Series Review: 13 Reasons Why, Season 3

13 reasons why season 3Let me just start by saying that I’m not a quitter. In fact, I usually force myself to finish things I’ve started, if and only if I see any value in them. Unfortunately, I don’t see much value in the third season of 13 Reasons Why (you can also read my reviews of season 1 and season 2), which is why I stopped watching it after 5 episodes. I did read a lovingly crafted season recap, though just to make sure I wasn’t being unfair. Well, I wasn’t.

I don’t feel I need to tell you what this series is about because if you’re reading the review of season 3, you’re most probably familiar with the first two seasons. However, let me just remind you of Bryce, the Monster. Bryce as you surely remember has raped 2 girls, for sure (and we don’t know how many more) and the creators of the TV show spent a lot of screen time showing us how horrible and beyond forgiveness he was. Only that they changed their mind about it in season 3 and all of a sudden everyone keeps reminding us how Bryce is also a human being and capable of change. As much as I agree that having done something terrible doesn’t make you a terrible person, the sudden change of heart in the script seems weird to say the least.
Unfortunately for Bryce, it’s too late for him to change because he’s murdered in season 3 (not a spoiler!). In some weird and confusing timeline narrative of the past and the present we learn slowly who could have killed him and why. Seeing that he’s raped women and hurt a number of people there are of course numerous possibilities of who the the murderer could be.

The main “detectives” in the case are, yet again teenagers. Boring and forever a virgin Clay this time teams up with Ani.
Ani is a daughter of a caretaker of Bryce’s grandfather and lives with Bryce in one house. Her mother is originally from Kenya but she’s spent years living in the UK and that’s where her daughter was brought up. For an undisclosed reasons they both moved to the US. I’m not sure how common it is as an immigration story (I always thought the UK was a pretty nice and welcoming place to live for immigrants but then Brexit happened so who knows). In any case, that’s not my main source of problem with the character. The main thing is that Ani hasn’t been there for the events of the last two seasons and for her to appear out of the blue and give everyone her Yoda-like words of wisdom is quite annoying.
She’s created as a perfectly objective character who isn’t concerned about things such as your past or what people say about you. She only “sees what’s in front of her eyes” and therefore is what we’d all ideally be but aren’t.
She’s also sort of into Clay and he’s definitely into her but for the third time, just like it happened with Hannah and Sheri, he’s being both awkward and unlucky (let’s also not forget Skye!).

As if solving a murder mystery wasn’t enough for teenagers, the characters we know from the last two seasons are busy literally babysitting Tyler. He, after all, wanted to kill everyone during a failed school shooting in the finale of season 2.
Instead of reporting the whole incident to the police, Clay, Toni, Jessica, Alex, Justin and others decide to help him to sort himself out (WHAT?). They send him to a school counsellor to talk about his issues and are nice to him, pretending that the whole taking turns at hanging out after school with Tyler idea isn’t forced.
Now, I don’t know whether you remember being a teenager or know many of them but the last things kids at this age are, is nice and capable of pulling something like this off. Let alone, that it’s simply irresponsible to put the idea of “helping” the shooter to kids who are actually quite likely to deal with an active shooter in their lives.

There are many other decisions of the script writer(s) that are at least questionable. A number of characters disappears entirely with no explanation as of what happened to them (I mean there are supposed to attend the same high school so surely we would at least see them once or twice).
There are also some issues that are explored that are relevant to teenagers these days but discussed very superficially (coming out or steroid use just to quote two). Honestly, they just seem to be there for some additional plot twists and surprises more than for anything else.
It makes me feel sad because season 1 seems to have been made with a different purpose in mind. Apparently, even the controversial suicide scene has been cut by now to ensure that the message was responsible.

When it comes to responsibility in season, 13 Reasons Why try to do all sort of disclaimers, encouraging kids to talk to adults rather than take things in their own hands. There’s even a website with resources they keep advertising 13 Reasons Why Info.
Washing their hands, much? Surely, a better idea would be just to make another season of a series that would teach kids something useful instead of coming up with some crazy overblown scenario just for some additional action and tension.
All in all, it’s a terrible season. Too much incredible drama, too much of everything! Worst of all, it’s not even entertaining guilty pleasure. It’s just boring and annoying.

Have you seen 13 Seasons Why? What was your favorite series when you were a teenager? Do you think there’s a certain social responsibility in making series for teenagers? 

