The latest and final season of 13 Reasons Why is out on Netflix. The teen drama that started telling the story of how Hannah Baker took the dramatic decision of ending her life turned into a whole different show after season 2. After the disastrous season 3, here’s why I think it’s not worth watching season 4.
It keeps happening. For the last three years, while checking the trailers of new and incoming series and after seeing another trailer of a new season of 13 Reasons Why, I kept asking myself: why? How are they doing it? The show was all about the story of a troubled girl that decided to commit suicide and everything revolved around the search for the truth, which we found out at the end of that very season. After that, the show has been dragged along because of the success of the first season, but after that managed to receive several critics, especially with season 3 and season 4. The lack of a solid base (the novel) behind the script is extremely evident: after Hanna’s death the show-runners had to invent everything to make the story go on, creating some plot holes inserting some story-lines that didn’t clearly happen during the events of season one (like Hannah’s and Zack short relationship…), events that felt like add-ons or retcons. Let’s get to the points, though: here are the reasons why I decided not to keep watching the show, and I will try to keep it as much spoiler free as I can, but beware that there will be some spoilers (even though some of them are in the trailers for season 3 and season 4)
1- The title
The show is called 13 Reasons Why for a reason: after the first season, the title completely lost meaning and they could have changed the name without anyone even noticing it. The show’s original title is linked to the 13 tapes that Hannah left behind, and each one of those tape talked about one reason why she killed herself. Should have the story gone forward, with the title and the general plot losing their main reason to exist?
2- The worst teenagers ever
Every single character in the show is a negative one and none of them shines for moral values, exception made maybe for Clay, which is the only one who is definitely closer to the reality of a teenager. Everyone else is just selfish and cruel, but the worst thing is that they all pretend to be friends with each other at the end of every season, just to end up with more secrets and misdeeds the season after. These teens could be the most toxic characters joint all together that I have ever seen: not a single one of them acts in a selfless way in the whole series.
3- The adults
Am I the only one who believes that the adults are just complete idiots in this show? None of them acts like they should in certain situations but they do the completely opposite thing, with Mr Porter being the first in line: the way he handles the tragic circumstances of Hannah’s death and its aftermaths it is just ridiculous.
4- Suspension of disbelief
Are we really supposed to believe that in a matter of a couple of years some teenagers are going through so many problems, deaths and crimes? There is a certain limit that you shouldn’t cross when writing a story and they did, unfortunately, multiple times. Suicide, rapes, murders, shooting, bullying, stealing… There’s nothing that these group of teenagers didn’t do.
5. Bryce Walker
The whole incipit of season 3 just doesn’t work: it takes two whole episodes to reveal something that they already told us in the trailers. Still, we are forced to see everyone wondering where Bryce is and what could have happened to him, while we already know the answer. Plus, the fact that they are trying to make a martyr out of him during the whole season it is one of the most unbelievable things of the series: Bryce was still a person, and certainly didn’t deserve the end he met, but he was no saint. Are we supposed to forget that he was a serial raper and that he was the final reason for Hannah’s suicide? Does anyone really empathize with him? I really don’t understand why that they tried to “glorify” his character during season 3: Bryce definitely had problems and needed to receive some help, but he committed some cruel actions, and the tries to make him look as a victim of the society aren’t justified. Bryce is a wrong life model for the teenagers watching, and it shouldn’t be the protagonist of a redemption.
This is a big one. Every season there seems to be someone to threaten the guys. Photographs, “bloody” messages, minatory letters: there is always someone who “knows what they did”. From there, then, our despicable heroes try to find out who this person is and to avoid personal troubles. Same picture, different colors: every season after season 1 has that special dejavu feeling that only 13 Reasons Why can give you.
7. Deaths, deaths, and more deaths…
This has become a constant in the series: every season, there has to be at least one of the main characters dying at some point. There shouldn’t be anything wrong with this, death is a natural part of human life, if this wouldn’t raise so many questions on how in a group of teenagers there are so many catastrophic events that lead to the death of several of them. Quite unrealistic, I’d say, and just the excuse to bring forward the messed up mystery feelings of the series, among with the sense of guilt of the characters: a recurrent theme that is present since season 1.
Have you ever seen so many teenagers hiding such dark secrets in every season? The fact that high-school kids can have this huge amount of hidden evil in the closet is just terrifying and so unrealistic. The first season was justifiable and still quite true: anyone can imagine those things happening to a common teenager in his school years, unfortunately. After that, exaggeration is the word that dominates the lives of these kids. Who cares if it ends up being unrealistic and not believable?
9. No empathy with the characters
Maybe it’s just me, but I couldn’t develop any kind of affection towards the main characters of the series, mostly because some of the reasons I already mentioned. I can’t explain myself how is it possible to feel some kind of connection to such bad scripted characters that keep getting stuck within their bad actions, secrets and selfishness. To feel some kind of empathy with a character, this one must be felt as real: that’s not the case about 13 Reasons Why characters.
10. General boredom
Every time I found myself watching an episode of the series, I noticed that I was constantly checking the time on my phone: the time seemed to never pass, and the episode length perception was much more that its real one. It was dragging on forever, between one useless dialogue to the other frustrating scene, and I felt that nothing was able to catch my attention for more than five minutes. On the opposite, season 1 managed to keep me entertained and quite intrigued to find out the truth at the end.
Generally speaking, I just felt that the curiosity to watch what was going to happen in season 4 wasn’t stronger than the feeling of discomfort in having to watch 10 more episodes, so I just read through some reviews and some article containing the plot of the season. Honestly, I am happy with the decision I made, and I am happy that finally, after prolonging it without any original and fresh idea, Netflix decided for its cancellation, even though it might be possible that there will be a spin-off, but that’s a story for another time.
What about you? Did you watch season 4, or are you planning to watch it? Did you feel that the series should have been stopped earlier or do you think that the choice to get to season 4 was right?