#GirlBoss

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I am a girl boss and if we’re all being perfectly honest, you can be too.

I started watching the new Netflix original #GirlBoss a couple of weeks ago and damn if I wasn’t pulled in right away. It’s smart, funny, and…wait for it… Loosely based on true events. That was enough for me to go digging for the book. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso, the founder of Nasty Gal, was a quick click away. While the audiobook was not read by Amoruso, it was still a good read.

Was the book as good as good as the show? Shockingly no. I really expected that the book would rise above the show but it did not. This was one of those rare moment when Netflix outshines everyone and made #GIRLBOSS just slightly flater than I’d hoped for. It did have some fun moments, and some good advice about being your own girl boss,  but all in all, I think this was one of those situations, where the Netflix has the magical ability of turning an okay book into A+ tv.

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13 Reasons Why

It’s no secret the internet has been blowing up with the new Netflix original series 13 REASONS WHY based on the book by Jay Asher produced by Selena Gomez and her mother.

I happened upon it last week and started watching it on a whim. I’d never heard of it or the book. In fact about three or four episode in, I did a little digging and found the book. I didn’t want any spoilers so I avoided the internet but ordered the book on audible. When I finished the TV show on Thursday, I started the book, and last night I started to re-watch the show for t13-reasons-why-splashhe second time.

Hey, it’s Hanna, Hanna Baker. Don’t adjust your…whatever device you’re hearing this on. It’s me, live and in stereo. No return engagements, no encore, and this time, absolutely no requests. Get a snack. Settle in. Because 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.

Both the show and the book are set in the aftermath of a suicide. From the very first lines we know, Hannah killed herself. She leaves behind seven tapes, with thirteen reasons why she took her own life. Each reason corresponding to a person. Both the book and the show follow Clay Jensen as he listens to the tapes. We hear Hannah’s story right alongside Clay.

This book, and especially this show, set out to do something bigger than other books and movies about suicide. It sets out to show readers and viewers the consequences of their actions. It attempts to prevent tragedies, like Hannah Baker’s, from ever happening. Hit it head on and target the Alex Standalls, the Justin Foleys, the Tyler Downs, the Sheri Hollands and the Zach Dempseys why-are-book-fans-skeptical-about-the-dramatic-13-reasons-why-trailerof the world. Your actions matter and everything affects everything. At the end of it all, Hannah Baker is still dead. There is no saving her with a happily ever after. There are no friends or a love interest that will magic her back to life. The point of all of it is to learn from your mistakes. But how do you do that? By being exposed to them. That’s what this book does. It exposes every bad decision that affected Hannah’s mental health.

Mental Health is one of those topics that is still overlooked and taken for granted. There is still a certain amount of taboo associated and it’s largely misunderstood. Suicide is often viewed as selfish because understanding how someone’s mind can betray them is hard. Understanding how seemingly trivial moments derail someone’s entire life can be incomprehensible. And that’s why this show and book are important. It wasn’t created to help someone who battles with depression,  it wasn’t made for the person who teeters on the edge of a cliff. It’s made for the rest of us. For those who find hilarity in a “hot or not” list. Hannah’s name made “the best ass,” and this is created for those who don’t see a 13-reasons-why_0problem with that. Who think, boys will be boys and teenagers are just being teenagers. But that one moment put a target on her bottom and changed the way others perceived her. It took her life one more step out of her control. She became a sum of body parts worthy of sexualization instead of Hannah Baker.

The show is graphic. They portray rape and suicide without a wavering camera.  If they had hopes of impacting their audience, of making people think twice about their decisions, then they couldn’t afford to avoid the true weight of a person’s actions. The moment when Hannah broke while she was being raped, still sends a chill through me thinking about it. I cried along side her when she slit her wrists in the bathtub. Those images were impactful because they needed to be. If it makes you uncomfortable, then it succeeded. You were supposed to squirm.

Each action was just as harmful as the next and watching that build is an important part of understanding how any decision can be the one that pushes someone over that edge to suicide. Rape wasn’t treated with any more harshness than the “hot or not,” list. Adults don’t get out of it either. Mr. Porter, the school counselor was just as responsible for Hannah’s death as the person as the boy who was stealing her complement notes. At the end of the day, you don’t know how much your words can hurt someone. How your actions can affect them in ways you’ll never imagine. Every person was forced to see themselves for what they’d done and evaluate their actions. Live with the consequences of that. What I appreciated with regards to the show, was that every person was shown a little sympathy except for Bryce, the rapist. By not showing any sympathy to him, viewers have no excuses for his behavior. He is a bad person and fuck that. But everyone else was just as human as Hannah.

This show is equally hard to watch as it was hard to look away. The book was just as powerful and I recommend both. The TV show takes it one step further, by expanding on the lives of each character. It also ends with the potential for wrongs made right by refusing to silence the things that have happened. It’s the one thing I wish the book would have done. If we can’t have a happy ending, then I want to know that people have changed. They’ve woken to their mistakes. If this does one thing, it forces viewers and readers to evaluate themselves. Making this series and book without a doubt invaluable.

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Fuller House

I’ve read a lot of negative reviews with regards to the reboot Fuller House. I don’t know about you, but every day after school I would come home, throw my backpack down and turn on channel 12. To be fair it was the only channel we got. BUT, it had Full House, Saved By The Bell, and an array of other wonderful (and often trashy) 90s TV. I watched it every single day. In more ways then I ever imagined this show hits close to home today then it ever did as a child. I simply love it.

So lets recap a little since they went off TV, now that 29 years have passed and everyone has grown up. The first episode was all about reintroducing the gang.

DJ’s husband was a fire fighter who passed away on the job, leaving DJ with their three sons. Stephanie (aka DJ Tanner) is a DJ, and traveling goddess. Danny and Rebeca are hosting a morning show in LA, I don’t remember what Jesse is doing… but the twins are in collage. Joey is in Las Vegas doing 10 shows a week. Steve is a divorced podiatrist and still every bit in love with DJ. Kimmy is also divorced, (or will be soonish?) a party planner and has a daughter of her own.

Everyone is moving on and DJ is staying in San Fran with her babes. When the gang over hears her crying upstairs with Tommy, her youngest, on the baby monitor EVERYONE offers to stay and help. Family. Stephanie tells them no, that it’s her turn to step up and Kimmy offers her help too. By the end of the episode, I had happy tears of nostalgia and love.

There were a couple of great moments, such as when Stephanie asked where Michelle was and Danny says, “She’s in New York too busy with her fashion empire, but she says hi.” Every cast member stairs into the screen for a long moment giving the live audience and myself a good laugh.  Or when DJ’s middle child says, “I already know the bad words, dumb, booger, and Donald Trump.”

The thing is, yes it might be a bit unrealistic, but the show pokes fun at that. Everyone went on to do big things and honestly we want nothing less from them. Sure it’s probably a bit unlikely but who cares?! I don’t, I love that at the end of the day everyone did well for themselves. There is something so American about dreaming big. Television shows like Full House taught morels, talked about real family issues, and at the end of it all, they were there for each other. Basically, say what you want, I loved it.

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