13 reasons why season two is terrible *SPOILERS*

WARNING: This review of “13 Reasons Why” contains spoilers from the newest season. If you do not wish to continue to read, please redirect yourself to the front page.

It was Friday May 18, when I found out the second season of 13 Reasons Why was hours away from being released on Netflix. I knew I had to watch it, as I enjoyed the first season before the controversies. The mystery surrounding the suicide of Hannah Baker unraveled like a Scooby Doo episode. I was hooked; however, I took a step back recently to reflect on the show’s content. As a person who had gone to therapy and has dealt with issues similar to Hannah Baker, rewatching the first season made me facepalm more than previous watchings despite some enjoyment. Then I started watching the second season, and nothing could prepare me for the ride that was going to be this season.

The first episode starts with a recap of the first season, and quickly sets the stage for the second. Hannah Baker’s tapes are still affecting those who were mentioned. Jessica Davis still hasn’t come forward about Bryce Walker. Clay Jensen is still fighting for justice. Olivia Baker rejected the last settlement offer from Liberty High. With that final rejection towards the school, Olivia Baker and Liberty High start the trial that will determine one thing: Is Liberty High to blame for Hannah’s suicide? The trial alone is what kept pushing me to continue the season, but sadly, between scenes of the trial and testimonies of our “beloved” characters, are scenes of regular high school life.

Through the highschool life portions we see that Bryce Walker is still on top of the social pyramid, even though many of his close friends know about his tapes. The tapes that announce Bryce raped both Hannah and a heavily implied Jessica Davis, along with a confession by Bryce that admits to the rape on Hannah. The show brings up the point that Bryce cannot be tried due to Hannah being dead, which grinds my gears. The story throughout the present highschool life shifts from Hannah to be focused on Jessica. This happens since she hasn’t come forward about Bryce Walker, and it’s played as suspense throughout each episode if she will finally tell her story to the police.

Each episode primarily centers around someone’s testimony. Starting with Tyler Down, the creepy yearbook photo dude from season one. His testimony was completely truthful. This sets a false sense that everyone who will be on trial will tell the truth, as Tyler tells his full truth. Though, this wouldn’t be 13 Reasons Why if there weren’t teenagers lying. After the first season, I wanted to see justice for Hannah Baker. I felt a strong relatability for the girl who was bullied, harassed, and sucked with friendships. Hannah’s character from the first season is beat with a shovel as each testimony from her former classmates reveal undesirable information about her past. The most shocking to me was when Zach reveals that during the summer Clay was out of town, Hannah and Zach regularly hooked up and dated. It came out of nowhere and honestly felt like the first season lied to us about who Hannah really was, and what her thirteen reasons were.

That was my first major problem with the show. The writers still wanted Hannah to be the center of attention even though she is gone. Through the testimonies, it is revealed that Hannah did a variety of drugs, underage sexting, kissed countless different men (about one new dude per episode), was  dating people that weren’t established in season one, and was a bully in her previous school. They took a girl who was made out to be an angel and did a Kamehameha on her character. The only reasons I could find for this writing meaningful was if the audience was meant to be Clay. When this information comes out about Hannah, Clay literally goes through the seven stages of grief, but is focused on anger. I could relate to that anger because I also felt lied to. But I left out something important. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you, the best thing I have ever seen in a show … Hannah’s ghost!

At the end of the first episode, Clay sees Hannah and you’re meant to believe Clay is just going insane. It makes sense for him to see Hannah as that happened regularly throughout the first season. Then the second episode happens, and Hannah’s spirit speaks.

It speaks! Hannah and Clay start to have conversations. I couldn’t help but laugh at the fact that Clay Jensen was having arguments with Hannah about her experiences with countless men. A show that worked so hard to depict a realistic scenario brought Hannah back as a ghost! This gets even better as throughout the season, Clay gets advice from her about what to do next. You’re supposed to get involved with the fact that Clay is having a serious conversation with Hannah, but all I can think is that he’s yelling at a wall. Not to mention the fact that during the season finale Clay’s character arc seems about letting Hannah go. This is shown quite literally when Clay makes a speech during Hannah’s funeral service. Clay says he needs to love Hannah, but let her go. Hannah gets up from the stands and walks right out the church doors into a white light. I was screaming internally at the imagery being forced onto me.

Near the end of the season, I had lost all hope for this show to become a positive impact on anyone struggling with mental or physical issues. Whenever there was a that caused serious physical damage, it wasn’t reported on. Drugs are glorified through the “cool sequences” of hallucinations that characters have. When teachers talk about how consent works, characters joke around about it before the message is revealed, making consent feel like a joke. The baseball coach insists he helps on any problems that may arise during a screening so that his baseball players aren’t caught for using drugs. Tyler Down almost shoots up the school during the season finale, and the writers want for you to sympathize with his character. Hannah Baker is brought back as a ghost. Olivia Baker and Andy Baker start making out on Hannah Baker’s grave. The principal fires Kevin Porter, the counselor, after he says he could have done more to help Hannah while on trial, making school feel untrustworthy. Clay tells Hannah’s ghost that she was selfish for killing herself. The show, in detail, tells you how to hold a gun properly and aim it.Bryce Walker has an episode that is written to make you sympathize with him. He and his friends got away with child pornography. Last, but not least on this list of thirteen things wrong, even though I could find more, the show made a hotline that is only shown during the credits, after all the traumatic scenes you just watched have been played.

Don’t watch 13 Reasons Why. It had a chance to redeem itself, but it blew it.