Review: Season Two of 13 Reasons Why on Netflix

“Anger is an energy.”

Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why returned on Friday and while it’s hard not to mention the unfortunate timing of the release, this isn’t an opinion piece about gun control (although it very easily could be). While we grieve the latest school massacre and wait for the next one (because until things change, there will always be a next one) here are 13 reasons why you should watch season two of 13 Reasons Why:

1.   It’s extremely well written and directed and the performances are phenomenal (Justin Prentice as bad guy/predator Bryce Walker is a standout, which is not easy given the talent on the show).

2.   The music. Great mix again, it’s nice to hear some truly classic angsty rock like The Replacements, PIL, Echo and the Bunnymen, Husker Du, etc. here. This is just as good as Season One.

3.   This is not an ABC Afterschool Special or a John Hughes movie. Consider yourself warned.

4.   Kate Walsh’s crazy, yet incredibly emotive, eyes. Powerful performance.

5.   Trying to determine exactly what physical, psychological or social malady that these teenagers DON’T confront (by my estimation, the only three missing are AIDS, sex trafficking and pedophilia).

6.   The parents aren’t portrayed as complete rubes. There are some issues with the characters falling along gender stereotypes, but the adults are written and performed with sensitivity and respect. This isn’t a “teen versus adults” environment.

7.   Whether you have kids or not (I don’t), the show reminds you and helps you to understand that the situations teenagers face today are profoundly different from the ones you may have faced growing up.

8.   Watching Brandon Flynn’s channel his inner Luke Perry for his portrayal of Justin Foley.

9.   There are some moments of levity. “You parent’s will follow in one of your other Prius’.” (just what is the plural of Prius? Priui?)

10.  13 Reasons Why is awkward, uncomfortable and forces you to look at things you’d rather not. In other words, it’s a lot like being a teenager.

11.  It reminds us that there is a word of teenagers that exist and that their voices matter and need to be heard.

12.  If you’re open to it, and despite the subject matter, it can make you remember the power of friendship and the importance of love and community. 

13.  While I’m reluctant to say it, I will. The show is important. It’s rare that a television show can pull this kind of gravitas off. 13 Reasons Why does.

Is this second season as good as the first? That’s subjective and I’m not sure it’s relevant (but it’s just as good). What’s more important is that the show exists.

This isn’t a show about class or race; it’s about the modern teen experience and 13 Reasons Why does an excellent job of capturing it. All of it.

Don’t ignore this show if you have teens. They’re GONNA watch it. Talk about it with them. 

Is 13 Reasons Why worth your time? Yes. Definitely.

Originally posted on May 21, 2018