This time last year I was laid up in bed and found myself binge watching 13 Reasons Why Season 1 with my daughters who are 16 and 18. There were serious topics and some graphic scenes (that I skipped through). Although awkward at the time, they seemed contextual and begged deeper conversations. I wrote a review in support of watching it with your OLDER teens and discussing topics such as date rape, teen drinking, homosexuality, bullying and suicide.
This year with season 2 just out, I was intrigued even though my daughter, now in college, warned me it was dark.
“How much worse could it get?” I thought to myself.
PARENTS: PLEASE DON’T LET YOUR KIDS WATCH SEASON 2 OF 13 REASONS WHY!!!
I kind of wish I did not. It’s hard to un-see things.
But since I did, here are some things I want you to know.
THE SEX IS EXTREMELY VIOLENT AND GRATUITOUS– DARE I SAY PORNOGRAPHIC — We get it… teens have sex and Bryce Walker (a main character) is a serial rapist. He and others take the witness stand to tell their story and we re-live it over and over again. We are shown lots of nudity, plenty of bare butts, hip bones, erections and way too much thrusting. MOST OF THESE ARE RAPE SCENES.
DATE RAPE/ RAPE CULTURE IS GLORIFIED— We see the cool athlete and his followers take girls to a hidden “clubhouse” get them drunk and high and then rape them while onlookers take pictures. Everyone from girl friends, to parents and even the coach covers for them. There is constant smirking and high-five-ing. It’s a confusing bag of emotions even for adults. You know what you are seeing is bad, but in some twisted way it comes across as sexy and powerful. That is a lot to ask a child to process.
THERE IS A GRAPHIC SCENE WHERE A YOUNG MAN IS SEXUALLY ASSAULTED BY HIS BULLIES AND LEFT BLOODY AND BROKEN— We are spared no detail… it will turn your stomach.
THERE IS NO JUSTICE IN THE COURT ROOM FOR VICTIMS. NO CONSEQUENCES DOLED OUT-When one of the rape victims musters up the courage to take the stand and tell her story, her assailant gets nothing more than a slap on the hand. In the wake of the #METOO movement and for the empowerment of all girls who feel afraid or have been attacked, they could have… should have spun that in a much healthier direction. Why not victory and justice for all? A horrible message is left that evil wins, and women are left powerless and afraid. No young victim watching this will want to speak up, I tell you that!
ADULTS ARE PORTRAYED AS OUT OF TOUCH AND HELPLESS. Parents, teacher and guidance counselors are shown trying to passively enforce antiquated rules as the children storm past them rolling their eyes. It’s as if they are holograms or something! Teens blatantly disobey and make dangerous choices with arrogant disregard for their parents who stand idly by and the audience is made to feel like, “Yes teen! Take matters into your own hands! What do they know? They clearly don’t get you.” Parents, if there was any wake up call it would be to ask our kids if they see us in that light, and make a point to show up strong in their lives.
You don’t matter!
Take matters into your own hands!
There is also plenty of gun violence, physical violence, (fist fighting and kids getting jumped etc) and attempted tie-ins to violent video games.
We are left at the end with a terrifying scene of a school gunman being confronted ( again by a heroic teen) and also a pregnant cheerleader- begging a 3rd season.
NO THANK YOU!!!
THERE ARE NO NEW CONVERSATIONS STARTED. The good healthy conversations were had after season 1. and hopefully continue in our homes. There is no need for gratuitous sex and violence being shoved in our faces. No need to watch angsty teens, who think they know it all, make poor decisions for the rest, and view a culture of violence, rape, abuse and bullying that we are seemingly powerless against. My daughter and I have had one new conversation actually. We discussed that just because as adults we can watch anything we want, doesn’t mean we have to, or should. I’ve turned things off and even walked out of movies before. If something offends you, you should honor that. Take a stand and be selective with what you put before your eyes and into your soul. It’s hard to un-see things.
Thank you Season 1 for starting the conversations but Season 2 you’ve gone too far!!
Please friends, be aware.
For a straight forward detailed review of each episode go to plugged-in media review.
If you are struggling to talk to your kids about hard topics, here are a few previous articles that might help.