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Some thoughts on the new season of 13 Reasons Why

When I watched the first season of “13 Reasons Why”, I was enthralled. I found the story captivating - especially, in the way that it was told. The slow drip-drip of revelation exposing the individuals involved in the “reasons why” Hannah made the decision that she made. It was easy to identify with her pain. In this season, we learned that our actions (even seemingly innocuous ones) can have monumental affect on another.

The second season was equally captivating. Perhaps, in some respects, even more than the first. In Season Two, we got the perspectives of the individuals who stood accused of the events that caused Hannah to make her decision. More importantly, we learned that Hannah was not just the victim, but a flawed individual as well. This is something that is true-to-life. Nobody is a hundred percent good or a hundred percent evil. Each and every one of us are flawed individuals who sometimes make good choices and sometimes bad ones. In this season, we also learned how actions can be misinterpreted when one does not have the full picture. We learned that choices and decision made based on an incomplete picture can have disastrous consequences.

Those two seasons of the show when put together gave a complete picture of the events surrounding the decision that Hannah made. Whether we agreed or not with the choices that the characters made, we understood them.

I have been watching Season Three. I have not completed it, but I have to say, I am not finding it as captivating as the prior seasons. It feels as if the show has lost its way. Perhaps, when I finish the season, I may find it comes back to its roots (the exploration of the characters) and there are times when it seems that they trying to portray the character of the main antagonist (Bryce) in a way that the audience can understand him, but, at least so far, they are failing. It seems that they are trying too hard to tackle social issues to the detriment of the characters. Thus far, they have explored guns in school and deportation of illegal immigrants, but have not done so in a way that informs the character development. It’s almost as if they are more interested in virtue signaling than in that character development. For me, at least, it was the complexity of the characters portrayed in the first two seasons that so enthralled me. I find the telling of the social issues in this season to be without nuance, too simplistic, and a little too, for want of a better phrase, after-school-special like.

I will continue to watch and finish out the season in the hope that it returns to the qualities of the fist two season that I found so fascinating.

Fingers crossed.

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