Teen drama 13 Reasons Why is the latest Netflix show to have fans hooked — even if fans aren't entirely sold on the cast playing sophomores in high school. The person that fans are currently calling to the carpet is Zach, aka actor Ross Butler, whom some viewers can't possibly fathom playing a 16-year-old. (For the record: Butler also plays one on Riverdale.) Now, as reported by Mashable, fans are taking it upon themselves to compare their real-life sophomore photos to a photo of Butler, in all his Zach Dempsey glory. While Zach has clearly glowed-up early on the TV show, these fans were totally comfortable sharing pics of their awkward sophomore phase. (Who hasn't been there, right? Well, maybe not Butler.)
In Butler's defense, the photo of Butler that seems to be at the center of the meme is actually a headshot of the 13 Reasons Why star, not a shot from the series. Fortunately, the actor is a good sport about all of the memes — and even added his own into the mix. (As if we needed another reason to love this crazy-adorable cast.)
While I find making light of 13 Reasons Why's very serious nature with memes pretty inappropriate (don't even get me started with these horrific Musical.Ly videos that make me want to avoid the internet for the rest of time) this is one meme that I can get behind. It's not talking about any of the show's more difficult subjects, and instead pointing out a universal truth about teen television.
While the cast of 13 Reasons Why is absolutely excellent, they don't really look like sophomores in high school: There's not a single character going through an awkward phase. That's because they are a little bit older than real sophomores — Butler, for example, is 26. It's not necessarily that shows want older people playing teenagers: Instead, it's simply easier, legally speaking, to cast an older actor who doesn't have to abide by child labor laws which could shorten their time on set.
And, honestly? Who cares how old or hot they look when the cast is able to deliver such raw, heartfelt performances. If we're all able to suspend our disbelief — and most of us were — well, it's worth it.