“13 Reasons Why” doesn’t impress with a second season


By Kevin Ludy ’19

After sitting down to watch the second season of “13 Reasons Why,” I didn’t know what to expect. While I thoroughly enjoyed the first season, even though it was commonly regarded as controversial, I was unsure of how they were going to follow up in the story in the aftermath of Hannah’s 13 tapes. As the season moved on episode by episode, I could only remember how during last season I was engrossed, but this time around I could only help but wonder why this second season even exists.

The Netflix original “13 Reasons Why” returned with its new season on Friday, May 18. The 13 episodes were an hour each, with this season continuing the story of Hannah Baker and her impact after her suicide in the community. This season is more surrounded by the drama of the trial, with the parents of Hannah suing the school district over the hostile environment found at Liberty High School.

The familiar characters return with Katherine Langford, reprising her role of Hannah Baker, Dylan Minnette playing Clay Jensen and Alisha Boe acting as Jessica Davis. The cast is still as excellent as the first season, but the acting could not make up for the rest of the show.

My biggest complaint with this season was the lack of necessity for continuing the story. The first season was based off of the book “13 Reasons Why” by Jay Asher, and you could tell how it influenced the first season of the show. Every episode had a clear plot that engaged the audience and made you want to watch more, but this second season was going into uncharted territory that the creators of the show needed to make up as it was not based on anything.

The first episode of this season, “The First Polaroid”, was hard to follow and the plot that happened failed to capture my attention. The actor Miles Heizer, who plays Alex Standall (one of the main characters this season), was one of the things holding the show back. Anytime his character would be in a scene, it was so unbelievable because of the actions he takes in the script, and the actors portrayal of the character, that I would become un-engrossed in the “13 Reasons Why” universe.

It wasn’t all bad however, as some episodes like “The Missing Page” and “Bryce and Khloe” were able to regain the style of the first season and showed that the creators knew what they were doing for some episodes. These episodes had the suspense and plot twists that the first season had, which made them much better than the others. However, the jarring difference between these episodes and some of the others that lacked focus though made this season as a whole less impressive.

One thing that changed this season was a pre-episode clip with characters of the show warning about the serious and sometime triggering content in “13 Reasons Why.” This seemed like a way to address the controversy, while being able to retain how the show portrays real issues that students experience today.

Overall this season just left me feeling confused. Some episodes I enjoyed, but most were hard to follow and left me thinking that this season never needed to happen. They end this season with yet another cliffhanger in hopes to receive a third season, but if this is an indication of where they are going, I know I won’t like it.

Although six million people watched the first episode of this season, I would recommend watching something different instead. I would give the second season of “13 Reasons Why” a five out of ten stars.