13 Reasons Why

13 Reasons Why

Season 2

Okay, I liked the first season of this show. It treaded in an atrociously “basic” manner with regards to depicting the average teenager’s life at an American high school. It painted a pretty shallow picture of how friendship and relationships worked in that setting. There were n number of cringe-worthy moments of already one-note characters behaving in ways that were far drawn out from how people behave in real life. The literal depiction of suicide, is debatable, and I am still on the edge regarding that. But one thing I feel the show got fairly right, was pointing out the sensitivity in people. It had some interesting equations – unintentionally superficial parents versus their sensitive children, incapable people versus their important positions of responsibility they are in, and a few other pressing issues that hadn’t been stated so explicitly before. The show’s cinematic sensibilities worked in its favour as well, with some interesting editing and good use of music. It more than covered up for its obvious loophole in writing – the very fact that Clay doesn’t listen to the thirteen tapes at one go, which surprisingly wasn’t as distracting as it sounds.

Season 2, very loudly, with its intimate moments, takes digs at machoism, the conventional sexist outlook toward gender, and toxic masculinity. It presents a case on how violence can penetrate a mind. It calls out on casual sexism among guys. I also haven’t seen a better presented argument and exposé on slut-shaming. There are drugs and guns. It tries its best to address a lot. There’s so much being said, but it just angers me that the gimmicks and cheap tropes are louder than all the above things that should actually matter. It is as insensitive and manipulatively sensational as much as it is sensitive. First time around, I could argue that the graphic details were creative decisions with a shock value that they couldn’t see through. Fine, but they strike again this season, with a sequence of similar graphic detail, and a repeated offence is appalling.

The show returning for a second season is purely commercial, there’s no doubt about that. There were a few knots left to be revealed. And some more issues to stress on, apparently. Fair enough, I am ready to hear you out. To give the show its due, they do make few more good points. Why children keep secrets from their parents, and why the latter shouldn’t be underestimating their maturity and emotions. The performances again, especially by the adults, are solid. I liked the redeeming arcs of characters like Mr. Porter and Alex. By structure, this season does improve on its predecessor, with the narrative built around the case, almost like a procedural. But it uses some stupid elements on its way to the stretched-out ending. The polaroids were introduced as a whole new device for the revelations to hinge on. But they are grossly under used and bear no meaning once the season is over, and that’s seriously pissing off. The finale and the cliffhanger are so lazily directed, I wonder who in the right mind green lights money going into such stuff.

Moving on from the existence of the show, Hannah is back as a ghost. Sorry – a hallucination, fine. But to serve what purpose?! She cannot reveal secrets and doing so would be a logical blunder because she is only inside Clay’s head (glad they are aware of that). Just a lazy filler, right? So I reluctantly agreed to hold their beer. Then comes the blunder. Clay’s hallucination throws up a sequence of Hannah – vigorously – making out with Bryce. Writers – what the fuck. This is so unwarranted, and obviously, insensitive. One, that image does nothing to the story, and two, it does nothing to the character either, we already know she’s in his head. Then why is it in there? Bafflingly pointless, can’t get any lower. You put the audience through enough agony, get them back to that same world where nothing has changed, delay any kind of justice possible, and also splash on our screens an image of a rape victim passionately making out with her rapist?

I seriously don’t know how to stop ranting.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Recent Posts

You Might Also Like

Manjummel Boys
Jigarthanda DoubleX
Ponniyin Selvan: II