REVIEW: 13 Reasons Why Season 2

Is there reason to watch Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why? Find out here!

May 25, 2018

Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why was released on May 18th on Netflix...and if you follow me on any of my socials you know that I was very vocal about NOT being a fan of a second season.

The show '13 Reasons Why' is based off the book written by Jay Asher - and there was only 1 book...and yes, I am that forever nerd screaming, "the book was better!" :p

My opinion was, that because of the over-whelming popularity of the show, the powers that be wanted to "cash in" on the success, and with the exception of a few handful of movies/shows...the sequel is usually a giant, embarrassing flop for the super fans. While I wouldn't go that far with my overall review of season 2 of 13 Reasons, after watching I definitely stand behind that this story was only meant to be 1-book/season. One and done!

I WILL WARN YOU WITH MY MINOR SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED YET...SO FAR YOU ARE SAFE!

Catching up: '13 Reasons Why' is the story of Liberty High School junior Hannah Baker who commits suicide and leaves behind 13 tapes with a tape dedicated to each person she felt contributed to reasons why she took her own life.

Here is the trailer for season 2:

Season 2 is 13-episodes and takes place 6 months after season 1 ends and has 2 major story lines: the trial for Hannah (her parents are suing the school for neglegence) and the Jessica/Bryce sexual assault that turns out to be far bigger and involve more people than we thought.

Some things I liked about the season...

You got to see what happened to the characters after the credits rolled. Is everyone coping? Is Alex ok? What about Tyler and his guns?

Plus, you can see from the trailer that there is some type of mystery blackmailer and that does leave you guessing until the end..and still shocked! I had a different guess in every episode.

Also, aside from the 13-episodes, there is a 'Beyond the Reasons' episode to watch after you finish watching season 2 that has the actors, directors and experts talking about the storylines and takes audience questions. It was interesting and more than just the generic disclaimer they put at the end of each episode ("if you need help call..."). But it talks about EVERYTHING so don't watch it first! Watch it after you've completed the season.

Some things I did NOT like about season 2...MINOR SPOILERS IN THIS SECTION!

Clay has a girlfriend? No way! And he's soooo in love with her! If he truely felt the way he did about Hannah (that was basically his quest for season 1! #JusticeForHannah because he loved her so much!) then there is no way that would've happened - or at least at such an "exclusive level". I felt it was weirdly uncharacteristic for the sentimental Clay Jensen we knew.

Plus, he speaks to and sees Hannah. While he does acknowlege that it is not real and in his imagination it is so distracting. He will be having a conversation with someone else and ghost Hannah will be screaming things at him or talking. It was so cheesy and annoying I stopped watching in the second episode.

While it does taper off some toward the end of the season (they do wrap "Hannah's story") it took me a week before I started watching again..and I only did it out of curiousity - I was invested - not because it was so "good".

BACK TO SPOILER FREE ZONE!

Wrapping up my review, I give season 2 of '13 Reasons Why' a solid C+.

Why?

It was nice to see what happened to everyone after the original story ended but I felt some of the stuff was concluded in such "perfect world" way that when we get to some of things that happen (like a bathroom scene in episode 13 with Tyler) you'll be left wondering if you are still watching the same show. It's either cotton candy or so far left your head is left spinning.

I still love the characters and it was nice to see them, but we didn't need to be spoon-fed an answer to everything. It should've been 1 and done. 

So What Happens Next?

Season 2 concludes in a cliffhanger! So if renewed, we'll be seeing more of Clay and the crew. Will Hannah be in it? We'll have to wait and see!

Would I Recommend This?

I don't have a simple answer.

If we're talking about the actors/acting - amazing! I would absolutely watch a different show/movie based on the fact that one of the actors in this show was in it. They were all that outstanding. 

I am also 1,000,000% behind outlets like this being the catalyst to starting conversations but I definitely feel like this show is not for everyone. The themes dealt with are real and it shouldn't be just the show that educates us...because it IS fiction. The season was overtly violent. I know this show is a spotlight on what's happening in hundreds of schools across the U.S. but as someone well over 25 I was left shook by some of the scenes. The directors called it "radical empathy" - because it's so horrifying it makes you feel bad/relate, but as 'real' as it is ,that will absolutely turn people off.

For the show itself, the first season left us with enough to be at peace. So if you did watch it - you don't HAVE to see the second season to be good. In an effort to bring a conclusion to some storylines, the story itself was over-told and it changed who the characters were. Would the end have been the same if the 2 seasons were flipped? I say no. It was too different from the original. Hannah Baker would still be alive.

Did you watch? What did you think?