“13 Reasons Why”: The Controversial Season Two That Is Better Than The First


Maggie Rasch, Staff Reporter

For all those who have not yet seen the first season of “13 Reasons Why”, there are spoilers for the first season below (but none for the second season). Read with caution.

Last Friday, May 18, Netflix released season two of the famous TV series, “13 Reasons Why”, and viewers everywhere instantly began watching the long awaited season.

Having now made it to the end, I can say the second season was better than the first, unlike many other TV shows. Throughout the 13 new episodes, I never knew what was going to happen next. The shocks were more extreme, and the story line was more problematic. The characters constantly found additional problems and new secrets unfolded.

This TV series, which follows the serious struggles of the students of Liberty High School, received a lot of backlash after its first season. It examined the problems of depression, drug abuse, sexual assault, sexual orientation, suicide and much more.

The show’s purpose was to start a conversation and make people aware of the troubles that high school students endure, according to Jay Asher, the author of the book that the series is based on. Although the series was popular among teens, it sparked concerns among many parents, mental health professionals, and school administrators.

The producers of the series clearly paid attention to this, and some of the cast of “13 Reasons Why” appear in an announcement at the beginning of the first episode of season two, stating that the show has intense scenes shedding a light on tough situations, which may make it not be suitable for everyone. Since the series is rated TV-MA, young viewers should be cautious about watching.

Personally, as a freshman who began watching the series last year, I found many scenes hard to watch. The show goes into extreme detail about the serious situations that can happen in high school.

Following the first season with many ups and downs between the characters, many people were wondering what was going to happen during the second season.

The first season circles around the question, “Whose fault is it?” The characters are worried if it is their fault Hannah Baker died, or if they can instead all blame someone else. However, this second season follows with, “Will Hannah get justice for what happened, and how?” The characters begin to see a common enemy, and work to get justice for what he did.

Starting five months after the tragedy, the students of Liberty High School have definitely not forgotten the death of their former classmate, Hannah Baker. The beginning of the first season ended with the calling of a trial that required most of the people that received Hannah Baker’s tapes to testify.

The trial consists of Hannah’s mother suing the school district for failing to prevent the bullying that caused Hannah’s suicide.

Hannah is portrayed as a ghost to Clay Jensen, whispering in his ear the whole season. In my opinion, this was a bit cheesy. The show’s producers could have incorporated the actress that plays Hannah, Katherine Langford, in a different way.

This trial continues throughout the whole season and ends during the second to last episode. Each episode features one character on the stand in the courtroom testifying with their story of Hannah Baker and what their relationship with her was like. The character testifying narrates all through the episode.

The show is known for having very intense scenes, and the second season definitely maintains that reputation. There were always some uncomfortable scenes that I just couldn’t look at while watching. For instance, the bullying scenes in the bathroom between Tyler and Montgomery are very brutal.

The characters will make you want to cry and laugh with them. I learned to love some, while my hatred for others has grown.

It can get confusing watching the series as it bounces in time. An episode goes back and forth between a character testifying, in the present day, and then flashes back to scenes before Hannah died that we have never seen before.

The last episode is an additional one month later. The characters share a very special moment with Hannah’s mom. It is implied that Hannah finally found peace at the end of the season.

Nonetheless, the last few scenes of the last episode are extremely nerve racking. I was very nervous watching the last scene in particular. The ending was very frustrating, and I’m left wondering so many things.

I liked the season altogether, but I was expecting a bit more from the writers. I was also a little disappointed with the ending. But if the goal of the producers was to leave me shaking and crying at the end, they definitely succeeded.

It took production more than a year to produce a second season, and I don’t want to have to wait until the summer of 2019 for the third season. The last moments are set up as a cliffhanger, so we can only hope for a potential next season.

Executive Amy Powell has told news agencies that more seasons are up to Brian Yorkey, creator, producer, and writer for “13 Reasons Why.” However, it is unclear where the plot would take the characters, since season two ended in spring of their senior year.

Another question for a potential season three: how would they incorporate Hannah Baker? Actress Katherine Langford suggests that her story has been told, and there is nothing else to add.

Overall, I highly suggest that you begin watching the series if you haven’t started already. Season two was better than season one, but they both were fantastic. It’s a perfect binge worthy show to watch this summer if you are in desperate need of a new Netflix series.

Let us know what you think about the series below!