13 Reasons Why Season 2 (2018) – An Exploitation of Youth’s Depression

Jadi, kabar terbarunya serial ini akan dilanjutkan oleh Netflix ke Season 3.

Sejak pertama kali saya selesai menonton Season 1 sampai habis, muncul kekhawatiran luar biasa bahwa serial yang mengusung tema depresi, bunuh diri, dan bullying pada remaja ini akan dieksploitasi secara berlebihan karena kesuksesan yang diraih. Berdasarkan novel berjudul sama yang ditulis oleh Jay Asher, 13 Reasons Why menceritakan tentang kehidupan para pemuda di Liberty High School selepas kematian Hannah Baker, seorang pelajarnya yang mati bunuh diri. Suasana sekolah yang penuh duka cita lalu terselimuti sebuah misteri yang gelap saat tiga belas orang pemuda tiba-tiba mendapatkan tiga belas rekaman yang berisi tentang siapa saja orang-orang yang menjadi alasan mengapa Hannah memutuskan untuk mengakhiri hidupnya.

Seperti yang telah saya tulis di ulasan sebelumnya, saya tidak memiliki masalah selain kekhawatiran saya terhadap para penonton muda yang dapat menyalahartikan serial Netflix ini  sebagai sebuah usaha untuk mengglorifikasi aksi bunuh diri. Lalu muncul kabar bahwa serial ini akan dilanjutkan ke Season 2, saya menjadi sedikit skeptis. Banyak kemungkinan yang dapat terjadi, namun saya berusaha tetap optimis. Mungkin saja kelanjutan dari kisah ini dapat memperbaiki kekurangan yang terdahulu. Namun, setelah selesai menyaksikan keseluruhan episode, saya memiliki banyak keresahan negatif yang harus diutarakan. Maka dari itu, saya akan mengulas film ini bersama Shafira, pacar saya yang juga seorang penggemar 13 Reasons Why (Season 1) garis keras. Simak percakapan kami berikut!

  • Tommy : So, Hi Fir. It’s good to finally review something with you!
  • Shafira : It’s an honor! Thank you for having me 🙂
  • Tommy : Of course. It’s my pleasure! So, you’re a big fan of season 1 right?
  • Shafira : I was! Still am. As someone who suffers depression, this first season did have serious triggers and I was very emotional the whole time I was watching it. But, it was so hard for me to explain my feelings and it was somehow…relieving? to see it being explained so detailed and exact in a popular TV show and I relate to it. It was so raw and real, and it made me realise that i dont go through all these feelings alone.
  • Tommy : I see. I understand your feelings. So…at first, what do you expect is coming in season 2?
  • Shafira : Well, I expected them to tie loose ends in this season 2. People kept telling me that it’s wise not to have a second season but I defended the series, since there’s still a lot of potential. I expected them to explain what happened to Alex, what will happen to Tyler and to Justin, answer if Bryce get sentenced for the things he has done and justice has been served. I actually expected the season to not revolve around Hannah anymore, but more like finish what Hannah has started in the first season. I hoped for a little more positivity and love in this season but……. 🙁
  • Tommy : I agree with you. Even tho I was a bit cautious at how season 1 would affect some of them who have survived suicidal attempt, I cannot deny the good intentions of this story by emphasizing the causal effect of high school’s toxic environment and how they are treating it with interesting characters that are delicately written and empathetically acted. Moreover, the directing was solid and every technical aspects exquisitely enhance the emotional impact of the story.
  • Shafira : Yup! Could not agree more with that.
  • Tommy :  And yeah, just like you, even tho I’m extra worried on how it will turned out to be (because the book actually ends in season 1 finale as well and they won’t have any source material to explore), season 2 has a lot to discuss and many rooms to improvise. Particularly about what will happen to Bryce, how the Liberty High School will handle the matter, and is there something worse that lies in the undiscovered side of Hannah’s case. The trailer actually promises something good with all the polaroids concept. But man…they made us expect too much…
  • Shafira : I totally agree with that! The trailer was very promising and I was crossing out the days on my calendar waiting for 18th May. But damn…
  • Tommy : Exactly! That trailer was dope and successfully teased us for something interesting while in fact what they ACTUALLY deliver was a redundant expansion that “cancelled out” their main character (Hannah Baker) while giving no satisfying closure after an exhaustingly dragging first five episodes (which might be intended as a build-up).
  • Shafira : I totally agree to what you just said.
  • Tommy : RIGHT? How do you feel when you have watched the first five episodes, Fir?
  • Shafira : Oh man, the first five episodes was painful to be honest. I was happy to see Alex okay and with a new look and it was interesting that they tried to make it seem as if there were so many stories that wasn’t included in Hannah’s tapes. But they were just plain dragging the story. Yes, at first I thought it was build up too, but in the end they were building up nothing. Tbh I think the whole story behind 5 episodes could have been combined in one or two episodes. They could have finished the whole Tyler story or let us see more of Jessica’s fight for justice instead of dragging the courtroom drama for Hannah which ended with no justice at all.

