First off, I really want to make it clear that I can completely understand why this show would have such a high rating (well, sorta). I admit the music, production and acting is spot on for this show. It's extremely well done and frankly it was the only thing that kept me to watching it through to the end, other than sheer curiosity for the highly anticipated (yet extremely disappointing) ending.
My biggest glaring problem with this show is the main character; Hannah. Being a person who has lived through a slue of her own person nightmares, I absolutely wanted to feel for Hannah so badly. I wanted to have sympathy for her and be on her side. Unfortunately, I never once managed to feel anything more than irritation and annoyance towards her. She is selfish, entitled and demanding. She seems to have this mentality that everyone around her should have the ability to read her mind and it frustrates me to no end. After harshly telling several people who WANT to be close to her to leave her alone, she magically expects people to simply ignore her request and continue pursuing her. I couldn't relate to her problems at all. I completely understand the underlying point regarding that part of the "hot or not" list, but I don't care. It was more a compliment and the people on the "not hot" side probably felt worse about themselves than she could imagine.
She treats Clay like absolute garbage. Clay seemed to be the one guy who would always be friendly to her no matter what. Even when the first picture went around, he didn't seem very phased by it and had she confined in him, he would have been there for her in every possible way. She pushed him away more than anyone else in the show and it irritated me more than I can say. Part of my biggest curiosity was wanting to know why Clay was on the tapes. When his episode FINALLY (that's another smaller issue I have with this show; it's extremely slow paced and I feel like you're always waiting for something to happen) comes around, you learn she once again pushed him away and got hurt that he listened to her when she told him to leave. DRAMA MUCH!? I was soooooooo irritated when that happened! HE DID NOTHING WRONG!!! He even asked her if she was okay when they were making out. And because of that she had the audacity do add him to those tapes? Even at the end when she gives it one last go with the counselor, she left the office in hopes he would follow her? Was she testing him? Hoping he could read her mind? She was even told afterward she was missed at the poetry reading; isn't that a reason alone to continue life?! Which leads me to her selfishness. How dare she leave a bunch of tapes behind to pass around to all the people who hurt her after SHE made the choice to take her own life. Granted, some people on them deserved to know what they did more than others, but still. It's cruel and unnecessary. It's almost like she wanted to condemn them for the rest of their lives for high school mistakes. No one is perfect as a teenager and she wasn't either. I mean, she watches her ex-best friend get raped and does literally nothing about it. Okay, fine, she was scared to leave the closet - but what about afterwards? She didn't confront Bryce or Justin to tell them she saw everything. She didn't tell Jessica what she saw. She didn't call the police - she did squat. What kind of person is that? The entire time I was watching this show and more reasons kept being revealed, I kept finding myself saying "that's it?" There are two other characters in this show who have it ten times worse that she does; Justin and Tyler. In fact, I felt awful for Justin and was probably the only character I teared up for at all. Hannah had loving amazing parents that she left behind; Justin has a horrible mom with an abusive step dad. Hannah had people who were interested in her and wanted to be friends whereas Tyler gets slammed against walls and told off by literally everyone on the show. Poor Hannah.
Overall, with such an unlikable main character, it makes the show very difficult to enjoy. I personally think this show is way overrated and there are people in real life that deal with much worse and don't kill themselves. In fact, Skye says it best in the show; "Suicide is for the weak." Now, I don't want anyone to think I am downgrading suicide as a real issue in anyway shape or form. It's a horrible reality many people face and it's extremely tragic. I just feel that this show almost depicts it as a solution to a problem as there are two other characters who also attempt to kill themselves (Clay and Alex). Which, I might add, are caused by the grief passed on from Hannah's tapes. Maybe she wanted a chain reaction to happen, cause that's what she got.
In closing, maybe this show is a good way to raise awareness to the type of lives high schoolers face every day, but it has a lot of plot holes and for the most part is just boring and what feels like a waste of 13 hours.