Tuesday, December 15, 2020

I talk 13 REASONS WHY, spec episodes and CRISIS ON INFINITE TEEN DRAMAS on the podcast WHY NOT?

I was very excited to make an appearance this week on the podcast Why Not? This is one of my favorite podcasts this year. During the pandemic, David and Taylor launched the podcast as an episode-by-episode recap of 13 REASONS WHY. It was a show that they couldn't stop talking about, so they decided to make the podcast and find other people who couldn't stop talking about it.

I really enjoyed their examination of the first two seasons, but it was as they dissected season 3 (a lesser effort), that I realized that David and Taylor were examining the show with a fusion of the critical and humorous that I had not seen applied at that level since the glory days of Television Without Pity. When a show takes a ridiculous or an unpleasant turn, it's easy to just say, "This sucks" and rage at it. David and Taylor were great at engaging with what was embedded deep in the DNA of the series. They engaged with an obsession that could only come from someone invested in the show and they were hilarious as they laid it all out.

If you've been here a while, you know I was deeply invested in Season 1 of 13 REASONS WHY, to the point I wrote 13 posts about it. My thoughts about Season 2 were also largely positive, particularly with regard to Dylan Minnette's performance, though the heavy retcons left me conflicted. So this was the perfect podcast for me.

What you'll hear is a fun conversation between me, David and Taylor about the series in general before we turn to discussing my 13 REASONS WHY spec episode, which actually is the first episode of an alternate season 3. I wrote it over two years ago as an exercise in how one might write a spec episode.  It's sort of a mash-up with the premise of AWAKE. As the one year anniversary of Hannah's suicide approaches, Clay finds himself leaping between two worlds - the one he's known, and an alternate timeline where Hannah survived her suicide attempt and is still recovering. In doing so, this storyline would have explored all the ways someone in Hannah's situation could have sought help instead of trying to kill herself.

In breaking the story for that one script, I eventually ended up crafting an entire season's worth of story so that I could have a sense of what that first episode needed to put into play. Though I've shared the script before, I haven't posted that full season treatment on the blog. That comes up in my talk with David and Taylor too.

And finally, we have a little talk about CRISIS ON INFINITE TEEN DRAMAS and why it was a fun project as both a fan and a writer.

So listen to the podcast here or here on Soundcloud

And check out some of their other episodes. Since moving on from 13 REASONS WHY, David and Taylor have turned their insight and humor towards all manner of cultural garbage, including TikTok feuds, Fast Food brackets, Pretty Little Liars, Kid Nation, Emily in Paris, and much, more.


My original 13 Reasons Why Posts

My posts on my 13 Reasons Why spec, with "How to Write a Spec Episode"

Link to my spec episode

Link to my treatment of my alternate Season 3

Crisis on Infinite Teen Dramas script

Crisis on Infinite Teen Dramas reaction

Crisis on Infinite Teen Dramas Annotations

Note: when downloading the script or the treatment, after you click the link, press only the button that says "Download" next to the title. Ignore all pop-ups and anything that tries to tell you your Adobe Flash is out of date.


  1. I wanted to thank you for posting the treatment to your alternate season 3. Very interesting and well done. I may have something to say about it substantively later.

    But for now, I just wanted to compliment you for providing an explanation of the 13 sides to every story line. And since the line was in the book as well, you've made it seem like Zannah was always there lurking in the shadows. Now all that's left to figure out the reasoning behind the line about it being unfortunate that Mrs. Antilly left.

    1. I can explain it not being in the book fairly easily. The idea that the recording of the first 12 tapes was like a cathartic release for Hannah is something unique to the series. I'd imagine it was something that didn't even occur to them until they were writing that last episode. In the book it's pretty easy to assume all along she intended to wrap up with a visit to Porter.

      The line about Mrs. Antilly is a trickier widow to explain, but I don't think it's unreasonable to think Hannah feels like she would have confided in her throughout that terrible year, had she stayed.

      Glad you liked the treatment. Definitely curious to hear what any 13RW superfans make of it.