13 Reasons Why, Season 2 review

This article is a work in progress, the readability, links to content will improve in time. For now, enjoy the review and share your thoughts on the show in the comments below.

I recently finished watching the second season, and I wanted to share my thoughts on the show.

Image courtesy and credits: Netflix

Adapted from thirteen reasons why the book, this show has made headlines across the globe. The show is hailed as one of the most watched series on Netflix. It has a significant impact on the audience due to its relatability.

The overall dark setting of the series can lead people who are already facing struggles in life to consider ending their life. People claim that this show glorifies suicide. The recurrence of violence, sexual assault, abuse, and harm can get into the heads of impressionable audiences.  Hannah’s suicide scene in the last episode is terrifying to watch, especially as we are so emotionally invested in the character and all we want is justice.

We wish that a miracle would happen, and she does not die, but the truth is a hard pill to swallow.

I recently started watching the second season of this series and it does have a lot of negative opinions attached to it. I found myself disturbed, lacking in sleep and having toxic thoughts.

This hard-hitting TV show is not for the faint-hearted and takes a toll on your emotional well-being. Though the show is well-crafted, the darkness is bound to send you into an abyss of emotional despair and self-doubt.

I liked how they turned it into a suicide-prevention movement. Starting from season 2, they have a dedicated website that you can go to if you need someone to talk to. Given the popularity of the show, I’m glad that they will end up helping a significant portion of young adults from taking hasty decisions and protect them from inflicting harm on themselves.

What’s interesting to note is that the show boosted the search for ways to kill oneself, it also increased the search for suicide and abuse prevention helplines for over 20%. I’m glad to see this movement is gaining traction and it can bring a change in the lives of these tormented souls.

Ending one’s life is never the answer. As we see with Alex, who tries to kill himself by putting a gun to his head nearing the end of the first season. He gets disabled and is resentful of his decisions.

An online gaming friend talked sense into me years back when I discussed ending my life with him. He was at least five years elder to me, and he told me his story. He told me that he tried ending his life once which left him permanently crippled for the remainder of his life. He also told me to remember the faces of the people who love me (my parents, family and friends) if I ever get such an urge in the future.

The show was crafted through consultation with mental health experts to accurately portray what the characters were facing the events and the settings of the series.

In fact, the characters found it hard to cope up with their scenes and the emotions portrayed were extremely harsh on their well-being. The set had therapy dogs for the actors on the location to help them recuperate.

Selena Gomez was initially cast to play the role of Hannah, but eventually, that role went to Katherine Langford while Selena, along with her mother Mandy Teefey acted as executive producers.

I like how they turned Hannah into a figment of Clay’s imagination. It gives the audience a chance to see and understand her character better.

Hannah (Katherine Langford) and Clay (Dylan Minnette) have pulled out of award-winning performances in the series. It gets incredibly hard at times to differentiate between fiction and reality. This series hits hard and keeps you at the edge of your seat.

A must watch for audiences of all age groups. I highly recommend this series to people from all walks of life.

Since the show takes place in high school. There are all forms of bullying and assault, which makes it extremely relatable to the viewers.

Justin’s character gained some followers in the first season. It’s here in the second season where we get to see him up-close-and-personal. I liked his character, although he has a ton of problems to deal with on his own. He still manages to be a good friend.

I felt terrible for Tyler after all he went through and the horrific scene in the last episode.

A couple of scenes turned out to be my favorites in the whole second season.

The one with Clay’s speech during Hannah’s memorial service and the summer dance scene where ‘The night we met’ plays and Clay finds himself overwhelmed with emotions.

Alex’s character was strong. We see him recovering from his suicide attempt – a gunshot to the head, which he miraculously survives. He has to live his life crippled.

We also get to see a list made by Hannah on ‘Reasons why not’ to end her life. I believe this list brings the much-needed relief to the audience and Clay as well. The answers that everyone desperately seeks are addressed in the list. Given the sheer amount of spoilers, I’d want you to watch the series to read it. When it comes to reality, I want everyone to understand that there are always reasons not to end your life.

