaud her for the subject matter — facing a teen suicide head-on and confronting some difficult issues without tiptoeing around them — we have to point out that the trailer, which was released today, feels the teensiest bit over the top.
The trailer opens with a scene at a high school basketball game and cuts to a scene at a school dance — featuring Hannah and her boyfriend before Hannah commits suicide. From there, ominous, pulsing music is spliced with teary faces, tight cuts and a promise of intrigue.
“I’m about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended. And if you’re listening to this tape, you’re one of the reasons why,” Hannah says gravely in a voiceover. Hmm.
The trailer weaves mystery and lies together with violence and covered-up secrets. And though all of those things are prime fodder for teenage TV shows, the whole thing seems a little too dramatic to be taken seriously.
Too bad — Gomez described the 13-episode Netflix series as “a passion project,” and it’s clear that she feels super-strongly about the show and is pulling for its success. She also shared a selfie from the day she first went in for discussions about signing onto the project. “This was the day I was nervous as hell going into @Netflix for the first time to talk about @13reasonswhy,” she wrote. “My mom found this book in 2009 and worked her ass off to make it with me, guide me and tell this story authentically (the only reason, beside Jay [Asher, the writer of the YA novel of the same name] this project was even made),” she added.
For now, we’re going to go out on a limb and say that this melodrama might be a little florid for the average person’s taste. But as far as teenage dramas go — see Pretty Little Liars, for example — we suppose the swelling strings and soaring emotional climaxes are par for the course. And we def have to give Gomez credit for signing on for a teen show that does more than just bat around some hackneyed old tropes. As to whether the show will actually deliver — well, we’ll have to wait and see. The full series hits Netflix March 31.
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