TV Review: 13 Reasons Why (Season 2)
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Even if you haven't seen 13 Reasons Why, you've definitely heard of it. An adaptation of Jay Asher’s novel of the same name, the Netflix original received an outpour of criticism and backlash upon its initial release in 2017 due to its graphic depiction of numerous controversial themes. Adapted by Brian Yorkey, the first season follows the same structure as the book: After Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) tragically takes her own life, she leaves behind thirteen cryptic cassette tapes that ultimately explain her reasons for committing suicide; with each individual tape focusing on a different peer who played a part in the situation. The story is told though both present day and flashback sequences, mainly from the perspective of Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette), a close friend of Hannah’s. With help - and hindrance - from Hannah’s parents and the other characters involved, Clay attempts to configure the truth behind the death of his late friend. The show was heavily scrutinised, with many expressing that the depiction glorified and romanticised suicide, revenge, and depression, creating a false image and misrepresentation of mental illness. Other people praised the show for bringing awareness to the sensitive subjects, and presenting an opportunity to openly talk about and discuss them. The finale of season one answered many of the questions behind what happened to Hannah and why, giving the audience a sense of closure - despite the problematic journey. So when it was revealed that there would be a second season, many people were left wondering why. Set five months after the final events of season one, the focal point of the second season revolves around the court trial between Hannah’s parents and Liberty High, as Hannah’s parents (Kate Walsh and Brian d'Arcy James) try to prove that the school, and it’s lack of support, was complicit in their daughters death.
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