During the speech given by Hannah’s mother, we get to know about Hannah’s ambition for the first time. She wanted to go to New York and become a writer. I have the writer part figured out, and I’m still working on getting to New York, I know it will happen soon.

Kevin Porter, the school counselor he has a commendable performance. The real inner working of this character is brought outside during his testimony in court. We see a person whose life was dedicated to helping others, breaking down and regretting having been a factor in Hannah’s death. We feel for the character and what he represents. Kudos to Derek Luke for this moving performance.

Zach Demsey also had quite a formidable role in the second season. We realized that everyone is haunted by their shortcomings and they are trying to step up to their demons.

Syke Miller’s role as Clay’s girlfriend was good to see. Though their time together did not last long. She leaves Clay with some profound life lessons which help him finally make peace with Hannah’s passing.

After Hannah’s funeral, we realize that she has finally achieved the peace that her soul had craved for so long.

The school dance was a lovely setting to show how the various characters interact outside the grave situations. The moment when ‘The Night We Met’ is played by DJ Tony, we see Clay staring into space, lost, grieving over not able to be with Hannah. A genuinely heartfelt moment which would make the most hardened people shed tears, the whole scene is beautifully crafted. In fact, the song struck so hard, I even considered writing a dedicated blog post.

I’d like to give a special mention to Justine Prentice, he played Bryce Walker, easily the most hated character from the show. The guy is genuinely a good guy in person. He has received a lot of backlash from audiences. People fail to realize that he is an actor, playing a part. What makes a great villain is the ability to induce sheer hate and despise from the audience, and Bryce was incredibly successful in achieving this feat.

Jessica Davis’s acting as the traumatized assault victim was award-worthy, her expressions make you feel the pain that she is going through and you can’t help but sympathize with her character.

Tyler Down character saw plenty of development in the second season. He is no longer a stalker cum photographer. He joins forces with a new friend and seeks to call out the rapists from the football team through various actions. The final episode shows him coming back to school and being brutally assaulted by these very people. Trigger warning; this scene is too much to handle for some people so be sure you have someone with you especially in the final episode of the series.

The makers of the show had already teased us that Tyler possessed guns at the end of season one, in the final episode of the series we see that Tyler has had enough of the torture, assault, and abuse from the high school. He proceeds to prepare his gear for what appears to be a school shooting waiting to happen. Thankfully due to an extreme gesture of bravery, Clay ends up stopping Tyler from going ahead with the shooting, saving everyone in the process.

Although focusing the story towards Tyler makes it quite an interesting watch, though I feel that with Hannah making her final appearance in the series, fans are going to miss Katherine Langford in the next season.

Marcus Cooley shows his true colors as well when things start to heat up, and blame is tossed around. He takes Bryce Walker’s name in a hope to clear his own. It’s interesting to see the rivalry that brews between the two characters.

It’s good to see Cortney and Tony coming out of the closet and embracing who they are. Hannah had taught a life lesson to all the people she touched.

Now I am sure that not everyone would agree with my thoughts on the series. And as beautybeyondbones’s article pointed out that

13 Reasons Why: Watch Your Thoughts

Young impressionable people should stay away from the series. An added disclaimer is that this show especially the second season offers plenty of triggers so people who are prone to get affected by scenes of violence, sexual assault and bullying show stay away from this series.

Still, I cannot help but praise how well crafted this series is. The first season of the series is based on the book, while the second season is a creation of the directors. It’s a compelling watch, you won’t exactly enjoy watching it, but the storytelling will keep you glued to “whatever device you are watching it on.”

I conclude with a couple of powerful messages from Hannah’s funeral in the last episode of season 2.

“Be kind to each other” –  Hannah’s Dad.

Don’t let anyone take your dreams away from you – Hannah’s Mom.

%d bloggers like this: