Worth and redemption explored in new ‘13 Reasons Why’

All right, folks, this week we’re talking about the third season of “13 Reasons Why” — if you haven’t watched the previous two seasons, consider this your spoilers warning.

The controversial Netflix series based on the Jay Asher novel of the same name has certainly wandered away from the book’s original premise, which was a teenage girl posthumously sending out cassette tapes to people in her life, explaining why she committed suicide. The Netflix series, which has garnered criticism for how it depicted sexual violence and suicide in the first season has taken steps to provide trigger warnings, provide helpline information and advise potentially troubled viewers to seek help. Due to the sensitive issues portrayed in the series it is not for everyone; parents might want to consider watching the series with their children.

After the second season abruptly ended with the conclusion of Hannah’s trial and a diverted school shooting, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the series ... until the trailers were released.

The new season of “13 Reasons Why” has a clunky opening, leaving viewers confused by the introduction of Ani, a new character who is suddenly taken over Hannah’s earlier narrator role as she explains the other characters’ motives for murdering Bryce Walker (the rapist and villain in the first two seasons). This season the events of Bryce’s murder and the events leading up to it are explored through a series of time jumps, what happened before the Homecoming game and what happened after Bryce’s body was discovered. In this season audiences watch as Jessica and Tyler try to heal from their sexual assaults. While this season takes the time to explore survivorhood, it also examines the potential for redemption and change in the series’ villains. After his death, “13 Reasons Why” works to show Bryce’s humanity and tries to explain how he and another character were made into the monsters they became. The audience watches as Bryce tries to take steps to become “a worthy” person and own up to the pain he caused. Now, this will probably become a very controversial topic as the series argues that rapists deserve a second chance ... which I imagine will kick off a series of heated dialogues.

Despite the conclusion of Hannah’s storyline, audiences will find themselves pulled into the intrigue of Bryce’s murder and life at Liberty in a post-Hannah world.

Justin Prentice provides a stellar performance as Bryce, providing the much-hated rapist’s character with a sense of humanity. Alisha Boe continues to shine as the fiery Jessica, bringing a voice to survivors as she tries to end rape culture at her school. Christian Navarro provides another standout performance as Tony juggles his personal problems, the ongoing school drama and his role as the master secret keeper.

Three seasons of “13 Reasons Why” are available on Netflix. The series deals with a number of difficult issues including drug abuse, sexual and physical abuse, self-harm and suicide and as such it is not suitable for all viewers. Audiences might also enjoy watching “Pretty Little Liars,” which follows a group of girls as they try to uncover how their friend died.