  • Tommy : I agree! They dragged the story by letting the characters built the connection with each others to bring justice for Bryce but in the end they just made story pointless themselves. I understand they might want to give a depressing impression and kind of message that there are rapists that never get justice served for them just because they are rich, privileged white people endeared by media and are above the law. However, that means they’re cancelling out all the efforts made by all the characters and developing an unnecessarily exploitative, depressing story which intended for season 3.
  • Tommy : I really want to love the whole backstory on Hannah and Zach. I mean…they’re perfectly made for each other. I cannot deny the chemistry between the two of them. Katherine Langford and Ross Butler’s acting were compelling. However if we take a look closer, it heavily impacts on how the audience sees Hannah Baker. She was a victim, but with that summer fling story (and the other undiscovered story about her), Hannah became less and less likeable. Moreover, the subplot about Hannah’s ghost is…why?
  • Shafira : VERY TRUE!!! AND HANNAH AS A GHOST HAHAHAHAH. I have no idea why they decide to make such an important character in the first season (and the book) become so unimportant and irrelevant in the second. All she did was become some sort of conscience for Clay? And how do they explain how clay is talking to Hannah if he’s in public?!!! It all doesnt make sense.
  • Tommy : I KNOW RIGHT HAHAHA. Maybe all they want to do is to depict Clay’s true conscience in a form of Hannah’s ghost but everytime he acted as if Hannah was “really” there made me laughed my ass off. Are the writers have to be this pathetic to made Clay to be insignificantly “insane” in order to emphasize the desperation tone to this show? But if we take a closer look at it, all the story that the writers made (plus Hannah’s appearance as a “ghost”) is purely intended to diminish the importance of Hannah Baker’s character to the whole series and making the other characters more important. I understand that it was made for a more relevant story in season 3 so they can delete Hannah Baker off and focused more on the most likable characters like Tyler, Alex, Zach, Justin, Jessica, and Clay. But that is plain wrong and manipulative because they “cancelled out” the good message they want to deliver just for milking the story.
  • Shafira : Yeah, I guess I kinda have to agree with it. Also, Clay was annoying in this season. I’m getting concerned, I think he’s gone a little…….schizophrenic.
  • Tommy : Goddammit you stole my word, “schizophrenic”, and yes he was annoying as hell.  I really don’t understand why the writer made him so childish in this whole series just so the characters could run aimlessly at first but unintentionally gets into the right decision (eventho the writer doesn’t want to let the happy ending comes).
  • Shafira : Oh dude, 13 reasons isn’t enough to explain why the second season was such a disappointment.
  • Tommy : Damn right. You always win the catchphrase.
  • Shafira : Of course. BUT!!! The best thing about this season is Alisha Boe and Brandon Flynn’s acting. I cannot get enough. I want to cradle Justin into my arms and just treat him right because he’s such a brokenhearted baby boy. He definitely nailed being the fragile, sorry and lost guy his character, Justin, was. Alisha on the other hand, deserves a standing ovation for her acting. She is such a strong woman and that showed in her character even when she had to be the most fragile. It was such a disappointment to me that in the end her fight in court didn’t win against Bryce.
  • Tommy : OH I LOVE THEIR PERFORMANCE AND THAT PARTICULAR SPEECH. Brandon Flynn, Alisha Boe, and both of their characters deserve much better than this far-stretched season has to offer. I really want a spin-off for Justin and Jessica in the same universe with the same atmosphere but without focusing the story on Hannah Baker’s case anymore.
  • Shafira : Yes!!! I’d love a spinoff them! But also! I love how Justin can finally be taken care of with Clay’s parents. I was hoping for him to be with Alex though, I think that would be great considering they are both very likable, but whatever is better for Justin than staying in the streets.

