It was unclear why there was going to be another season of the show other than it was very popular so why not milk it for all it is worth. Parents expressed concern over the topic of suicide and the necessity to show such a graphic scene of Hannah taking her own life. Other concerns involved whether or not the show glorified suicide and failed to establish that suicide is not the answer. The show addressed these concerns for the second season by filming the cast urging vulnerable people to seek help instead of ending their lives.

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For those unfamiliar with the show. It centers around the tragic suicide of Hannah Baker who takes her own life but before doing so records 13 tapes which name the people whose actions contributed to her final decision to end it all. Hannah Baker experienced a series of nasty blows including extreme bullying, slut-shaming, public humiliation, heartache, betrayal, and sexual assault. Those named on the tapes desperately try to keep their secrets but struggle to hide from the truth, especially when the tapes land in the hands of our main protagonist, Clay Jenson, played by Dylan Minnette. Through the eyes of this adolescent teen, we fall in love with Hannah and strive for justice for what happened to her.

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Rewind to Season 1

The first season is set in a small town which echoes the small world that teenagers exist in. Teenagers live among other clueless teenagers convinced they have all the answers. They cast themselves and others using a limited supply of personalities that form groups in order to survive the shark tank that is high school. They experience extreme heartache before a lived experience that teaches you that there are more fish in the sea.

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They listen to popular music about feeling alone and misunderstood. Life as a teenager is hard and always has been. The show perfectly portrays this environment. Younger audiences can relate as they still live and attempt to operate within this sphere, whereas older audiences fail to identify. This is why the show is more popular with younger audiences.

Netflix stayed true to its strengths and delivered well written but addictive content that held viewers interest and ensured that this was binge-watching material.

Katherine Langford, who plays Hannah Baker, did a fantastic job of showing Hannah’s strength and vulnerability and was deserving of her Golden Globe nomination. Her character is likable even though she can be moody and negative, but understandably she does have a mixture of crazy hormones coursing through her system. Her fellow castmates also do a fantastic job of creating suspense and urgency making their secrets more appealing.

The show had no weak points when it comes to casting, writing, and directing. The only negatives were that Hannah’s suicide and rape scenes were horrific and could have been unnecessary to portray them that way.

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Fast forward to the current season

The season has been just as popular as the first and follows the same addictive binge-watching properties as the first. Again a strong team has been assembled to dive deeper into catastrophic ripple effect Hannah’s death has caused. Her parent's marriage has broken down, a former friend is disabled from a failed suicide attempt, another friend is suffering from the after-effects of sexual assault from the same rapist, and another is displaying concerning psychological problems.

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Most of the unfortunate 13 try to get back to a normal existence by hiding the truth or keeping a distance, but again the trial into Hannah’s death has secrets revealed in court that forced the truth to come out.

Clay Jensen is given an insight into more secrets. This time it is in the form of disturbing polaroids that reveal that Hannah is not the only one. He speaks to Hannah as if she was alive in order to express his anger and confusion which functions well as we an audience can relate to his confusion and hunger to uncover the truth. Clay is incapable of moving on and is willing to endure whatever it takes to get justice.

"13 Reasons Why" showcases Hannah's mother Kate Walsh's talent perfectly. She skillfully holds her composure but reveals her intense anger toward the opposing lawyer and certain members on the stand when they lie about her child. She is able to express a mixture of extreme emotions while remaining completely believable.

The negative of this season is that some scenes containing sexual content are difficult to watch and may not be appropriate for a show that is popular with younger fans.

What questions are promoted by both '13 Reasons Why?'

The show has sparked much-needed discussions concerning mental health and depression.

  • What would happen if I committed suicide?
  • Does any of my actions encourage someone to take their own life? If so, How would that make me feel? Could I live with myself?
  • Is there an effective structure in place to that successfully helps these people?
  • Does our justice system result in justice?
  • Are progressive methods that attempt to protect the bully actually making things worse for the victim?
  • Do we have the right people in the right jobs that could make a difference to vulnerable teens?
  • What would I do if a friend killed themselves?
  • What would I do if my child killed themselves? How can I prevent them from attempting something so horrible?
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