Never has a show fallen so far from grace in such a nosedive fashion like season three of 13 Reasons Why.
Once a well-written adaptation of a beloved young adult novel, the series looked into controversial and taboo subjects surrounding high school kids. It now has morphed into a poorly written, inconsistent and overly angsty version of a show almost unrecognizable from its previous seasons. And fans are understandably upset.
It all went south at the end of season two, which was surprisingly well done in terms of plot, building up to what should have been the climax of the season, a school shooting carried out by Tyler. The show had an opportunity to tackle a timely issue in society today, as unfortunate as that is.
It could have explored the aftermath, the mentality of those who survived, even of Tyler himself. If done in a respectful way, it could have been one of the most vital and informational pieces of television out there.
Instead, the writers decide to take a hard left turn, ditching the school shooting, turning the show into an edgy murder mystery that feels more like a fanfiction than an actual continuation of the show. In other words, the entirety of season three now feels like a cop-out.
And what better way to commence this trainwreck than by adding an out of nowhere, completely useless character like Ani. There’s nothing she brings to the show besides confusion and badly conveyed messages. She doesn’t fit in, feeling more like a poorly constructed plot device, and ultimately comes off like the writer of that fanfiction, who placed themselves in the story.
In addition to Ani adding absolutely nothing to this series, the rest of the characters also feel like hollow versions of their former selves. Almost every student in the show, up until the end of season two, felt believable and real. Yet, because of inconsistent writing, the way most of them now act conflicts with everything viewers have come to know about them. Either that, or they’ve turned into complete caricatures of high school students.
Take Clay for instance. Everything about Clay used to make sense. Viewers felt his connection to Hannah and how deeply that affected his psyche. He had breakdowns, or violent outbursts, but they were always built up well and felt natural.
Viewers are now, in the opener of season three, forced to watch Clay give a tour to Ani in a way that just doesn’t feel like Clay. The sarcasm is too much. An outburst he has comes out of nowhere and makes him seem like a hot-headed hero, rather than a relatable and troubled student.
Which, of course, has led to the worst acting ever on the show. But there’s really not much blame to put on the actors and actresses with the terrible material they have to work with. They’re honestly probably just as confused as viewers are.
In reality, the show should’ve ended way back in season one, but writers still could have continued. It really had the opportunity to explore hot-button topics like suicide and school shootings, but blew the latter of the two. So now, it’s as if the writers have either given up or grown bored with their jobs and are churning out something that feels like it should be on Freeform for one obscure season.
The show being renewed is disappointing when it should and could have been exciting. And yet, the world will still be here, watching it and the once-loved characters plummet.
Maybe fans will even get a full 13 reasons why this show should have been over a long time ago.
Jackson Horvat is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Jackson by tweeting him at @horvatjackson.