As the long-awaited second season of mystery coming of age drama 13 Reasons Why finally premieres tomorrow on Netflix, everyone is wondering where the hit show will head. Produced by Selena Gomez and based on the best-selling book by Jay Asher, the show became 2017's most tweeted-about show.
When the first season premiered in March last year, it sparked debate for its controversial depiction of teenage Hannah Baker's mental issues and consequential suicide. In the first thirteen episodes, the protagonists also deal with issues like drug abuse and sexual assault, but unlike many other TV shows that tackle these themes, the show's realism and unfiltered approach made it quite uncomfortable to watch at times. To be honest, this is not even necessarily negative as good TV and movies are meant to provoke intense reactions.
Both viewers and critics were concerned about the show's "romanticisation" of suicide and its potential effects on young viewers. While Netflix, the executive producers - including Gomez herself- and the now popular cast promptly reacted by using their platforms to advocate where to get help and highlight that the show is based on a novel, many are still worried about its message. The show, nonetheless, is undeniably well written and makes for an interesting and topical watch. The intriguing and mysterious storylines and how they are told - each episode uses a tape left by Hannah before dying (one of the reasons why she took her life) to narrate the events - have conquered fans worldwide and the expectations for the second season are sky-high.
This time around, Netflix has done a lot more to make sure that by watching this season, young viewers are "protected" from the controversial and potentially harmful content of the series and to inspire conversations about mental health issues. A video message from cast members will air at the beginning of each chapter and the streaming service has created both a website that links to Crisis Text Line and many other US and international websites offering support and a PDF guide with tips on how to re-watch some of the most controversial and delicate parts of season 1.
Season 2 will pick up on the aftermath of Hannah's death and will mainly deal with the rest of the main characters' journey towards acceptance and healing. “There’s a time jump. Season 2 is a couple months after season 1, and there’s a lot that’s happened to Clay in between. You’re playing catch-up when you start, and you see where Clay’s at,” David Minnette, who plays Clay recently said in an interview with Yahoo. As Liberty High prepares to go to court, Clay and the rest of the cast will also deal with a big secret surrounding Hannah's death with a series of polaroids, rather than tapes, serving as the episodes' storylines.
Many have wondered if Hannah, played by Katherine Langford, would be a recurring character in the new season. According to the show runners, Langford will return to show unexplored aspects of Hannah's personality and story that were not revealed in the first thirteen episodes. Executive producer Brian Yorkey also told Entertainment Weekly that all the cliffhangers of last year's finale will be addressed in the new season, including Alex shooting himself, Bryce's storyline and Tyler collecting guns.
After devouring the first season and getting into endless debates about it, we can't wait to see what's next for the characters.
The second season of 13 Reasons Why will be available from tomorrow on Netflix