Season 1 of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why—the beautiful dead girl teen soap that told the story of a high school student who died by suicide, leaving behind a collection of cassettes addressed to family, friends, guidance counselors and rapists about her life-ending decision—inspired a lot of controversy from viewers, namely adult critics. Season 2, which premiered on Netflix May 18, is receiving the same sort of feedback.
The Parents Television Council (the organization which, according to their site, seeks “to protect children and families from graphic sex, violence and profanity in the media, because of their proven long-term harmful effects”) thinks 13 Reasons Why should be “pulled from Netflix entirely because of the potentially harmful content,” IndieWire reports. PTC president Tim Winter released a statement once again criticizing the show:
“Netflix has delivered a ticking time bomb to teens and children who watch 13 Reasons Why. The content and thematic elements of the second season are even worse than we expected. We would have liked to have 13 reasons for hope and redemption following the graphic suicide of the lead female teen character, but rather than providing a path forward, the season only provides cause for despondency...
“If you come into the series with feelings of hopelessness or depression, you’ll never walk away from the series feeling any better. If you’re not feeling that way, the series will make you feel hopeless and depressed. For kids who are already at risk, who are being bullied or abused, the show may only serve to trigger those feelings and create dangerous real-life circumstances.”
“The unfortunate reality is that the show is clearly produced for young viewers despite being rated for mature audiences. The fact that Netflix would point back to its website for those needing crisis intervention after watching the show demonstrates the company’s belief that at-risk viewers will need crisis intervention. Ironically, the entire crux of the show demonstrates that crisis intervention doesn’t really matter because the system doesn’t work to protect children from harm.”
There’s good cause for the PTC’s concern—while Season 2 of the show begins with a lengthy disclaimer and ends each episode with a suggestion to visit 13reasonswhy.info, which offers crisis line information, the content this season is especially grueling and explicit, including a rape scene which the showrunner has had to come forward to defend.