’13 Reasons Why’ Season 2 Review Round-Up: Why Is This Show Still Going?

/Film | 5/16/2018 | Ben Pearson
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’13 Reasons Why’ Season 2 Review Round-Up: Why Is This Show Still Going?

Netflix famously doesn’t release viewership numbers for its individual shows or movies, but it’s safe to say that 13 Reasons Why made a big splash when it debuted on the streaming service last year. The show earned high praise from critics, courted controversy for its depiction of rape and suicide, and seemed to be all anyone could talk about for a while after its release.

Lingering - Questions - Series - Season - Season

Despite leaving some lingering unanswered questions, it seemed as if the series could wrap up after one season. But it’s coming back for a season two later this week, and early reviews from critics suggest it should have quit while it was ahead.

Season one took place the aftermath of Hannah (Katherine Langford)’s suicide, as she left behind tapes explaining the thirteen reasons she decided to kill herself. But the second season reportedly recontextualizes what we thought we knew, and that left a bad taste in the mouth of Mashable’s Proma Khosla:

Reasons - Season - Tool - Flashbacks - Hannah

13 Reasons Why Season 2’s main narrative tool, new flashbacks to Hannah’s life, is difficult to digest. The problem is that they don’t just add to her story; they alter it. The puzzle pieces now add up to a different big picture, which means Hannah was in a very different place when she chose to take her own life.

This is addressed, lazily, more than once. Clay (Dylan Minnette) confronts Zach (Ross Butler), asking why none of his revelations from the witness stand came up in Hannah’s tape. “Did she say everything on your tape?” Zach retorts.

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…It feels like we are being told that Season 1 was meaningless, that it only skimmed the surface and isn’t the real story. But Season 1, crucially, was Hannah’s perspective, and try as Season 2 might to include her,...
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