Netflix has renewed 13 Reasons Why, the series that stirred controversy for allegedly glorifying teen suicide, for a second season.
The second season of 13 Reasons Why, which will launch in 2018 with 13 more one-hour episodes, is pushing through despite the calls against the series from parents, politicians, and mental health experts due to its depiction of suicide, rape, and bullying.
'13 Reasons Why' Season 2: What Will It Be About?
It is still too early for a finalized plot and exact release date for the second season of 13 Reasons Why. The teaser released for the second season does not reveal much, but bits and pieces regarding its storyline have been revealed.
The second season will pick up in the aftermath of the death of Hannah Baker, played by Katherine Langford. The show will feature the journeys of the characters that were involved and affected by Baker's suicide as they move toward healing and recovery.
The first season of 13 Reasons Why, which featured audio tapes that Baker left behind for her rapist, bullies, and estranged friends, ended right where the novel from where it was based also ended. This would mean that the second season will be venturing into unknown territory, a move that novel author Jay Asher has approved.
Showrunner Brian Yorkey previously revealed that the second season will weave the present day with flashback scenes, indicating that Langford will reprise her role.
"Hannah's story is still very much not finished," Yorkey said. "She's an integral part of whatever the next chapter of the story is, and she's very much still at the center of it."
Hannah's rapist in the first season was identified, but has not yet been brought to justice. According to Yorkey, this is one of the main reasons for continuing into the second season.
"If we left these 13 episodes out in the world with [the rapist] not being brought to justice ... it'd be incredibly dissatisfying to me," Yorkey said.
The Controversy Surrounding '13 Reasons Why'
The renewal of 13 Reasons Why for a second season is surprising because it will continue from where the novel left off. However, given both the good and bad publicity surrounding the show, Netflix's decision to pick it up for a second season is a no-brainer.
There is wide concern that 13 Reasons Why could inspire copycat incidents due to its glamorization of teen suicide. In addition, there are doubts that the show was able to present a complete picture of the factors that push teenagers into suicide, and more importantly, how people can prevent such a thing from happening.
13 Reasons Why writer Nic Sheff, however, argued that the show has helped in raising awareness regarding a taboo but very important subject in modern society. Unlike conventional TV networks, Netflix has the liberty to create series such as 13 Reasons Why, as it does not have to worry about time slots on commercial TV.
Nevertheless, Netflix will have to tread very carefully for the second season of 13 Reasons Why. The show needs to make sure that the continuation into more episodes will not reduce the significance of Hannah's death, but rather further elevate the topic of teenage suicide by providing a clear picture to viewers of the destruction that it leaves and the ways on how it can be prevented.