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Review of Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why

Why 13 Reasons Why Deserves a Low Rating

This review includes season 2 spoilers.

After watching the first season of Netflix's 13 Reasons Why, I was left disappointed, angry and said to myself "don't waste your time watching the second season". Yet, here I am writing a review of the second season.
For starters I would like to say that I respect and thank Netflix for pushing back the release date of season two as a result of the Santa Fe, Texas school shooting. When I saw Netflix's statement on social media I instantly knew that a school shooting, attempted school shooting, and/or gun violence would be apart of this season. I can only assume that the writer's reason for including such a raw and relevant topic was to present possible warning signs of school shooters.


When it came to the acting in the first episode I was disappointed right from the start. It seemed as though the quality of acting had not improved, but had declined in comparison to the first season. I did feel like some of the actors were able to improve throughout the season, but overall I felt as though the actors and actresses themselves did not show growth from season one to season 2. I can only assume that the reason for the subpar acting in episode one is due to the fact that the actors and actresses were finding it hard to get back into character.

Would I continue?

Once I finished watching the first episode of the second season I didn't think I was going to watch the rest of the season. I made the decision to watch the whole second season in order to be able to discuss the show with others and to be able to back up my reasoning for why I have the feelings I do about the show. Now moving onto my feelings about the show.

Overall Review

I think it is important that topics such as sexual assault are talked about. So I am glad that the show did include this topic, but I do not agree with the way in which the writers chose to present it. For example, the show glazed over the actual requirements for giving and not giving consent when it comes to sex. Consent is more than just saying 'no' and the show made it seem like that is all that females need to say for it to no be considered rape. Which is totally enraging and also caused the show to miss the mark on having the platform to educate on what is considered and what is not consider consent and what is considered to be saying 'yes' and 'no'. 
In a Cosmopolitan article that reviewed the show, it was mentioned that statements made by the actors in the PSA that introduced the season suggested that viewers who are struggling with depression or the topics of the show should reach out to a trusted adult for help and guidance. But the show completely dismissed the advice given in the PSA. A majority of the characters are not discussing his or her struggles or problems with adults. I am not saying that the PSA is entirely ineffective, but I am saying that it would have been more impactful if the characters were talking honestly with adults about what was going on and would have shown what is possible if adults know what is going on.
Another area that I feel the show missed out on an opportunity was to show how successful and beneficial therapy and counseling can be. It was briefly discussed as helping Skye to improve her mental health, but this scenario only shows that it works in extreme cases of depression and self harm. Jessica did attend a few group therapy sessions, but the show did not contribute her improvements in her recovery as being related to the therapy sessions. I would have liked to see a character attending therapy and improving as a result of it. This would also aid in showing viewers that asking for help has the helpful potential. 
I also do not agree with the writers choice to not have certain characters improve as a result of the lessons they learned throughout the season. This was discouraging. I am guessing that the show is expecting to be renewed for a third season and that is where some of these characters will start making changes in his or her life.
It is obvious that one of the goals of the show is to leave the viewers shocked, and the show did not disappoint when it came to the shock-factor. But with that being said, I think there is one scene that in  which the shock-factor was drastically exceeded. In my opinion the extreme graphic nature of the attack on Tyler in the last episode of the season exceeded the shows rating of MA (mature audience). The severity of the attack could have been decreased and would have left the same impact and contribution to the plot of the show.
Just a comment on the editing of the show. When comparing the quality of editing for the first season to the second season, the second season fell short. There were multiple hallway scenes where the talking of the other students in the hallway was too loud in volume and distracted from the conversation that was the main focus of the scene.
One thing that I think the show does an excellent job of is by putting these raw and real topics into a show, it is opening peoples' minds and encourages discussion. With that being said I would still not consider myself a fan of the show.

I would love to hear what you have to say about the show.

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