So a few weeks after the finale I still think about the second season of 13 Reasons Why. The show is extremely infamous for their shocker scenes and their graphic images, and I find myself looking back on those ones the most. This article isn't slamming the show or providing an in-depth complaint on how it is affecting my life, because really there's no reason it should be. I just want to make some observations about the show.
1. It is for the best that Hannah Baker is leaving.
I know she was the pivotal part of the show but the creators have obviously taken the show in a different direction, and she no longer fits in. They seemed to have really stretched her out as a character, trying to make her appear in different ways in the second season now that her story is only being told through other people and not the tapes itself. It was interesting to see the way other people actually create her to be. For example to Clay, she was a light who started haunting his life, to Bryce she was a trophy, and to her mother, it was someone she barely recognized. But how far can you stretch a dead person in the living world without destroying who she was when she was alive? Hannah's time ended long ago. And to retain her image as someone who cannot develop as a character, she must move on from everyone's life.
2. Clay's mental state was dragged out
From even the very first season they needed an excuse for the show to be plotted over the course of multiple days. The story revolved around Clay listening to the tapes in order and it took around a day each to listen to them. The reason for that though was because he was having panic attacks all the time. The attacks never contributed to the actual story, they just dragged out the timeline. Now in season two, the writers gave him another distressed mental state. They had him manifest an inner voice in the form of Hannah. No one else had these problems in the show. You can call it an individual flaw with a single character but the reasons behind Clay's mental state was obvious from the beginning, they needed something to fill in the flaws of the show whether it was the timeline or making sure the star of the show was still involved.
3. Sarah was not needed for the story, but necessary for Hannah's character.
For those who don't remember, she was the girl Hannah bullied. It seemed odd to have her in the show but the purpose was to add to Hannah's character, and what these courts do. They look for anything demoralizing and use it to argue that the person wasn't innocent. But no one really is. The show wanted us to see that even Hannah was a terrible person once in her life. That she wasn't perfect like she was in Clay's or Olivia's mind.
4. There is a reason the court let down Olivia Baker and Jessica Davis.
We were all rooting for Jessica and Olivia Baker, but in the end, they lost to Bryce Walker and the school board. Now, this might sound like reaching but I truly believe this was meant to make people outraged for a reason because let's admit it, this happens all the time. The victims are seen as overdramatic tattletales while the offenders are seen as fallible humans who deserve another chance. The results of the court case are supposed to reflect what is happening in real life. For example, Brock Turner, who got off with a summer in jail for raping a woman. We have to be angry because if we aren't we won't see a change in the system.
5. The broom scene was gruesome, but the reasoning behind it worked.
The broom scene was one of the worst scenes in the entire show. But they have stated they needed it to happen for the prom scene. I don't know about you but I wouldn't have like Tyler all the much if they just skipped to the prom scene without the broom scene. When the broom scene happened, it made Tyler a victim. It made him someone we can relate to and feel sorry for. I get it was horrifying to watch because we can imagine any one of us is the one in that bathroom, but it was needed so that we can understand his rage and why he wanted to kill Monty and Bryce. He isn't a school shooter looking for a thrill, he is a victim looking to get back what was taken from him.
6. The show has done a much better job at warning and avoiding their graphic content.
In the second season, they decided to not show Alex Standall's photos. That spoke to the show being more sensitive towards their viewers who could relate to being in his shoes. The show also put labels in front of the explicit shows and a warning in front of the very first show warning anyone who would be uncomfortable with what would be shown. Anyone who complains about the show can't say they weren't warned from the very first moment.
7. The show took a sharp turn towards sexual assault rather than just suicide.
The original point of the book was to get awareness of suicide, but the show decided to pile up on their social issues with the main theme being sexual assault. Hannah Baker, Jessica Davis, Chloe, Nina, and Tyler Down. It was interesting to see the sharp turn made halfway through season one and keeping the ball rolling into season two. Of course, this isn't a bad thing, but it should be noted as what the show is really becoming about as the third season is coming out next year.
8. The show is not attacking jocks.
People like Monty and Bryce are the bad people, not because they are jocks, but because they are privileged and rank high in the school's social sphere. Everyone else isn't bad, or at least that level of bad. Sure the two jocks helping Monty in the broom scene are probably just as bad as him, but people like Zach, Justin, and Scott aren't bad people, they just know the things they've done and try to make up for them. It may seem like the only bad people are jocks but that is only because some of the worst men migrate towards the top of the social food chain.
9. The show could have done better to show who broke into Clay's house.
It must have passed me that it was Monty that broke in to steal the gun from Justin's bag. I feel like the show didn't put any emphasis on the break-in and many of us forgot about it until we realized it was never revealed who broke in, it was just implied. I wish I didn't have to surf the internet to find the answer.
10. There was a major plot hole with Zach and Hannah's relationship in regards to season one.
I know we all thought this: why didn't Hannah mention Zach and her's relationship on the tape? She only brought up the stolen paper incident, which happened before their relationship. There was no other reason not to mention it except that the creators needed something else from Zach in season two. It was a really interesting part of the story, but I thought they could have done better in finding an excuse at least as to why she didn't bring it up.
There are of course many questions when it comes to 13RW, but many people like to throw their opinion around before taking a step back and looking at the reasoning behind the show and what things they've done wrong also. The show I admit always has that one episode near the end that is too gruesome to watch, but the show really does stick with you.