Netflix is inching toward a season 2 renewal for 13 Reasons Why, their recently debuted teen drama. Adapted from Jay Asher’s bestselling YA novel of the same name, the series traces the events that led up to the suicide of protagonist Hannah Baker, confronting issues like bullying and sexual assault with bracing candor.
When the show premiered in late March, it quickly drew in critical acclaim, inciting early buzz for a potential season 2. All of the material from Asher’s book had been covered, but even he was on board for a second season, and the 13 Reasons Why cast has been vocal about their confidence that there’s more story to tell. However, the weeks since have been marred by backlash from mental health organizations. Critics have publicly chastised the project for its graphic depiction of Hannah’s death, pointing to both that specific scene and the broader story as potentially glamorizing self-harm. Still, fans have continued to press for another batch of episodes, and it seems Netflix is already circling a decision.
As reported by THR, the streaming giant is nearing a deal for a second season. The outlet’s sources confirmed the writer’s room had already been at work for some time, though Netflix declined to comment. Earlier this week, news broke that Riverdale was recasting the role of Reggie, played by 13 Reasons Why‘s Ross Butler (Zach) — an announcement that seemed to further indicate that the second season had been green lit. No official confirmation has been given as of yet, but the mounting evidence quite strongly hints that it’s a go.
A renewal would be an undoubtedly controversial move, but not all that surprising. The social media response to 13 Reasons Why suggests the show was a hit numbers wise, and despite the adverse reaction, its positive reviews remain. As a whole, it was a poignant, gripping, and thought-provoking narrative much in line with the prestige content with which Netflix has built a reputation.
That being said, its detractors have a point. As much as the story served as a powerful wake-up call to listen a little closer and be a little kinder, it also put the blame for Hannah’s death almost exclusively on outside forces and failed to address Hannah’s own mental health in a meaningful way. Those are problematic oversights, and producers should take note.
If 13 Reasons Why does get a season 2, it will need to proceed carefully, but if it can course-correct its missteps, it has the potential to make a truly, deeply powerful mark on television.
13 Reasons Why season 1 is now streaming on Netflix.