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The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

Should You Watch The Second Season of 13 Reasons Why?
Harshbarger, Michael. “13 Reasons Why I Hate 13 Reasons Why – The Midwest Express – Medium.” Medium, Augmenting Humanity, 5 May 2017,

Netflix released the first season of the highly controversial show, “13 Reasons Why” last March. The series tells the story of a girl, Hannah Baker, who commits suicide and leaves behind 13 tapes directed to the 13 people she blames for her death. The series depicts other issues which teenagers are facing like rape, substance abuse, and bullying. The series depicts these issues professionally, but still realistically. This includes the highly debated suicide scene which made some people question the appropriateness of the show and how the graphic scene would impact young viewers. With all of that in mind, should you watch the recently released second season? Well, my answer for you is yes, but there’s a catch.

The first season left us with a lot of cliffhangers like what happened with some beloved characters and where are they now?

Netflix released a two-minute trailer for the second season of the show on May 8 and whilst it brings back familiar characters, it includes some new faces and new plot lines. The new season was officially released on May 18 and many watched it the first weekend when it came out.  

Something the second season retains from the first is the graphic depictions of violence and other inappropriate actions and events which take place between the characters. The first season’s most controversial depictions include the scenes which show alcohol abuse, drug abuse, rape, and suicide. In the second season, there are also depictions of drug abuse along with extreme physical violence against peers and weapon use.

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The directors of the show also have a tendency of depicting the adults in the series as not helpful. “I think that the portrayal of adults in the show, especially the counselor, discourages students to seek help when they’re feeling like some characters in the show,” school counselor, Megan Hallam said.

Putting all negative things aside, the series has started conversations and has sparked some questions at school. “Many students more openly discuss what they have seen in the show in Life Skills classes,” Hallam said.

Even if the series has sparked more conversations regarding mature topics, Hallam said that the series fails at discussing issues that need to be addressed. “There are no healthy resolutions in the series and the portrayal of unhelpful adults doesn’t really help.”

The concerns of the show’s appropriateness have also had an impact in middle school as the middle school counselor, Marilyn Wilson Odhiambo sent out an email to middle school parents. The email addressed the concerns sparked by the show and supplied students with help resources and conversation starters for parents when watching the show with their kids.

The plot of the second season includes characters testifying in a court for the case of Hannah Baker’s parents versus the school district. The tone of the episodes is intense and a lot of mature and new information is presented rapidly in every episode. Because of that factor, if you do decide to watch the series, don’t binge-watch it like you would any other Netflix show. Take your time and watch an episode a day with about a day in between the episodes so your brain has some thinking room in regards to the content you just consumed.

Overall, the show has many pros and cons and there is much to consider when deciding whether you should watch the show.  If you are easily triggered to inappropriate content, I would advise you to stay away, but if you still want to watch it with that factor in mind, watch it with a trusted adult with who you can start a conversation with when watching the episodes.

-By Karlo Vidovic


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