A mere year ago, everybody was obsessed with Thirteen Reasons Why on Netflix. The reason for this was because the series dealt with serious issues like rape and suicide. Especially the latter was something that was portrayed in a rather graphic manner. Some argued this was a good thing. Others said it was necessary to make an impact on the young generation. Regardless, the series based on the Jay Asher novel (who was accused of sexual harassment himself), was a massive success.
It is not surprising that Netflix decided to make a second season of the hit show. Despite the fact that Hannah Baker’s story ended, they still saw an opportunity to continue the story. I watched the first episode and won’t be watching the entire season. I will explain why.
It feels like a cash grab
I am certain that everybody involved wanted to make the show the best it could be. Of course it is interesting to see how people coped with Hannah’s death. However, it kind of feels unnecessary. They knew people would watch the second season because of the massive success of the first season. I spoiled the whole season for myself as I wasn’t interested in watching it after the first episode. Basically, the writers wrote down all the awful still that may have happened to teens in the past.
I’m certain they were wondering how much misery they could make the characters go through in order to keep the controversy alive. Turns out, a lot. It doesn’t necessarily feel like a story that had to be told. It kind of feels like the need to be talked about by people that drives the story. Every issue is dramatized to such extremes that it is uncomfortable.
Hannah’s ghost comes over for tea
It is understandable that the creators wanted to include Hannah’s character in the series. Katherine Langford is an excellent actress so it is no wonder they wanted her to return. However, the way they did this felt very unrealistic, judging from the first episode. I can get behind the flashbacks, but the fact that she returns as a speaking ghost is just taking it a step too far. Sure, Clay could imagine seeing Hannah in a crowd full of people. But them actually having conversations? No, not when this show is supposed to be so realistic. Of course, it is supposed to signify that Clay is unable to move on. Fine. I can get behind that. But the way it is executed just feels a bit laughable.
It’s emotionally exhausting
After watching the first episode, I immediately felt exhaustion and wondered why I was putting myself through this in the first place. I love it when series or films make me think and show me different perspectives. However, this series is emotionally draining, not because of its content being gruesome or controversial, but just because the dramatics never stop. Even characters going through a hard time will have good moments. There is never a moment of relief to catch your breath. Because everything on the show is so terribly dramatic, it’s also difficult to maintain the shock factor. After watching the first episode, I felt very down. That is not a feeling I enjoy having after watching a show.
A show like Game of Thrones, for example, also deals with many traumatic moments. But even when someone dies, another character will take revenge. Or all of us are happy that that character is finally dead. It’s a very different feeling in a way. The characters have nothing going for them except the fact that they are miserable. Of course it is great that serious topics are being discussed in mainstream entertainment. Yet season 1 did this perfectly. Season 2 is just very redundant in my opinion.
A possible Season 3
The season 2 finally has an open ending. We all know what open endings mean in series world, especially when a series is successful. That means a season 3! What could possibly still be told in this story without becoming repetitive? What will narrate that season? Season 1 had the tapes and season 2 the court case against the school. It’s redundant to add another season and it won’t serve any purpose apart from wanting to cash in on fans.
Have you watched season 2? What are your thoughts?