 

14 comments

    • Interestingly the “more on wordpress.com” spot below this post features a post by a woman who legitimately believes that Satan is real and runs Netflix and 13 Reason’s Why is a plot to get as many children to kill themselves as possible. I love the internet.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I watched season 2 more out of compulsion than anything else but it really wasn’t terrible, especially that I remember the horror of watching season 3 (a few episodes of it, at least).
      Season 1 was very good and I certainly could relate to Hannah seeing just bad things around her. Parents and adults tell you it all shall pass when you’re a teenager but when you’re bullied or ostracised every day it’s tough to keep strong thinking that one day when you’ll leave school and things will be better.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was only bullied for one year in middle school but badly. In high school I had teachers bullying us (oldschool disciplinarians who felt they should remind us we’re worth nothing.).
        I contemplated suicide a lot but didn’t know where to get sleeping pills from and anything else seemed to drastic.
        What Hannah didn’t fortunately wouldn’t fly – I tried to do scarring to be cool and make people pay attention to me but didn’t like the pain so gave up on it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well I’m glad it didn’t become a habit! That is a lifelong reminder that you don’t want to have. In your other comment you mentioned that someone said they didn’t like you writing about your “mental problems” but honestly have you ever met anyone who doesn’t have some sort of issue? Nobody makes it through childhood unscathed by life.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think this particular person was projecting. She’s never explored her own issues and she has a Santa’s bag of them so I think she was annoyed that someone could take the liberty to talk about their problems.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I only watched the first season…I think I attempted to watch the second season but it didn’t really grab my attention.

    With the first season, I thought it was good in that suicide isn’t an issue which gets so much attention in popular media (or wasn’t so much the case at that time) and people were curious about the issue so they had a captive audience. I think people were very curious about the issue – I saw a lot of books about it when I was scouting on Sunday.

    I think kids these days are very different. I don’t think suicide was so much a reality when I was growing up. Sure, people had problems and naturally, being teenagers, most of these were blown out of proportion. I went to a girls only school so bitchiness was on point and I think almost everyone toyed with eating disorders at some point or another but no-one took such drastic measures (perhaps the worst was one person being hospitalized because of an eating disorder). Also, having limited access to men probably meant that my experiences as a teenager were a bit more sanitized. I’m not minimising the seriousness of the issue but I think kids are more exposed to these things. I wouldn’t have had a clue where to start had I felt suicidal as a teenage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, second season was more of a typical teenage drama story and third season just teenage trash TV.

      I think people don’t understand people who kill themselves and Hannah’s story was great in explaining how you feel everything is shit and nothing will ever get better. It’s a terrible mindset to be in but a lot of kids go through that.

      Really? I knew a lot of people who were seriously considering suicide, some who’d tried it, but no one who managed. Lots of people I knew cut themselves as well, mostly girls from “good” families.
      Fuck, I myself was suicidal for a long time. As I explained to ceponatia, I didn’t know where to get sleeping pills and I was scared to just cut my wrists, though. I also drank a lot with other kids so that was sort of helping and eventually I became one of the popular kids so life got a bit better.
      It seems like you were quite lucky and had a very sheltered teenage life. I’m quite surprised seeing that teenage pregnancies in the UK are a big issue. Did you go to a very posh school?
      I even knew girls from a girl school run by nuns who would get pregnant on New Year’s Eve parties and such (basically the one and only time they were allowed to hang out with boys) because they were so unenlightened and they didn’t know what sex was about. From my environment lots of kids were having sex but they used contraception and sometimes mothers knew and would get them on the pill.
      The biggest issue were eating problems among girls, for sure and we had millions of talks about healthy eating cause teachers would pick up on girls losing weight. Also, knew some people self-medicating depression using their parents meds.

      Like

      • I think people have one of two images of the Brits … we are either posh twats that shag pigs and speak the Queen’s English or we are chavs that wear adidas trackies and spread our legs for whoever and get knocked up and have 10 different kids by 10 different men. Both types obviously do exist but I think I only know 1 person from school who had a kid at 18.

        When I was young I went to a rough school – having done a arbitrary Facebook stalk I see a number of people I was in school with then have grown up to be the chat type of Brit. Then my parents saw sense a found me a better school. It wasn’t a private school so we didn’t pay fees but we had to pass an exam to get in. I think the biggest pressures for us (even more than fat issues) was performing well in academically …. I felt thick if I got a B, imagine what would have become of me when had I failed matric.

        I also think Brits have the whole stiff upper lip thing which either means we sweep issues under the carpet or we suck it up and get on with things. I think the Brits are very behind the times when it comes to mental healthy and therapy. Apparently, the new generation are a bit more in tune with that but I think most people 30 or above would dismiss such things as being too ‘American’.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sure there’s plenty in between but even from my private schools there were two chicks pregnant by 18.

        Yeah, academic performance was a big one but I was an A student until high school when I became a rebel and “didn’t care”. Felt sorely sorry in my matric year but still managed to do very well and get into University. I think my mother would have murdered me, if I failed a year like my step sister, though.

        That’s actually terrible news to a kid that’s really struggling. If they don’t know where to look for help and there’s no social acceptance of trying to look for help, they’re more likely to end up sorting things our for themselves. Maybe Brit kids are happier or something? It’s not the worst country to live in.
        Just had a look at the stats and the suicide rates even now that they’re higher are still pretty low: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9526712/teen-suicide-parents/

        Liked by 1 person

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