Caution! Spoilers about 13 Reasons Why Season 2 ahead!
The first season of Netflix's adaptation of Jay Asher's 13 Reasons Why immediately sparked a massive cultural conversation about the show's portrayal, and potential glorification, of teen suicide. Although some of the show's stars pushed back against the backlash, and a second season was ordered despite the lack of a book sequel to base it on or the involvement of the embattled author, it appears that little has improved in the way of treating the subject of self-harm with the delicacy of care it deserves.
Many of the early audience reactions to Season 2 have been pretty laser-focused on the mixed messaging on the subject of suicide, insisting that while the show claims to be raising awareness for the issue, it does little to further the conversation except to depict depression and arguably exploit it without offering any healing principles.
13 reasons why claims to be a show that "raises awareness" about issues such as suicide and depression.....but....all they do on it is show ppl going through it with no uplifting arc or message about how to seek help....that ain't raising awareness that's a showbiz marketing ploy— f thot fitzgerald (@dracomallfoys) May 20, 2018
my main problem with 13 reasons why is that it feels like they do everything for shock value and mask it as "awareness", there is no reason to make things so graphic, it doesn't help anyone, especially people who have been through these things— kay!! (@noodledemon) May 20, 2018
Don't support 13 reasons why because of the "positive message" it's supposed to have. It's not bringing awareness to suicide, it's glorifying it, as well as being extremely triggering to many.— ￼ (@antjques) May 20, 2018
Of course, there are others who think that the dark depiction of the circumstances leading up to such decisions is in and of itself an important element to the story.
13 Reasons Why DOES NOT GLORIFY SUICIDE. It teaches you the warning signs and shows the domino effect taking your life has on everyone else you leave behind.— Bri Graves (@mom_0f_boys) May 20, 2018
But this time, it's another scene that's really gotten people upset, as it depicts a very graphic and violent sexual assault incident involving a central character. In a devastating moment from the season finale, Tyler Down (Devin Druid) is confronted by Montgomery de la Cruz (Timothy Granaderos) and other bullies in the school's bathroom, who proceed to slam his head into a porcelain sink before submerging him in toilet water and brutally sodomizing him with a mop stick.
The incident culminates in the character deciding to go forward with his plan to attack his classmates with a gun (a scene which, in light of the Sante Fe High School shooting, earned the cancellation of the show's premiere last week), and the episode was prefaced with a content warning label that promised a scene of graphic sexual assault.
For some audiences, however, that warning label did not prepare them for what they were about to witness.
i understand the necessity of something traumatic happening to Tyler to push him over the edge, but what they decided to go with was so unnecessary and so disturbing and so so graphic, the view discretion warning was not enough.— Yasmin (@yazzzers1) May 20, 2018
*EXTREME* TRIGGER WARNING // SA#13ReasonsWhy #13ReasonsWhySeason2 #13ReasonsWhy2 #13rw #TRIGGERWARNING— ✿ dëb ✿ ××××××× (@8aby6irl) May 18, 2018
guys, there is a VERY horrific scene starting around 38:00 in the s02e13 — I can handle most anything, even with my background, but this has me shaking and I had to stop it.
TRIGGER WARNING 13 REASONS WHY RELATED.— LlamaForPresident 🌈 (@real_llama88) May 20, 2018
⚠️⚠️ DO NOT WATCH THE SCENE THAT STARTS AT AROUND 38:00 MINUTES S2E13. IT IS EXTREMELY TRIGGERING AND GRAPHIC, IT IS SHOWING A RAPE SCENE ⚠️⚠️
PLEASE PLEASE skip over 38:00-39:00 of ep.13 when watching season 2 of #13ReasonsWhy!— jar #saverise (@spideyfeld) May 18, 2018
This scene is extremely disgusting & triggering!
I don't care that they give a warning in the beginning of the episode no one should ever have to watch something like that!
⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️— alicia (@evrydaybutera) May 19, 2018
13 REASONS WHY, SEASON TWO EPISODE 13 AT 38:00. VERY GRAPHIC AND DISTURBING SCENE
PLEASE be careful. it's awful to watch. no one needs to see that. it isn't educational it's disgusting. the trigger warning at the beginning of the episode is NOT enough
There are some who believe the horrific nature of the scene is simply a harsh reflection of reality, and the warning label was adequate forewarning, the early consensus seems to be a collective rebuke of the situational shock value of the scene.
13 Reasons Why Season 2 is streaming now on Netflix.