'13 Reasons Why' season 3: Narrator Ani Anchola's hypocritical values get on fans' nerves as they call for remake without her
Season 3 does a pretty neat job at packing content minus the shock value. The only place where it has failed to touch fans is with its new narrator
This article contains major spoilers for season 3.
With '13 Reasons Why' actively taking steps to ensure that the sensitive and very out there show on harrowing teen struggles doesn't get the kind of flak that its previous two seasons got, season 3 does a pretty neat job at packing content minus the shock value. The only place where it has failed to touch fans is with its new narrator, Ani Anchola, played by Grace Saif.
Ani is the newly relocated classmate of the Liberty High Gang and comes across as an overachiever. Her Kenyan mother, an in-house care provider doesn't want her to live the life she is living, i.e. taking care of rich, white people, and for that, Ani's schedule is packed with courses both curricular and extra-curricular. She is given the school tour on her first day by none other than Clay Jensen (Dylan Minette) and the two soon spark a bond with mutual interest in comics and robots, thereby making her a part of the gang who first came together as people contributing to the former protagonist, Hannah Baker's (Katherine Langford) suicide.
The biggest problem with Ani, however, is the character being used as an expository trope for the show's big bad guy, high school serial rapist Bryce Walker's (Justine Prentice) redemption. Season 3 focuses on Bryce's murder and the revelation of his killer, panned out from Ani's point of view. Her mother caring for Bryce's grandfather, who lived with the boy and his mother allows Ani a clearer look into the person Bryce was becoming following his probation. Bryce was sent away for three months for raping Hannah, Jessica Davis (Alisha Boe), his own girlfriend, Chloe (Ane Winter) and possibly several more girls from their school. So for Ani to continue looking at him as someone like a troubled puppy, and not just that, but sleep with him too on a regular basis, after knowing about his crimes, is not something you deserve from the otherwise self-righteous character.
Not only did she empathize with the rapist-capable-of-changing, but she also thinks that Clay could murder Bryce and claims to be terrified of him, while trying to justify her fondness for Bryce, saying no one saw him the way she did. True, following his probation, Bryce does seem to have been keen on fixing many wrongs he had committed and showed genuine interest in recovering from the monster he had become. But for Ani to completely overlook his past and indulge in risky situations that haven't turned out to be harmless for other girls is not only reckless, but also hypocritical, considering she wants to practically crucify whoever she can point a finger at, in the wake of Bryce's murder. And that's where the problem lies. Ani, just like Chloe, was inexplicably enough into Bryce, to lie for him and about him, to maintain his image.
Fans vented out their annoyance with the character saying: "i dont know if i can finish this #13ReasonsWhy season 3 cuz the new girl has already annoyed me." Another Twitter user @tiffanuay pointed out: "Ani: *sleeps with and romanticizes a serial rapist* Ani: I’m ScArEd Of ClAy, I tHiNk He KiLlEd BrYcE #13ReasonsWhy". We all know Clay Jensen is the textbook definition of wholesome masculinity and pretty much incapable of hurting even a fly. And while any murderer is kinda scary to be around, Clay is not the person who should be judged like that. Not after you've slept with Bryce Walker. This hatred for Ani, purely for her hypocritical values, has led to fans requesting a remake of the season without her. And when Justin Foley (Brandon Flynn) asked Ani to "F**k off" on the series, let's be real: we all felt that.
'13 Reasons Why' season 3 premiered this Friday, August 23, on Netflix.