Why the latest series of 13 Reasons Why is worse than Season 1
Oh look, another season of triggering scenes
Last week, Netflix released the second season of the controversial teen-drama 13 Reasons Why. After the mixed reviews of the first season where the protagonist, Hannah Baker, committed suicide and left behind cassette tapes explaining 13 different reasons why she decided to take her own life due to the issues that arose in her high school life, this season fast forwards five months later and the official enquiry into Hannah's death is underway with Hannah's parents taking legal action against the school accusing them of not doing enough to prevent Hannah's death.
After the first season, I didn't really think there would be anything else the writers and producers could do to shock the audience but after the final scenes of the second season, I was proven wrong. Let's work our way through this shit-show to explain why this season was even more problematic than the last.
Bryce Walker is a rapist on multiple accounts and gets off with a lousy punishment
In the first season, amongst the many graphic scenes shown, one of them is Bryce Walker – the popular rich kid at Liberty High – raping Hannah in a hot tub at his house party. Another graphic scene is, again, Bryce Walker – the stereotypical Jock who everyone worships even though he's the absolute worst and treats girls like a piece of meat – is at Jessica Davis' house party, who is his best friend's girlfriend yet decides he wants some "fun" of his own and continues to rape Jessica on her own bed when she's passed out unconscious because she was so intoxicated.
But wait, here he is in the lated series happily walking about the hallways of Liberty High like he doesn't have a care in the world while Jessica roams the halls being called a 'drunk slut' due to the rumours Bryce created to prevent it being released that he raped her.
Which doesn't send a good message to any rape victims who are considering coming forward
However, what really pissed me off about this was after everyone was aware of Bryce's actions and he was in front of numerous witnesses, lawyers, a Jury, a Judge, Hannah's family, his OWN parents, he still managed to lie through his teeth and come out with a only three months probation for raping Jessica. What kind of message does this send to rape victims who want to step forward and make their attacker pay for what they did??
The stereotypes in this season were too much to handle
Let's talk about Tyler: the camera boy who is accused of being a pervert in this first season and is disliked by every character in the show. In Season 2, Tyler teams up with the "punk" kids of the school to get revenge on all the Jocks who have tormented them during high school – how cliché.
The scene in the bathroom was unnecessarily traumatic and triggering
This all results with Tyler being taken away to a Correctional Facility and comes back months later, finally feeling in a better place and genuinely sorry for his actions against all his fellow classmates. This innocence is ripped away from him in, quite possibly, the most unnecessary and most graphic scene of the entire series: By attacking him in the bathroom, pushing his head down the toilet and then forcing a mop broom up his rear-end whilst another covers his mouth to muffles his screams.
They trivialised gun violence and school shootings for the benefit of 'entertainment'
In retaliation to the three people who did this, Tyler goes to the Spring Fling dance with the intention of opening fire on all of his classmates. What kind of message does this send out? That the loner student is the one with the most problems so they're the most likely suspect for a mass shooting? Or does it suggest that because I had a disgusting, horrible ordeal with three people, everyone has to suffer the consequences of my retaliation? Either way, it felt unnecessary to put in a school-shooting scene, especially when there's been such a rise in incidents this year.
This show does not create a support group for people struggling with mental health issues
The show's key concept is get people talking about mental health, but the portrayal of mental health in this series is all wrong. At the beginning of this season, there is a spoken disclaimer by the different characters in the show talking about the real-life issues the shows address but if you suffer from these 'real-life issues' then this programme might not be for you.
Because it's actually too triggering, and reinforces the stigma around mental health
Coming from someone who suffers from depression and severe anxiety issues, you're telling me that a programme you are creating to raise awareness about my illness may not be suitable for me to watch because it might trigger my illness and make me feel even lower about myself? That, in itself, is not starting a conversation about mental health, it is creating a shock factor. By portraying these graphic scenes and creating the idea that just because you confided in one person about how you're feeling who didn't help so you feel like the only outcome is suicide, glorifies it as the only successful outcome to stop the pain you are feeling. By creating a show that depicts the issues of mental health but making it too graphic for people suffering with mental health to actually watch it creates a stigma that we cannot handle ourselves.
There are so many negative aspects about this show and the controversies it creates for us who actually suffer from mental health issues. Please consider before you watch this show as it could have a detrimental effect. For me, it did not positively raise awareness for mental health, I didn't feel supported and for me, this should not have been allowed to be broadcasted.