The show is back this 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. There have been no more specific announcements so far, though the latest rumours on Reddit are suggesting it will be either late spring or early summer, with one specific rumour for June. Another rumour on Reddit suggested the season had been scheduled for release in May this year, but has been pushed back as the result of “certain current events”, such as the tragic high-school shooting in Florida in February.
A small group of lucky fans aged 18 or over are in with the chance of seeing the entirety of season 2 early, over a three-day period, via 1iota. The screenings will reportedly happen between March 30-April 4 in Los Angeles, and winners will be part of a studio audience in a filmed panel discussion about the show.
How many episodes will there be?
There will be thirteen hour-long episodes.
Is there a trailer?
Not yet, no – just an announcement clip shared last year:
Where will season 2 begin?
Season 2 will kick off after a time-jump, according to star Dylan Minnette (Clay). He told Yahoo: “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.”
He added: “Clay’s trying to live his life … but I think Hannah, his life with her, and everything with the tapes, is the biggest thing that’s ever happened to him, and I don’t think he’ll ever be able to escape it, no matter how hard he tries.”
In advance of season 2, the cast have come out of character to record a warning video discussing the difficult themes of the show and encouraging viewers to seek help if they need to talk about the issues it presents. This will air before each episode, according to Deadline.
John Herndon, the father of a teen who committed suicide after watching the show, has blasted the above video, telling Radar Online: “It’s like putting a Band-Aid on a broken leg. It’s not going to help.”
Will the allegation of sexual harassment against author Jay Asher affect the second series?
Not as far as Netflix is concerned.
Asher – the author of 13 Reasons Why, upon which the first season of the Netflix show was based – was expelled from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in February 2018 for violating its harassment code. Now Netflix has distanced itself from the author in a statement provided to Entertainment Weekly, where they said: “Jay Asher was not involved in the second season of 13 Reasons Why. The upcoming season will not be impacted in any way.”
Speaking about Asher with Buzzfeed, the executive of SCBWI Lin Oliver said: “After we investigated, we felt that terminating his membership was the proper course of action. We have always been really sensitive to sexual harassment issues and have a zero tolerance policy, but clearly our policies haven’t prevented violations, so we’re taking this opportunity to take another look at our guidelines.” Asher has responded in a statement calling Oliver’s comments “completely false.”
Will there be any new cast members?
Seven new characters were added to the cast in August 2017.
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.”
She added: “You see a very different Hannah in season 2. I would prepare fans not to expect the Hannah from season 1 for a multitude of reasons… It’s funny because I just wrapped and I think a lot of this season for me is about letting Hannah go.”
What will we find out about Hannah?
Speaking to Seventeen, Dylan Minnette has teased that there’s a lot more to discover about Hannah. “It would have been weird to end Hannah’s story in season one,” he explained, “because we only heard very small tidbits of her life told by her.” He hinted that we’ll have more flashbacks from other characters’ point of view, which will tell us more about Hannah. He continued: “There’s a whole life that Hannah had, and there’s more we can learn about her. Overall, learning more about her is more important to the entire narrative.”
However, we’ll not see many more scenes between Clay and Hannah, he says. “We potentially could see more flashbacks with Clay and Hannah, but what I will say is that I think we learn pretty much almost everything we needed to know about what Clay and Hannah’s relationship was [in season one]… In season one, whenever there was a flashback, it was either Hannah or Clay’s flashback and either Clay or Hannah or both were always in it. Now, maybe there will be a flashback they’re not in and you can learn more about something else.”
Will the tapes feature in season 2?
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.
Miles Heizer, who plays Alex Standall, has suggested the show will continue to tackle taboo topics – perhaps even more openly – this season. “We took the issues that were present in season 1 and made sure that they are present in season 2,” he explained. “If anything, we’re even more open about the taboo topics from season 1 and we dive in deeper.”
In another interview with Us Weekly, in March 2018, Heizer said that the new season is ‘very relevant’. He said: “We’re just talking about real issues that people don’t talk about that much, but I feel like are actually talking about more, especially right now in our culture. I think this season’s gonna be very relevant.”
What have the cast and crew said about the criticism?
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.”
On the show’s first anniversary in March, actor Kate Walsh (Mrs Baker) said: “Endlessly proud of this project… can’t wait to share season 2 with you.” She recently told E! that the second season is a “redemptive and hope-filled story”, adding: “You see my character having different relationships with different kids. That part was really exciting to me, being able to play with different actors. All of them are so good.”
In January, during an interview with Gold Derby, Langford elaborated on this point, saying: “I think one of the biggest things is just knowing that you’re never alone, knowing that even if you feel broken or that there’s something wrong with you, so many people are experiencing what you’re experiencing and there’s always help there for you. So I hope when people watch this it’s a way for them to see not only that they are able to talk about different things or maybe identify with what the characters are going through, but also in regards to Hannah, see … the opportunities where she could have asked for help or the avenues she could have gone down for help… I think with Hannah’s story it’s important to see where she is and see how you can get out of that situation and the avenues you can take. Mainly just, you’re not alone and you’re not broken.”
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.”
Wilson Cruz, who plays the Baker family’s lawyer Dennis Vasquez, told TooFab: “I think the story and the performances itself are going to blow people’s minds and I’m really proud of the fact that it is a catalyst for conversations for parents and kids to talk about issues that are really difficult to talk about.”
What other changes will be made?
Season 2 will not feature a suicide, says Paramount TV president Amy Powell. However, speaking to The Hollywood Reporter she said the second season would be “provocative”. She said: “We won’t show another suicide. There’s new storytelling that is as provocative and unexpected.”
Speaking to Seventeen, Dylan Minnette explained that we’ll see more of Clay and Skye together: “Skye is still around and in the picture and there’s a chance that her and Clay could be friends or more. That’s something you’ll learn pretty quickly when the season starts. I don’t want to spoil that for you, but she’s around.”
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.
Will 13 Reasons Why have a season 3?
Renew/Cancel TV has reported that “multiple insiders” have informed them that season 3 has been “secretly renewed”, though Netflix has yet to announce anything.
Paramount President Amy Powell said that the series’ showrunner, Brian Yorkey, is “already thinking” about the shape of a possible third season. She said he was “reticent to come back” for season two “until he could crack it”.
She added: “He didn’t want to commit to it blindly until he knew how to find an entry point into these characters and their stories. We’re not going to pressure him to create more seasons if he doesn’t feel they are there, but he is already starting to think about what a season three could be.”
FOR HELP AND ADVICE ON MENTAL HEALTH
- YOUNG MINDS – The voice for young people’s health and wellbeing
- CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably for young men
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Additional Reporting: Suhara Jayasena