'13 Reasons Why' is getting a second season. Is that a good idea?
Posted May 12
This year’s hit Netflix show “13 Reasons Why” is getting a second season.
The series, which tells the story of a high school girl named Hannah Baker who commits suicide, will return sometime in the future, CNN reported.
Executive producer Selena Gomez shared an Instagram post on Sunday that teased the second season.
"Their story isn't over," Gomez wrote in the caption. "Season 2 of #13ReasonsWhy is coming."
“13 Reasons Why” is based on a book of the same name. The book doesn’t have a sequel, CNN reported.
But co-showrunner Brian Yorkey told The Los Angeles Times that there’s plenty more ground to cover in the second season.
"Hannah's story isn't over — she has parents who still don't have the complete story," he said. "There's a rapist who hasn't been brought to justice, and there's a living survivor of that rapist who is just beginning her journey of recovery."
But the show’s faced controversy. According to the Deseret News, schools, experts and critics have warned parents about the show’s dangers, specifically how it depicts suicide, sexual assault and bullying.
Parents are often discouraged from letting their child watch it alone. In fact, teens in New Zealand can’t watch the show without an adult, according to the New Zealand's Office of Film & Literature Classification.
Utah suicide expert Greg Hudnall advised against a second season in an interview with the Deseret News.
Hudnall, who said he didn’t watch the show’s first season, told the Deseret News earlier this month that the show will continue to affect high school students.
He said the show doesn’t offer any solutions or positive role models, nor does it educate people about suicide. He said most teens plan their suicide 24 to 48 hours after an incident, which is different from the show, which prolonged the suicide over the course of 13 episodes, spacing out events over a few months.
"I'm all about educating people on prevention,” he told the Deseret News in a phone interview. “I'm all about suicide prevention. What I'm not about is sensationalizing suicide."
"I think in the long run it (the show) can cause more trauma and more pain for children,” he said.
The show’s cast and crew have defended the show. Brandon Flynn, who plays a love interest and basketball star on the show, told The Hollywood Reporter that the show brings a normally taboo subject like suicide into the spotlight.
He said the show, especially the scene where Hannah kills herself, is meant to open up the conversation, especially among fans.
“They have talked about the problems they've had with self-mutilation, self-harm and addiction and how watching the show made them realize they have a life to live and that they mattered. That has really hit me.”
But now we know the show will get a second season. And as The Atlantic reported, critics and fans alike should recognize that the show will create a divide as well as influence those who watch it.
The show's second season, the plot of which remains unclear save for some subtle hints in the first season's finale, could also approach a dark subject in a similar way, The Atlantic reported.
"The creators of ‘13 Reasons Why’ will likely be able to respond to critics with a second season," according to The Atlantic. "The final episode of the first seemed to set up a storyline about a school shooting, showing a character who’d been humiliated by his peers stockpiling guns and explosives, and creating a collage of students he saw as his enemies. It’s an equally provocative subject that has similarly in-depth guidelines with regard to how it can be treated responsibly by the media. And it has the potential to be just as influential, and just as divisive."