For 13 Reasons Season 4: How The Netflix Series Went From Fetish To One Of Its Worst Fictions

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There is something about bad times that reminds us of good times, and we imagine it to be the contrast. Something like this has happened to us with For thirteen reasons and it’s season 4, which closes once and for all the Netflix series that should not have passed the second installment. Maybe not even the first.

And we do not say it as that commonplace that short twice good because if the writers manage, some fictions could last forever (for example, the Kings and their legal saga with The Good Wife and The Good Fight ).

We say it because the virtues of For Thirteen Reasons walked on such a fine line that it was impossible not to cross it, especially if the important thing is not to be socially responsible (as its initial chapters intended in part), or careful with the approach to its themes ( for an audience, also so young), but to exploit a success that was already very fragile.

Because for many this is no surprise. Netflix’s teenage fiction generated controversy from the first minute, and although its most lucid and interesting contribution will always be there, the producers ended up agreeing with those who criticized them. The worst thing is not that it was a disappointing series, but that it was problematic.

But what was really good, really influential, and significant about For Thirteen Reasons to become a global phenomenon? It’s hard not to get carried away with the critics now, but Brian Yorkey’s series, based on Jay Usher’s novel of the same name, was founded on two elements.

On the one hand, raise issues of thorny approach but of great concern to the adolescent public, such as suicide, school bullying, and sexual violence. On the other, taking those same adolescents without condescension, with the intelligence necessary for them to draw their own learnings and conclusions. Maybe act accordingly.

What for 13 reasons should never have been

However, we cannot deny that some controversies that arose as a result of the broadcast were well-argued. For example, the debate around the suitability of including the scene in which Hannah Baker committed suicide and not enabling resources to help people in extreme crisis situations until later.

For example, pose suicide as a series of reasons to be turned over to other people, without forgetting that we are dealing with fiction, not with reality. Either way, For Thirteen Reasons he spoke to young people about what mattered to them in their codes and narratives and made them reflect on the weight of their decisions.

The second season of For Thirteen Reasons tried to correct the most critical elements, and in some elements, it was right, such as giving a voice to women in fiction against sexual violence in full Me Too. In others, he skidded. The Netflix series wanted to become the standard-bearer of “important issues”, and dared to create a plot around the armed attacks on schools treated in a very frivolous and superficial way, also detonated with a morbid rape scene that falls into all the mistakes that, according to the experts, should not be made.

Brian Yorkey and his team wanted to cover more tricky questions than they could tactfully tackle. That was the official death of For Thirteen Reasons, which in its last two seasons has repeated patterns: Bryce Walker’s controversial humanization after his murder, Monty’s internalized homophobia, and Justin’s death from AIDS, a narrative line that, besides being problematic, it is totally incorrect.

To those of us who gave her a vote of confidence, we are disappointed that For thirteen reasons she has become everything she didn’t want to be, everything they criticized about her, but not only that. It is also an ideal example of why many Netflix series fail at a quality level, and this is indeed a commonplace: that of rolling the gum.

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