It’s hard to make fun of 13 Reasons Why. It is a very dark show about teen suicide, sexual assault, stalking, and bullying, a set of tragic issues that are all-too prevalent in society today. Still, there are some very, very dumb things about this show. I’m not talking about the problematic way it handles suicide — that’s another story entirely. I’m talking about the surface details, the silly stuff that would be mocked if it were on any other show. 13 Reasons Why may be remarkably grim, but that doesn’t mean it gets a pass. In the spirit of fairness, here are the 13 most annoying things about every teen’s favorite new Netflix drama.
1. Clay’s Highlighter-Yellow Forehead Cut
I get it, the show needs the injury so we can tell when we’re dealing with present-day Clay and when we’re dealing with past Clay. But why is the cut on his head the color of Donald Trump’s comb-over? It looks like a Cheeto, not an abrasion.
2. Hannah’s Poetry
Yes, it’s very sad that Ryan put her poem in his zine without asking. (For the record, that is the most high-quality zine I’ve ever seen. It looks like an issue of Bon Appétit.) But honestly, her “lacy black underwear” poem isn’t very good. Though it is quite authentic — most teen-angst poetry is awful — it certainly isn’t something worth talking about in English class.
3. Tony’s Hair
Is there a way for his hair to look worse? It looks like Fonzie put too much wax in his pomade, then Tony stole it along with his leather jacket and his Mustang. It is the worst hair I’ve ever seen on TV, and I have seen all of Coolio’s music videos.
4. Justin’s Tattoos
Though he was totally a jerk to Hannah, Justin is a very handsome and wholesome-looking guy … until he takes his shirt off. He has a litany of bad art under there, including a chest tattoo, a pocket watch under his arm, and barbed wire around the other. Yes, a barbed wire bicep tattoo. Who does he think he is? Pamela Anderson? It’s even more curious that most of the tattoos aren’t even real. Why are all these high-school kids covered in ink?
5. Clay’s Mom
She is the absolute living worst. Clay’s mom is all up in his grill, trying to force him to have breakfast and helicopter parenting every single decision he makes, including forcing him to wear a bike helmet. But when he keeps showing up with bruises and cuts all over his face and gets suspended from school, she doesn’t bother him nearly enough and lets him get away without telling her what’s happening. Pick a lane, lady!
6. Justin Hooking Up at Jessica’s House
Jessica’s father is in the Air Force and makes everyone call him “sir.” Still, Justin thinks it’s a good idea to climb into Jessica’s window and have sex with her while her parents are home. Seriously? Does he have a death wish?
7. Alex’s Nose Piercing
It’s small enough that you can’t see it all the time, but so conspicuous you can’t take your eyes off it. It’s like the Snooki of face jewelry.
8. Eating Pizza in a Hot Tub
This isn’t supposed to be the takeaway from the party at Bryce’s house, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how gross it would be to eat a slice that’s covered in the spray of a hot tub. No one likes soggy pizza, and certainly no one wants to sit in a wet brew of teenage pheromones and cheese grease.
9. The Theme Song
This is one of the darkest shows I have ever watched, but the theme song is all xylophone plinks and cute little ditties. What gives? There are even whimsical animated graphics that flash across the screen, as if this is just another show about breakups and teen romance. No, it isn’t. Next time, try something a little more somber to set the tone.
Every time I hear the name of the coffee shop, I think they’re talking about people who look attractive from far away but ugly up close.
11. The Map
Remember how the tapes start out with a map that makes people visit certain places? What happened with that map? It just disappears early on after a few episodes. If we aren’t going to see the map for most of the series, why even bring it up in the first place? Also, wouldn’t everyone in this small town know exactly where all these landmarks are?
12. When Clay (Kinda) Asks Out Skye
Of course he does. Everyone saw this coming the first time that Skye (who has her own set of bad tattoos) served Clay at (ugh) Monet’s. Is there anything more cliché than the guy realizing the girl he used to be friends in middle school was his true love all along? Sure, there’s a bit of ambiguity to the scene, but it’s really that far from Skye taking off her glasses and Clay realizing that she was a hottie after all.
13. Peer Communications Class
This is the most ridiculous subject since “underwater basket weaving.” Yes, we all had to take “health” class to talk about drugs and sex and suicide and how smoking is bad. But “notes of encouragement?” Anonymous questions for the group? Dealing with interpersonal struggles? Please. The GOP would never allow government funding for such leftist claptrap.