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Everything That Went Wrong With Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why

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Netflix’s teen drama 13 Reasons Why is one of those shows which could have been something more another typical teen drama, owing to the sensitivity and relevance of the themes it encompassed. It could have ended on a more positive definitive note, inspiring viewers whose lives themselves have been touched by sexual abuse and murder, directly or indirectly, during the tender phase of high school. Well, it turned out that the series failed to deliver what it initially seemed to have promised.

Let’s take a closer look at everything that went wrong with the show.

Directionless storyline

The first season had gained a huge audience within a very short time of its rollover on Netflix. Hannah Baker commits suicide after being sexually abused and bullied by her fellow students. Clay Jensen, who had a crush on Hannah, comes across a series of tapes recorded her in which she explains her reasons for suicide. The next three seasons dig deeper into the lives remaining characters as further developments took place.

The show lost its direction in the seasons succeeding the first one as it began deviating from the essential theme that captivated viewers to watch upcoming seasons in the first place. The first season was all about the suspense behind Hannah’s suicide and its impact on the lives of her friends, family, and everyone else at Liberty High School. The second season exposed that Hannah Baker was not the only one exploited by Bryce Walker. Moreover, sexual assaulting had been a common practice in Liberty High among a few like Walker and their football coach Rick. But the second season dropped major plot points from the first season which had the potential to continue the storyline without losing direction and focused on building up the murder mystery plot of the third season.

The third season seemed to have lost its way as soon as it took off and the fourth one its futile efforts to wrap the plot up contributed to the storyline’s downhill ride. The series changed its focus on the suspense behind Bryce Walker’s murder as if the characters and viewers were really keen on finding out who killed the assaulter despite knowing everything he had done. The creators attempted to evoke sympathy for the main villain as if he was DC’s Joker. He should have placed behind the bars and justice should have prevailed. He and all others from his gang or at least some of them should have been imprisoned. Instead, Bryce was murdered and that was it. No, that wasn’t it. Clay and his buddies investigate his death and didn’t want to publicize their findings. The experiment of making patches in Bryce’s image destroyed all the reputation that the show had earned from its initial run.

The final season left the fans with a poor aftertaste for the entire series, leaving them with more satisfaction from their what-it-could-have-been versions than the existing storyline.

Spreading the wrong message

Creators failed to perceive that when you are the brainchild of a show exploring socially heavy and sensitive themes, having morally ambiguous protagonists to lead the show means walking of dangerous waters. They have miscalculated the consequences of showing sympathy for the devil in a show where its ethical take is very significant.
Core human values and morality are indispensable aspects of a story when it is dealing with sexual assault, bullying, and murder, especially when all of this involves teenagers. In such a scenario it is important to show that the culprits face the legal consequences of their heinous actions and go to prison. Instead, we see them walking like free men and one of them gets murdered. Coach Rick simply disappears. Monty was framed for a crime that he did not commit but never faced prosecution for physically abusing Tyler. Murder just didn’t feel like the right punishment for Bryce.

Even though rape culture was prominent at Liberty High, we see no countermeasures being taken against it. To add to this gruesome plot, a sympathetic take on such a rapist was nothing but disgusting. Imagine how this affects viewers who themselves have been through adversities faced by Hannah. Ethical ambiguity ended the show on a very depressing note.

The creators were courageous enough to evoke pity for a rapist but were probably afraid to yield the bad guys some proper and legal justice. When a series has the chance to spread hope and positivity in young adults about numerous tabooed and strong topics extremely relevant to the society, all 13 Reasons Why did was to waste this golden opportunity.

By passion I'm a movie and tv show enthusiast. Latest info on movies and tv show is always at my fingertips. By education, I'm a computer geek and a budding software developer. By talent, I'm a writer.

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