The show is definitely coming back next year
SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers for the entirety of 13 Reasons Why.
To no surprise, Netflix’s young-adult drama 13 Reasons Why has been picked up by Netflix for a second series. In the weeks after it first appeared on the streaming service it became the most-tweeted-about Netflix show to date, and has been the subject of intense debate about its graphic depiction of suicide.
But what do we know about Season 2? And what are the burning questions that need to be answered in the new episodes? Here’s all the information you need to know.
When will Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why be released?
When it was announced that the show had been picked up for a new slate of episodes, Netflix executives confirmed it wouldn’t be out until 2018.
Will there be any new cast members?
Seven new characters were added to the cast in August.
1. Anne Winters, who has previously appeared in the TV shows Wicked City and Tyrant, will play Chloe, the new head cheerleader at Liberty High, and something of an “it girl”.
2. Newcomer Bryce Cass will play a “cynical mischief maker” called Cyrus.
3. Chelsea Alden (American Horror Story: Roanoke, Veep) will portray his “artsy” and “witty” sister Mackenzie.
4. Samantha Logan (The Fosters) has been cast as Nina, who is described as “a well respected track star with a secret”.
5. Terra Nova‘s Allison Miller will portray an “ambitious young litigator” called Sonya.
6. Tony-winning stage actress Kelli O’Hara will play Jackie, who is described as “a warm, intelligent, passionate advocate for victims of bullying”.
7. The final new recruit is Ben Lawson, who has appeared in shows including Modern Family and 2 Broke Girls, will play Liberty High’s baseball coach Rick.
Has filming finished for 13 Reasons Why season 2?
Yes: filming began in June and wrapped in December.
Will Hannah be in Season 2?
Brian Yorkey confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that Hannah would be a part of the new episodes. “I think one of the things that is still hanging out there is this question of is someone responsible for Hannah’s death? Is the school responsible? Who is responsible, if anyone is?” Yorkey said. “One way we’ll explore that question is through the trial and also through all of these kids reflecting on where they are a few months down the road and what other secrets are being uncovered.”
Actor Kate Walsh, who plays Hannah’s mother Olivia Baker has said that her character will be more intent on getting to the bottom of what caused her daughter’s suicide. She added that the show’s time-shifting narrative is set to return.
Yorkey has suggested that Hannah will not be narrating the new episodes, but that another character might be.
Katherine Langford, who plays Hannah, says: “This season has been really interesting for a lot of reasons. It’s a different story than season 1 and I think that’s a good thing. This season we get to explore a lot more of the other characters and their journeys, which I’m excited about. As sad as it is, there is life after Hannah, and this season we get to see the effects it had on the people around her a lot more.”
Will the tapes feature?
The first season was based around the tapes that Hannah left for several people in the wake of her suicide. Yorkey said that the tapes will likely not feature in Season 2, but that “there is a different sort of analog technology that plays a hugely important role in season 2” for “13-year-olds to Google and try to understand what it was”. Beta Max, anyone?
Who will be on the soundtrack?
The show’s Season 1 soundtrack featured contributions from established acts The Kills, The Cure and Angel Olsen as well as emerging new artists like Car Seat Headrest, The Japanese House, Miya Folick and more. It’s not been confirmed who will feature in the show next year, but we’d imagine that the songs will be chosen carefully.
Will Toledo (Car Seat Headrest) criticised the show for using his music. “As someone who contributed to the soundtrack for 13 Reasons Why, I am obliged to tell you all that it’s kind of fucked,’ he said on Twitter. ‘Writers: please don’t tell kids how to turn their miserable and hopeless lives into a thrilling and cathartic suicide mission. kids: this is not a narrative you need to subscribe to. go watch ‘Spring Breakers’ instead.”
Will the show change due to criticism?
Since the show was released in March, it has has faced varied levels of criticism due to the graphic portrayal of sensitive issues like suicide and rape. Headspace, a mental health charity in Australia, questioned the message sent out to young viewers. “[The show] presents the viewer with very confronting and graphic messaging and imagery inclusive of suicide method and means” they said in a post to their website, with Stranger Things star Shannon Purser also claiming that the show isn’t “suitable for vulnerable viewers”.
In New Zealand, it became compulsory for under-18s to be supervised by an adult while watching the show due to its sensitive nature. Netflix has since added on-screen warnings to viewers before the show begins, detailing some of the topics likely to be seen in the show.
Writer for the show Nic Sheff addressed some of the criticism in an open letter to Vanity Fair. “When it came time to discuss the portrayal of the protagonist’s suicide in 13 Reasons Why, I of course immediately flashed on my own experience. It seemed to me the perfect opportunity to show what an actual suicide really looks like – to dispel the myth of the quiet drifting off, and to make viewers face the reality of what happens when you jump from a burning building into something much, much worse.”
Actor Katherine Langford has said of her character’s return: “All I can say is, I feel like we continue the discussion from season one.” Executive producer Selena Gomez has written: “Good or bad, we are committed to having the tough conversations, to telling the story that can start change.”
Does the novel explain what might happen next?
As the show is not a direct adaptation, the new episodes will feature storylines that will not have been told elsewhere.
Jay Asher, the author of the 2007 novel, revealed that he had thought about a sequel, but no plans were ever made. “I’d just like a continuation of all those characters,” Asher told Entertainment Weekly. “I’m curious as well. What happens to Clay? How do people react to what Alex did at the very end? What’s going to happen to Mr. Porter? I’d thought of a sequel at some point. I’d brainstormed it, but decided I wasn’t going to write it. So I’d love to see it.”
Are there any fan theories?
Naturally, there’s a whole load of fan-produced theories about what could be in the new episodes. Here are some of the burning questions fans want answered.
Did Alex survive? Was it really a suicide?
After the horrific reveal in the last episode, fans came to know that Alex – the third recipient of the tapes, and the only one who seemed remorseful for what he did – had attempted suicide. We never actually saw who was in the ambulance – we were just told that a 17-year-old boy had been shot in the head. The boy’s identity was only revealed when the principal announced to the guidance councillor what had happened. Fans were left to come to their own conclusion about whether Alex survived or not. However there have been many speculations about this ending. Did Alex really commit suicide? Or was he murdered?
Was Tyler planning something violent?
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The last episode revealed many secrets about Tyler in particular. Tyler was frequently bullied and treated as a punching bag for fellow Liberty High students. The last episode again left audiences confused and very wary of his intentions. He was seen to have numerous guns, which he was hiding from his mum. What was he planning?
What happened to Bryce?
When Clay had finished all 13 tapes, he finally handed them over to the final recipient, Mr. Porter, the guidance councillor – with the added fourteenth tape that Clay had made, which was Bryce’s confession for the rape of Hannah Baker. Fans were left hoping that Mr. Porter would release all 14 of the tapes and incriminate Bryce for all the crimes he had committed – but we still don’t know.
What was the point of the photos Tyler had?
Tyler’s dark room featured numerous times within the series. In the last episode it is shown that Tyler had kept a log of all the people who have wronged him in some way, all of whom were named on the tapes. After a flashback showing Alex standing up for him when he was being bullied, we see Tyler taking down Alex’s photo. Perhaps this is proof that Tyler had nothing to do with Alex’s suicide.
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- YOUNG MINDS – The voice for young people’s health and wellbeing
- CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably for young men
- Time To Change – Let’s end mental health discrimination
- The Samaritans – Confidential support 24 hours a day
Additional Reporting: Suhara Jayasena