Sunday, June 3, 2018

a life update & 13RW review

   It's been about 3 months since my last post which feels like ages ago. I've rewritten this a couple of times because I don't know how to quite convey the way my life has felt the past few months. I'm not a person that is perpetually sad or happy, or perpetually any one feeling most of the time. I take it all in. The beginning of 2018 had me taking a lot of L's. Due to my own circumstances, I let my heart get a little more bruised than it was before (lol what is new). Due to other circumstances, I felt more conflicted in my career than I ever have before. I was too busy to deal with a lot of the moving parts. But eventually you catch up with yourself and things become less important and you get back to a good place and remember what is important, like this blog!
   For a quicker recap of my life, I got promoted and started a new position in a different location than where I've been for the past five years. I strengthened some relationships and weakened a few for my own good. I'm learning new things each day as I become the both literal and physical boss I want to be. I figured that my return to the blog life should be a review of season 2 of 13 Reasons Why because the first season review I did is my second most viewed post of all time.


~Here is my disclaimer for any and all 13RW talks I get into~

The show doesn't claim to be something it's not. It tells you upfront what you're getting into and it tells you many different ways to enjoy the show that is the most safe for your personal well being. From watching the entirety of the show, my psychology degree (lol) , and my own personal experiences with mental health, I don't think it romanticizes suicide or any of that jazz. I think it tells a story that is hard to hear sometimes, but also it's a story you have a choice to listen to. Not your cup of tea? Cool, don't watch. Don't think you could handle the topics discussed? Props to you for putting your mental health first. Also, this is obviously going to contain spoilers, don't act brand new. Okay let's begin.




The good

   I'll be 100 with you.. I didn't need a second season. The story in my eyes didn't need to continue because at face value it was meant to be one girl's story and you were supposed to be left with the lingering feeling of what happens to these people now and how you go on after tragedy and to me that was the point. But I'll give it to em that they found a plot that made sense and transitioned well and I ~love~ court case scenes. 
   Zach Dempsey was the shining star of the season for me. I loved that he had such a big role in this season from how he was an ally for Alex, an antagonist for Bryce and exposer of truths. Most importantly however, we saw a beautiful depiction of young romance with him and Hannah. You felt so much pain seeing their happiness unfold that summer where they learn to love sex together and find solace in their pain in each other's company knowing how the conclusion of that story ends. While this wasn't a plotline in the original story, I completely believed it. When Hannah talks about Zach in the first season, she mentions his loneliness and that he has other issues he isn't addressing and this story coincides. He mentions later to Clay that Hannah didn't put everything on the tapes when Clay doesn't believe his story and that resonated with me so much. It's easy to take the tapes and try to condense these stories to her, but in actuality we are people made of so many stories more than the highlights we share. 
   Jessica was the perfect victim.. survivor? Victim sounds weak but she wasn't. Throughout the season, we saw her progress from very bruised to a boss ass bitch in the end. She had a healthy progression of coping and I loved that when Chloe didn't testify with integrity, she wasn't mad. She understood that everyone has their own story to tell at the right time and it wasn't Chloe's time. Jessica couldn't kiss Alex at the start of the season without pulling away in fear, but the ending of the season she's having sex in a locker room. It's a nice note to other victims/survivors that your sexual drive doesn't have to die with your encounter, it gets better. Also, can we give the biggest shout out to the scene in the court room of all the different women on the show giving their stories? Ugh, beautiful television.
   I sloppy sobbed during Mr. Porter's testimonial. In my season one review, I talked about how I thought Mr. Porter wasn't a bad person but just who we would deem a good teacher when you think about the ethics involved. I loved his redemption when he sits on trial and acknowledges that he knows he could have done more. And especially when he looks into Mrs. Baker's eyes and tells her he is sorry for not doing more. 


The bad

   The girl that comes from Hannah's past school to testify about Hannah and her friends bullying her is a plotline I didn't need. It felt incredibly forced to bring a subject like this to the table, and seemed to really only serve a purpose in evening out the playing field in the trial. While I believe that you can be a bully and be bullied because that makes perfect sense, the testimony of this girl just didn't make sense with the overall story. 
   I wish that Clay's relationship with Skye wasn't so.. blatant. It seemed very cliche for Clay to be this masochist that falls for another girl with such troubling mental health issues and to have him overcompensate over and over again to be what she needs at different points. I understand the premise - he couldn't save Hannah, but maybe he can save Skye. However, I think we could have saved this drama and instead adding something about Clay's own mental health because let's be real.. homeboy has some issues.
   Also, in general, they make Clay look like he's lost so many of his marbles. I loved/hated the scene where he goes to Bryce's house with a gun because ghost Hannah reciting that specific part of the tape where she's raped while the chaos ensues around them all is SO poetic, but Clay hearing that is definitely his unconscious making up what he thinks Hannah wants. We know that Hannah wouldn't want Clay to go MURDER someone, but Clay's unstable mind thinks that is what Hannah wants from what he's left with. I hated it because I don't wish this instability on Clay's character. I loved it because it made me think about the missing pieces when someone's gone and how we have to fill in the blanks which in turn lead us to making biased perceptions. It made me think. 


