I’m not going to lie; I was one of those people who as soon as they heard that 13 Reasons Why was back, immediately got home and started watching it. It wasn’t long ago when I shared with you my impressions on season 1. So when season 2 came out, I didn’t just binge-watch; I ate up every episode like a fricking quesito, sin joder. But if I have to be honest with you, the last episode caught me by surprise. The show itself was very hardcore. Producers did their due diligence, and each chapter opens with a warning about the sexual content, the violence, and explicit nature of the show. In the series, Clay Jensen might have read Hannah’s list of 11 reasons why she shouldn’t die, but that’s not what this blog is about. I’m going to talk about reasons why the show wasn’t doing it for me this season.
1) The #MeToo movement
I’ve got to say, the scene where we hear all the women’s voices in that courtroom was very bold and symbolic, but to an extent, I feel like the show bashes the movement by contradicting the strength in speaking up. Once Jessica is done testifying against Bryce Walker, the court gives him a small consequence rather than a punishment for rape, and it goes to show that: If you speak up against your sexual harasser, there’s no real punishment or progress?
2) The truth doesn’t necessarily help you.
The stories that the kids were talking about were real, and they were (for the most part) true. But what is the show teaching people when the victims speak up against their rapist and the rapist goes home with a slap on the wrist? Is it teaching them that they should not go through the hassle and not speak up because the court isn’t going to believe them anyway?
3) Threats can keep you quiet.
The teens in the show are very hesitant to show any piece of evidence that they might have, to not be in trouble with the office or to get them to testify any further. The threats that the teens receive range from death threats to threats that promise permanent damage to their reputation. They stay quiet regardless because of fear. Is this teaching kids that they are capable of keeping someone quiet with a threat?
4) The official protocol doesn’t equal action.
The school is very adamant in the courtroom when they speak of their no-tolerance policy and the protocols that they have to follow for bullying and harassment situations. If this is a problem that is going on in schools, to what extent is the school responsible? The school does a terrible job at taking action with the occurrences at the school and the problems that their students are involved in. Could this be teaching other students that they shouldn’t bother speaking to the school because the school won’t listen?
5) Suicide is an option.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very much against suicide, but what is this show teaching us about suicide? It doesn’t necessarily glamorize it, but it does give out the idea that even if somebody decides to go through with it, they can still be in charge of what people do and say. What?
I can’t wrap up this POV without addressing that violently graphic bathroom scene in episode 13, nor the misleading solutions to dealing with school shooters (grab their weapon and call a friend to pick them up). Unnecessary, misinformed and reckless is all I have to say. Fortunately, I decided to watch this show with my mom, and she was brave enough to watch it with me. We’ve talked out all the topics in depth, and we’ve discussed the plus sides and the negative aspects of the show and all of the what-if scenarios. But what about the people who are watching this alone? What about the people who dismiss the disclaimers? What about those that are more sensitive and are getting the wrong ideas? What could have been a great show has turned, like many others, into a shock-seeking production that lost its’ focus. No redeeming value, no lessons, and not enough reasons to make me watch a new season.