  • Tommy : Now let’s talk about the most disturbingly unnecessary moment, shall we? What do you think about that Tyler and Montgomery scene in season finale?
  • Shafira : Oh…that scene was definitely unnecessary. I mean, it was too graphic and it looks like it doesn’t belong in the series. I get that the writers think that it’s necessary to drive Tyler to be crazy enough and shoot the whole school in the school dance. People also support this idea by saying that this is what bullying actually is and that real people are actually experiencing this. But there’s a thin line between a wake up call and just plain traumatizing an audience.
  • Tommy : I do agree with you. I mean that…I get that it might be the worst kind of bullying some people experienced at school and they want people to be more aware of it. But wouldn’t it be more wise and effective to delve deeper into the root of the issue and depict bullying in the most subtle way possible, because there is exactly no point in making people “feel” what Tyler experienced. In my own experience what makes bullying traumatizing is not the escalating scale of the violence, but rather the humiliation and powerlessness.
  • Shafira : That’s right, Tom. I am also very very very disappointed in Season 2 because they ended the season with so much buildups and more loose ends for another season. They are pushing it too far. Season 2 was already considered unnecessary by a lot of people when it was announced and they’re pushing it with another? I’m a huge fan and still I think this was not a wise choice. They also decided to end it with an open discussion and a cliffhanger where Tyler was about to shoot the whole school, Clay prevented it and then Tony helped him escape. This is not what we need, especially since school shootings are continuously happening in the U.S. Did they even think it through about how this ending would affect people? They legit made it as if it was easy to prevent and it was easy to escape.
  • Tommy: And yes I agree very much when you said that the school shooting build-up was messy and insensitive. They tried to drive 13 Reasons Why to be a kind of indirect Public Service Announcement but they don’t know how to handle the issue well and that is very prone to a very bad misinterpration. Imagine there’s a real school shooting happened and someone runs to the perpretrator and tried to handle the situation but they’re getting shot instead for their heroic attitude inspired by the reckless Clay Jensen. Imagine your friends are trying to keep the potential criminal out of the police. He will risk himself getting shot by an unstable teenager who wields a rifle.
  • Shafira : I agree with everything you said. Bottom line, the finale was such a mess.
  • Tommy : Okay, now what’s your conclusion about 13 Reasons Why Season 2?
  • Shafira : What about you first, Tom?
  • Tommy : My conclusion for season 2 is: a whole unnecessarily misfired season that looks more like it’s milking views from the audience by displaying a horrific act of sexual abuse, discussing sensitive issue without careful treatments, and spinning the characters round and round without giving them enough justice in the end.
  • Shafira : That’s on point and exactly what I thought! Maybe for me it’s a season with a whole lot of potential considering their likable characters, great acting, chemistry and a promising storyline left behind by season 1. Yet all was wasted with unnecessary build ups that lead to nothing satisfactory to the audience and instead feed their curiosity by giving them no justice and no good ending. Well, long story short: Promising trailer, characters, acting and issues, yet utterly disappointing. Even to their biggest fans.
  • Tommy : Absolutely agree 10000% Fir. Thank you, it’s really nice to review this series with its biggest fan!
  • Shafira : Thank you too, Tom! So happy to be a part of this session. Thanks again for having me!
  • Tommy : You’re welcome. Again it’s my pleasure. Love you!
  • Shafira : Love you, too!

Distopiana’s Rating: 2 out of 5.

Author: Tommy Surya Pradana

Kuliah jurusan Hubungan Internasional, kerja di ahensi jadi tukang konten media sosial, ngeblog soal film. Hidup saya emang se-absurd itu.

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