13 Reasons Why - Season 2 (TV Review)
13 Reasons Why returns with it's second season after an explosive first. 13 Reasons Why is the story of Hannah Baker's suicide and how it affected the lives of everyone connected to her. After she leaves a series of tapes behind Clay and others begin to piece the mystery that was Hannah's suicide. The series stars Dylan Minnette, Katherine Langford, Christian Navarro, Alisha Boe, Brandon Flynn, Justin Prentice, Ross Butler, and Derek Luke.
After a slow revealing finale to season one of 13 Reasons Why we pick up with our Liberty High classmates after the aftermath of a heart-wrenching first season. For this review we will touch upon some minor spoilers but for the most part focus on story, characters, and message of the show this season [you've been warned]. Picking up a few months after the season one finale, it seems things are quiet for the most part. Clay has moved on, Bryce is still walking the halls of Liberty High without consequence, and Alex is in recovery. This season focus' on the trial between the Baker's vs the School District for failing to help Hannah when she was reaching out for help. If you thought the tapes were revealing, wait until you hear what the student's said under oath. More secrets and details are revealed about Hannah and the intertwining lives she affected. The show does a great job of letting each episode and subsequently each character tell their story, their truth, their experience at Liberty High and how they connect to Hannah. This season was a bit easier to get through, we already know how and why Hannah dies but it's the actions of everyone else that sometimes leaves the show a little unsettling. Maybe that's what the show wanted to show and tell, real unsettling tales of things that actually do happen in the real world. What the high school experience is for some kids and how kids think and view the world as they develop and change in it. The writing is solid across the board, Clay and Jessica have some of the more difficult scenes to play out but not far behind are Zach and Tyler who also have a great deal of screen time in this season.
Clay as a character doesn't change much, his faith is tested during the trial as he begins to learn more about Hannah. Clay is the only character who doesn't have to make exponential changes to his character. He is less naive but he also wrestles with his mind when Hannah appears to him. Dylan did a great job finding that character and staying in that mind set. Alisha Boe did an incredible job bringing a new dimension to Jessica. Standouts this season were Ross Butler as Zach Dempsey and Miles Heizer as Alex Standall who both become different characters from the outset of season 2. A lot of the plot and story is moved forward by characters so revealing too much will spoil the season but here are our final thoughts.
Overall, a lot growth with characters we didn't think we would care for in season one. Unlikely friendships between characters we never thought would get along. A scary and traumatizing moment in the season finale that will make question right and wrong. Lastly, the storytelling is compelling and the writing is heartfelt and handled with much care.
Comment below and let us know what you thought of season two of 13 Reasons Why.