OPINION: ’13 Reasons Why’ brings second controversial season

By Melody Ortiz

“13 Reasons Why” returned with a second season that rivals its first in more ways than one.

The Netflix original had already faced backlash from people claiming the show “glamorized suicide” in season 1. However, the series got enough praise from its viewers to merit another season.

The show’s first season is based on a novel by Jay Asher about Hannah Baker, played by Katherine Langford, who leaves behind 13 tapes in which she recorded the reasons why she chose to take her own life.

It is interesting to see where the writers take the characters, as Asher was not involved in the second season’s production. Asher did not write a sequel to the book, which means the writers had to take his characters and add more to each of their stories. It was impressive that they were successful in doing this.

Dylan Minnette, who plays Clay Jensen, does amazingly as he portrays a broken-hearted boy who is not ready to forgive Hannah’s decision. His anger and sadness are so intense he makes viewers feel them as well.

This season digs deeper into secondary characters and makes viewers care for them as they get to see their side of the story.

Season two reminds viewers of the real thoughts and emotions that go through people’s minds during and long after traumatic events.

It has viewers questioning, “Why doesn’t this character just do this?” Then it shows them what goes through a victim’s head and the issues he/she deals with. This is thought often when Jessica Davis, who is amazingly played my Alisha Boe, comes into scenes. For those who have not been in the characters situation, answers to the issue comes easier.

Although the development of characters and their directions went smoothly, it is obvious that the writers had changed between each season.

Season two is much more dark, daring, and aggressive. The emotions are stronger, the scenes are more graphic, and the issues the characters face are much harder.

The new season may be just as good as the first. It definitely is up for debate. It shoves hard issues at viewers in hopes of making them understand and start a conversation.

There is, however, one scene that makes season two lose some praise it would have got and gain criticism from those who were waiting eagerly to see what controversy this season would stir up (though, they are not wrong for criticizing).

The scene was graphic and uncalled for. Taking that scene out would not have changed any part of the series. It seemed to only be kept in as to draw more talk about the show and make the viewer more uncomfortable than needed.

The writers can say they were trying to bring subjects like this out into the light, but the fact that they put the scene in the last episode says something different. As if they believed they’d lose viewers too soon if they put graphic scenes early on.

It was a cheap and unnecessary tactic to try to push this season to be bigger than the first. Had this scene not been added, the season would undoubtedly be better than the first.

In all, the second season of “13 Reasons Why“ can be comparable to having a great meal and becoming nauseous from the dessert. Just one questionable part can make a big difference.

It is definitely worth the watch if (and only if) the viewer has the stomach for it. It is important not to take the disclaimers lightly.

Due to the controversy surrounding the show, the new season begins with some of the cast warning their viewers of the content. A few of the disclaimers include substance abuse, sexual violence, and language.

The cast also warns that the show may not be for the viewer if he/she is struggling with some of the issues the series talks about, or at the very least watch it with a trusted adult.

Each episode ends with a text asking viewers to visit 13reasonswhy.info, for resources with additional support and services.

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