13 Reasons Why: Season 3 – A Review

Hello, my darling readers!
Netflix released the 3rd season of the controversial show 13 Reasons Why and of course I had to binge the entire thing. I had my issues with the last season, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from the new one. Let’s take a closer look!

The Plot:

Several months after the events of the last season (and the almost mass-shooting) old wounds are once more torn open when a kid is murdered. Everybody seems to have a motive…

The Rating:

Okay, in some ways this season was better than I had expected but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a list of problems to address.

The first and most important thing I didn’t like about season 3 is the new narrator. Ani is the new girl at school but for some reason, she gets to spill all the secrets and knows about everybody and all the shit that went down. Honestly, it annoyed me a lot because about 98 % of the stuff she talks about is simply none of her damn business.
She just waltzes in, is best friends with everybody after 5 minutes (even though the only person you ever see her really talking to at school is Clay) and knows all the dark secrets and things she wasn’t present for and sure as hell wasn’t told about.
But that’s not my only issue with that character.

Have you ever head the term Manic Pixie Dream Girl? If not, this is the definition: the MPDG ” exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures” (as stated by film critic Nathan Rabin).
For me, this is exactly what Ani is. Although she narrates the entire season, we know virtually nothing about her. She has no personality, no interests, no life outside of the realm of men in this show. To be precise, she’s playing the MPDG for two of the guys in the show.
Bryce even says that he needs her because she makes him a better person.
Of course, Clay develops an obsession with her because according to this season, this is what he always does.

Generally speaking, the characterization of Clay was super weird this season. Maybe it’s because we are told his story via Ani but something felt off. It’s like the writers tried to sell us different versions of Clay intended to keep the audience guessing what he might be capable of. However, it turned out to be irritating and simply incoherent. I had the feeling we got a different Clay for almost every episode as if a different person had written the character each time.

Anyways, let’s talk a bit about the story of season 3. This time, the focus is on a murder investigation. The idea is interesting enough and they do a good job keeping you guessing who might have done it. While I liked the search for the killer, I was not too impressed with the reveal. It didn’t make that much sense to me and all in all felt rather anticlimactic.
The show also sheds some light on the characters’ individual struggles. With this, they went a bit overboard. There is way too much drama and you can see that they were just trying to damn hard to trust some PTSD on all the teens on the show. The presentation of the issues in question also was a bit irritating at times. In season 1 it felt very realistic, in season two it almost hurt to watch (they had already gone over the top there), but in season 3 something just feels off. There’s too much different stuff going on, none of which is really resolved at the end or even properly addressed throughout the show.

As some of you might have heard, there will be a fourth and final season. I have no idea what that will be about. You can tell they struggle to keep up the drama and intensity while still presenting a story that makes sense. That had been the case with season 2 and is no the case with season 3.
The idea behind the new season was good and some parts were super intriguing. However, many moments felt out of place, the character’s unique stories didn’t really fit together (and I don’t think there even was an attempt to get that done).

All in all, the new season was better than I had thought. That wasn’t too hard as I had my expectations lowered substantially after season 2. There was potential in the story but the execution is rather flawed.

Did you watch the season? Let me know in the comments what you think!

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8 thoughts on “13 Reasons Why: Season 3 – A Review

  1. I hated season 2 so much that I didn’t bother with this. I just Googled who killed Bryce to satisfy my own curiosity. I can’t imagine what they’d do with a 4th season either. They didn’t even need a second, and they never had the balls to actually address the Tyler planning on shooting up his school story they teased. Maybe they do in this season, I’m not sure.

    You’re not the first person I see complaining about Ani either, she seems to be universally loathed. I wonder if the showrunners tone her down next season? It’s a shame, I really liked season 1. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!
      They don’t really address is here either. He has some serious PTSD but his friends keep what he wanted to do a secret. The thing that triggered to come up with the shooting is shortly talked about in the final two episodes. I was really annoyed by that whole thing!

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  2. I could not agree more with your interpretation of Ani… she seriously was putting her nose in everyone’s business while keeping terrible secrets from her friends. Like in real life they would have figured how two-faced she is within the first couple of weeks and would not have been friends with her… The fact that they made her an immigrant child is just to add a layer to her otherwise empty personality, we literally know nothing about her. Also I feel like Clay was demonized even though he is a generally a normal and caring guy. Same with Alex!! Alex’s personality change does not make sense at all, he was the sweetest, most sensitive guy in season 1 and 2 and all of a sudden he is a cold blood killer who juices and gets aggressive with everyone?

    Liked by 1 person

    • YES! I really didn’t get what they were going for with Alex, I just made no sense at all. Same with Clay. It was like they couldn’t agree on his character anymore, so this super wacky version came out of it.

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    • They should have called it quits after season 1. I appreciate the attempt of what they were trying to do afterwards but the execution just keeps getting worse. I honestly don’t know what they’ll do in season 4 as there is nothing left to say.

      Like

  3. This whole season was a mess! I love the way you described Ani, because it seems so on point to me and put into words why I didn’t like her as a narrator either. When she talked to the Sheriff or whatever Alex’ dad is, she just kept spilling stuff that was completely irrelevant to her point. I just hated how they all suspected each other and tried to implicate each other, but at the same time “a kid wouldn’t kill another kid” was dropped like a zillion times. I liked how they handled the Tyler situation though, because honestly, after last season, I was more on Dempsey’s side with the whole “he should be turned in and isn’t stable”, but I am glad they actually gave him great coping mechanisms for his trauma, helped him open up and share his story without pressuring him. That part was heart-warming. Also shout-out to Charlie, the only Football guy next to Dempsey who isn’t an utter douche.

    Liked by 1 person

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