When 13 Reasons Why premiered on Netflix in 2017, the teen suicide drama met with a huge fan base as well as controversy and backlash. A graphic suicide scene at the end of the season met with criticism with mental health professionals and concerned parents. Finally, Netflix decided to edit the scene. What 13 Reasons Why managed to do then, and again in Season 2, was to bring to light a lot of issues faced by contemporary teens – bullying, sexual abuse, drug use, dysfunctional family lives etc.
Staying true to its style, Season 3 is the darkest season of 13 Reasons Why so far. We meet our characters right where we left them, but soon enough something happens. Bryce Walker – Hannah and Jessica’s rapist – is dead and because of how hated he was; everyone is a suspect. Netflix’s trailers and promotions have told us one thing and one thing only, the theme for this season is – “Who killed Bryce Walker?” While that is true and Season 3 manages to be a good murder mystery, it gives us so much more in terms of narrative.
Like Hannah in Season 1 and Clay in Season 2, we have a new narrator this season too – a new character too – a girl named Ani. One of the best things about the show, right from the beginning is that it is a true blue ensemble show. Each character is important and like the previous seasons, we get up close and personal with a lot of these kids this season. We take a harder look at our poster boy , Clay, who is not as innocent as he seems. Jessica’s character finally comes full circle as she decides to use her trauma to help other survivors. Tyler, after almost shooting down the school, shows us the vulnerability behind his rage.
At the end of the day, in 13 Reasons Why, the writing wins. After making you detest Bryce Walker for two seasons, they decide to show you a different side to him. This doesn’t in any way discount his actions, but paints him in shades of grey. The murder mystery is done with great finesse, but the season also manages to pack a whole lot of issues into the narrative as well – PTSD, sexuality, assault, mental health, abortion, immigration – making it even more relevant than it was.
The only pain point of 13 Reasons Why Season 3 is the pace. It is a slow burner and can at times seem pointlessly dragging. But like all good things in life, if you wait, you shall be rewarded.
Our verdict: Binge-worthy
Image Source:- youtube/netflix
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