The ugly

   There are a few scenes in my life from movies or tv that I will be 100% okay with never seeing again and one of those is Tyler's bathroom scene in the finale. It's the kind of unkind ugly that is almost too cruel to bare putting yourself thru. In the first season, I mentioned that they made the rape scene stay on Hannah's face just long enough to make you uncomfortable but this scene didn't make me uncomfortable, it made me sick. It was an almost too perfect precursor to the anxiety I would feel watching the rest of the episode on the edge of my seat wondering Tyler's next move. 
   I am almost happy with the unhappy ending to Bryce's trial. He only gets 3 months probation for his actions. It felt real. There are too many instances of rape cases where the person gets off with a slap on the wrist despite clear evidence. The point was to upset you with the reality. Reality is ugly. 
   When the season wraps, we learned that Chloe is pregnant. It's such an ugly situation to know she is pregnant by someone who raped her but also that person is her boyfriend. I don't think we see depictions of this enough where the rapist is someone that you know.. you love. Or at least you think you do until you're faced with the truth. It confuses things so much. We always hear that rapists are usually always someone you know but tv doesn't show that enough because there aren't clear answers on how to handle that. It left me with another sick feeling in my stomach. 


I limited myself to around 3 points for each because I was already making this too long to keep your attention. I'll leave you with my favorite quote from this season: 
"No matter how many reasons there might be why, there are always more why not."


If you or someone you know is struggling, visit 
13reasonswhy.info for amazing resources like a crisis text line or hotline. It gets better. 






















































3 comments:

  1. Amazing blog as always! 13RW was a show I went into with little expectations for a second season (I actually differ in that I don't like seasons with drawn out court cases) but the character development had me hooked. S1 gives us a narrow view of each character mainly because it's through the eyes of one person. S2 let each character reveal themselves through their own testimony. Zach Dempsey definately BLOSSOMED before my eyes in ways I hadn't expected so totally agree with you there. I'm one of those people who will read the Netflix summary of each episode (what can I say, I like to know what's coming) and his episode summary said he would revealed something that shocks everyone and he did not dissapoint!
    I honestly went through a love hate relationship with Jessica because as much as it touched me that homegirl picked herself up and stood strong with what happened to her, there were times she rubbed me the wrong way because as much as I love that she's able to make herself vulnerable again to the person we all can't help but feel for (Justin) AND as much as we all love a romance that can be repaired even after a major issue (him standing aside as his bestie rapes her), what's up with her half hearted feelings for Alex? The poor boy has been through enough without being her emotional crutch... just my two cents maybe I'm judging too harshly though...
    Lastly... THE TYLER BATHROOM SCENE HAD ME FEELING SO MANY EMOTIONS... I have never and will never understand something that horrible but seeing it, every bit of it, from the fear on Tyler's face to the blood on the broom handle had me bawling. To me that was the most traumatic scene on par with Hannah's rape scene from last season. So brutal, raw, and agonizing. You hit the nail right in the head with your take on that scene. Sickening but real.
    Love your take on it! More blog posts soon please ❤

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  2. Interesting blog post! I have to say I didn't actually watch the second season because, like you said, it seemed unneeded and really distracted from Hannah's overall story.
    I am going to play devils advocate now (and put on my public health hat). I think shows like 13RW are important in that they bring the topic of mental health and suicide into everyday conversation, but they fail to introduce healthy, real life solutions to the conversation. My overall issue with this show (and others) is that it prides itself on being "issue-based" but fails to provide any real appropriate role modeling.
    Not to be cavalier, but I think the whole idea of Hannah's tapes and her eventual suicide was drawn out and romanticized the act. It gives adolescents the notion that whatever they are feeling, they can go back in time to find a person/thing they can blame. (Maybe I just have high expectation for a show that is suppose to be ahead of its time.) If 13RW is going to continue to pride itself on tackling important issues, then they should also include role modeling behaviors that show how to handle these situations.
    For example in S1, Clay claims that if he loved Hannah harder or more then maybe she would still be here. This is really dangerous territory in regard to mental health and really impressionable for their target audience. If the overall goal is prevent suicide/ suicidal ideation then there should be more emphasis on healthy dialogue among adults, teens and their peers (none of this BS where adults can't possibly understand the hardships of HS).

    I could go on. The point on this comment is to tell you 1.) Glad you are back to blogging and 2.): 13RW is good in that is gets the conversation started but it could be great if it reconsidered its message presentation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can agree with many of your parts. I think that it does lack the healthy side of things when its so centrally focused on the unhealthy actions. I get their intent is to make you talk, but thinking about the demographic (something I'll admit I forget about since I'm an old woman) who are impressionable, they should offer healthy examples in the show and not just the resources for those that don't or won't utilize them.

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It only took me a month to get closure on 2018.

I wrote you a blog post about 2018. I told you about the ups and the downs. I told you about the guy who didn't know he hurt me at the b...