After season one, fans of 13 Reasons Why — Netflix’s controversial drama about a teenager who commits suicide and then explains her decision posthumously through a series of recorded messages — generally fell into two camps. There were those who felt that continuing the story of Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) beyond the confines of Jay Asher’s novel would diminish its power as a cautionary tale — and then there were those who loved the show (and its extraordinarily beautiful cast) and simply wanted more.
Of course, it would be foolish to expect Netflix, or any network, to sacrifice a hit show in the name of narrative purity — all we can do is hope that the writers will be able to expand their characters’ worlds in way that feels authentic and entertaining rather than cynical and makeshift.
Though 13 Reasons Why can sometimes be as exasperating and melodramatic as teenagers themselves, the second season nets out as a success despite some overly-instructive moments and one truly baffling storytelling device. (Important note: We will be discussing said storytelling device, which is an inconsequential spoiler, later in this review. You have been warned.)
Five months after the release of Hannah’s tapes revealed an ecosystem of bullying and sexual assault at Liberty High, the Baker family’s lawsuit against the school is about to go to trial. This year, 13 Re