13 Reasons Why (2017– )
4 user 40 critic

Tape 1, Side A 

As the school mourns the death of Hannah Baker, her friend Clay receives a box of tapes with messages she recorded before committing suicide.


Tom McCarthy


Brian Yorkey (teleplay by), Brian Yorkey (created for television by) | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dylan Minnette ... Clay Jensen
Katherine Langford ... Hannah Baker
Christian Navarro ... Tony Padilla
Alisha Boe ... Jessica Davis (credit only)
Brandon Flynn ... Justin Foley
Justin Prentice ... Bryce Walker
Miles Heizer ... Alex Standall (credit only)
Ross Butler ... Zach Dempsey
Devin Druid ... Tyler Down
Amy Hargreaves ... Lainie Jensen
Derek Luke ... Kevin Porter
Kate Walsh ... Olivia Baker
Brian d'Arcy James ... Andy Baker
Josh Hamilton ... Matt Jensen
Keiko Agena ... Pam Bradley


High school teens mourn the suicide of their classmate Hannah. Clay Jensen is particularly sad. When he gets home he receives a package, containing old fashioned cassette tapes. When he starts to listen, it's Hannah, explaining her life, and why she is dead. Written by ahmetkozan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Mystery


TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »




Release Date:

31 March 2017 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

San Rafael, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This is the second time Alisha Boe and Ross Butler have worked together - previously they appeared in two episodes of Teen Wolf (2011) together. See more »


When Clay picks up the package left outside his house the package is poorly wrapped showing that it can be easily opened, but when Clay gets inside the package is perfectly taped up. See more »


[first lines]
Hannah Baker: Hey, it's Hannah, Hannah Baker. That's right. Don't adjust your... whatever device you're listening to 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. 'Cause I'm about to tell you the story of my life.
See more »


References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »


You, Me, Cellphones
Written by Simon Henner, Mathieu Hocine, Mathieu Pierre Charles Poulain
Performed by Husbands
See more »

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User Reviews

"Tape 1, Side A" is a solid beginning to a solid retelling
31 March 2017 | by arussell23See all my reviews

Having read the book two years ago that this series is based off, I can't really make any huge comparisons to the book because I gave away my copy like a year ago. That's not to say I didn't like the book - I did - but just letting you know, if you want a book reader's perspective, you're not really gonna get it, besides what I vaguely remember.

That being said, "Tape 1, Side A" is a very good beginning to this series. It sets up all the characters extremely well, and gives us just enough to make us wonder what's going to happen in future episodes. We open with the narration of our main dead girl - Hannah Baker, who is played excellently by Katherine Langford - and Clay Jensen, Hannah's friend who eventually gets the tapes and starts the whole story.

The first tape is all about Justin Foley, the first guy that Hannah dated when she moved to her new town. At first, it seems like a very sweet romance. Justin isn't the brightest bulb in the bunch, but he's likable and charms Hannah almost immediately. Then, he takes a picture - a very incriminating picture - of Hannah, that he leaks to his fellow classmates. This is the first major offense against Hannah, among the many we'll see throughout the show.

Meanwhile, Clay starts to try and find out more information about both Hannah's life and her death, and gets stalked by Tony, from whom he stole the Walkman so he could listen to the tapes, who's motivations aren't clear yet. We also get introductions to some characters who become more important later - Hannah's parents, Mr. Porter, etc.

I really liked this episode, not just because of the great acting from everyone around, but because the writing felt authentic. I could see me and my friends having similar conversations. Also, the music was particularly well chosen ("Mess is Mine" is a favorite), and the various ways of showing things like Clay wanting Hannah to be back at school (there are many shots in which you think Clay is looking at Hannah, but really, he's just looking where she was) or for example differentiating between past and present (Past has a more warmer hue to it, and Clay eventually gets a head injury that makes it easier to tell apart.)

The one issue I have is that it does feel like it takes a bit too long for Clay to actually start listening to the full tape, but that's not a huge issue. So, yeah. This episode is pretty great for setting up and believable and interesting new world for this show to explore. Bring it on, 13 Reasons Why.

+The acting


+Well-written dialogue

+Unique stylistic choices

-It feels a little drawn out


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