The controversial show's writers say the character's story is not over yet
Hannah Baker, the character at the centre of controversial Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why, is set to play an “integral part” in the show’s second season.
The hit Netflix show, based on Jay Asher’s 2007 novel of the same name, tells the story of 17-year-old girl called Hannah Baker. Hannah commits suicide, leaving a box of tapes explaining her reasons why before Clay Jensen listens through them all in his attempt to come to terms with her death.
Writer Brian Yorkey, however, told The Hollywood Reporter Baker’s story is not over yet. “One of the things that is a fundamental element of our show is the weaving of past and the present,” he said.
“Hannah’s story is still very much not finished. She’s an integral part of whatever the next chapter of the story is, and she’s very much still at the centre of it.”
Langford, meanwhile, also suggested that she would be returning to the show in the future, despite a second season not having been officially confirmed yet. “There’s definitely more story to tell,” she said. “It would be cool to continue the dialogue of this story. There are so many cliffhangers at the end of the season.”
Meanwhile, one of the writers of 13 Reasons Why has spoken out to defend the show’s depiction of suicide after being criticised by mental health charities and Stranger Things actor Shannon Purser.
Recently mental health charity Headspace revealed that they’d received “a growing numbers of calls and emails directly related to the programme”, warning that it “presents the viewer with very confronting and graphic messaging and imagery inclusive of suicide method and means”.
Purser warned fans against watching the show if they were struggling with similar issues to those depicted in the programme, saying: “I would advise against watching 13 Reasons Why if you currently struggle with suicidal thoughts or self harm/have undergone sexual assault. There are some very graphic scenes in there that could easily trigger painful memories and feelings. Please protect yourselves.”
Writer Nic Sheff defended the programme in an open letter on Vanity Fair, stating: “… [W]hen 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.”
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He continued: “It overwhelmingly seems to me that the most irresponsible thing we could’ve done would have been not to show the death at all. In AA, they call it playing the tape: encouraging alcoholics to really think through in detail the exact sequence of events that will occur after relapse. It’s the same thing with suicide. To play the tape through is to see the ultimate reality that suicide is not a relief at all – it’s a screaming, agonising, horror.”