13 Reasons Why Season 2 premiered today on Netflix, and takes place 5 months after the events of the first season. The show revolves around the characters involved in the life of Hannah Baker, and on the trial of her suicide where each character carries an episode similarly to the tapes.
Immediately the show draws in on the tension surrounding what justice will come of the situation. The mystery and intrigue coated with the often witty dialogue makes the show a enjoyable and perpetually interesting.The genre and intention this show tries to fill makes finding flaws quite difficult. The controversy the show built up well after its release painted the show, glorifying suicide. However justified that opinion is, doesn’t include the fact that in reality that’s how things are. The show may not be for viewers who might find the content triggering hence the season begins with a discussion by the cast of the show.
The standout Kate Walsh playing Olivia Baker, Hannah’s mother, curates deep emotions on the injustice the situation is receiving. Each scene showing the complexity of the writing yet at times hindered by teen angst. Further, the true depiction of the opposition creating Hannah as the ‘bad guy’ creates further layers of tension that are bound to keep watchers hitting ‘next’ all in one day.
A bold move has Tyler carry the first episode, his seemingly innocent pictures now ended up being integral to the entire season as proof for every little detail. He’s also the first witness to be called for trial and in defending Hannah momentarily, has her later painted in bad light which is repeated with the others. Clay and Skye’s non-existent chemistry is explained by Clay’s new imaginary friend: Hannah. This allows for a way to integrate Katherine Langford into the show however at first is alright, becomes monotonous and cliche and will likely have you skipping the scenes (especially after Zach’s beautiful episode, easily the best episode of the season).
“All my scars are inside.”
Jessica and Alex’s story enters the school environment and brings back similar vibes from the first season, seasoned by their witty humor radiating on their first day back to school. Kevin, the councilor, seriously steps up his game and meddles rather frequently in interactions with Bryce, who somehow worded his way out of the ‘alleged’ rape and continues carrying the mantle as the school’s hallway mascot. Zach who didn’t quite have a reason to stay home, finds laying low a cheat to stay in school without drama, his distorted goal of things ‘going back to normal’ is a stark difference with every other character wanting a change. His cowardice is developed well to a satisfying conclusion that will have you loving him more than you’d expect.
The episodes revolving around Courtney, the poet and the Harvard boy are slow and seem stretched thin by the end. However Zach’s episode was easily the best of the season. The beautiful telling of his summer romance with Hannah was a treat and easily outdoes Clay’s romance (sorry).
The penultimate episodes were tense, each dialogue aching to put Bryson in the courts crosshairs but every attempt failed. This got frustrating and repetitive, and Chloe’s refusal to tell her story as hard as it is for her, felt out of character as prior she was ready and had all the evidence.
The much talked about brutal rape scene which I had initially been bracing for put in purely for shock value actually fit in with the show’s mood at the time. Despite being graphic (warnings put up as appropriate) it still felt very much real in the universe of the show.
The ending and obvious buildup to the school shooting was confusing as the scene in the trailer clearly had viewers catfished. The final climax was an utter disappointment. The numerous cliffhangers felt almost like insults to fans of the show. How can a season admittedly thin in true direction have the guts to create cliffhangers to yet another season. It was when the screen went black that I completely lost all passion for the series.
The show despite its often slow bits never did make me feel bored however if I had known the outcome would be so underwhelming, I probably wouldn’t have rushed through. This season is worth a watch, as everyone is talking about it, but will ultimately leave you asking what really was the point of it all, but I can guarantee you will enjoy learning about many other characters. Tony, Justin and Zach stand out and will at least leave you with no regrets.
You care for all the characters
At times aimless in direction
“These kinds of things can ruin people’s lives, even if they’re innocent.”
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