Netflix’s infamously controversial series 13 Reasons Why has finally come to an end. In the era of coronavirus, stifling shutdowns, and terrible rioting, it’s nice that we can put at least one awful thing behind us. Sadly, the last ten episodes of the season keep pulling us back to some of these very issues.
The final season, which premiered June 5, follows the kids at the fictional Liberty High as they end their senior year. Our main character Clay (Dylan Minnette) suffers debilitating mental issues after taking part in a conspiracy surrounding the murder of class rapist Bryce (Justin Prentice) by his friends Alex (Miles Heizer) and Jessica (Alisha Boe).
His group of friends pin the blame on Bryce’s sadistic friend Monty (Timothy Granaderos) who is killed while in prison, but people begin to doubt the story. As the kids struggle to keep their secrets, tension mounts in the school and threatens to boil over the growing school security system. Also, Alex begins discovering his previously unrealized bisexuality, and classmate Justin (Brandon Flynn) ends up contracting HIV and dying of AIDS. And yes, all those things really did happen over the course of this series.
Prior to the final season’s release, the Parents Television Council demanded Netflix move 13 Reasons Why out of its teen category, and it’s not that hard to see why. To call the show a mess is a bit of an understatement. For years, 13 Reasons Why has been pushing the boundaries of decency to their absolute limit, especially when you remember that this show is for teens. The writers seem to think that a world where teens kill themselves, have sickening amounts of sex and drugs, and drop no less than 400 f-bombs in the final ten episodes is perfectly fine for a young audience. Throwing in the random bisexuality and AIDS plots only shows how far the show has missed the mark, especially when even its own audience disapproves of the latter.
But, wait, there’s more. The series, which used to follow the aftermath of a student committing suicide, has devolved into a sanctimonious, social-justice obsessed nightmare for both the characters and the viewers. While we fortunately don’t reach the level of promoting abortion and illegal immigration like last year, we do have the left’s newest favorite pastime: rioting. While the timing is purely coincidental, it’s nonetheless a tone-deaf plot that marks the final derailing of the series.
In summary, Liberty High expanded its security forces to include metal detectors, more police officers, and even security cameras throughout the school. These practices also include an unannounced school shooting drill complete with an officer firing blanks in the halls to simulate the sensation. Although even real-life California was smart enough to realize this is a terrible idea, this fictional California high school has to serve as the idiotic strawman to the teens’ righteous anger. And we're just getting started.
The tip of the iceberg comes when the principal ignores their complaints of a police officer attempting to arrest Latino student Diego (Jan Luis Castellanos) based on his skin color. In response, the students hold an abrupt walkout from the school but have to face the police when told to clear the premises. Yes, the school principal literally calls the riot squad to start intimidating and even manhandling the students if necessary. As a result, the students start pelting the officers with books, water bottles, and whatever’s in their hands. When that starts to fail, they then switch to just charging at the officers, causing a full-blown riot in front of the school.
Make no mistake, this scene is supposed to be an inspiring moment. We see the police indiscriminately fighting and beating up children who dare to fight them. We see the students as they take back their rights from what's been shown as a racist and oppressive system. Clay proves as much when he stands on a car and gives an explicit speech to the crowd that I’m surprised hasn’t been heard from Antifa yet.
Clay: Hey! Hey, hold on! Don't run away from this! Listen! Listen to me! Look, they're gonna try and make us think that we're the problem, but we are not the problem! We got to the school they built for us. We live in the society they made for us, and shit is broken! Shit is wrong! And they can't fix it! They won't! So it's our turn now. We're gonna to make it right if we have to burn it down and start over. So I say fuck it all!
Student: Fuck yeah!
Clay: We're fighting. Who's with me?
Clay: Fuck it all! Fuck it all! Let's go!
Ironically, none of this seems to be impressing the left in the meantime. TV Guide complained, "13 Reasons Why uses a racist cop as a catalyst and then fails to condemn or barely even acknowledge the racist law enforcement system that enables this overreach." Of course, that doesn’t change the self-important tone the season carries with it, even until the end. Despite absolutely failing at depicting suicide appropriately, the show continues to act like it’s doing a good thing. Every episode still comes with a plug for their website to be a part of the conversation on suicide. And yet, teen suicide has been on the rise, and the show does little to counter it. When our main character keeps emphasizing “this planet has no future,” I doubt kids are coming out of it feeling better about the world.
13 Reasons Why is one of the lowest, most despicable pieces of media that can be found. It depicts the absolute worst things to show on television and then acts like it’s doing society a favor. In reality, the best thing this series can be is forgotten by time. It’ll do far less damage that way.