There’s been no small amount of controversy surrounding Netflix’s teen drama 13 Reasons Why since its recent release. The series, based on a popular YA novel of the same name, centers on the aftermath of Liberty High Scool student Hannah’s (Katherine Langford) suicide, in which several of her friends and classmates receive tapes explaining their part in her decision to take her life. The controversy comes from not-unfounded accusations of romanticizing suicide in a time when suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts are at record high numbers for American teens.
Nevertheless, the series has been a humongous hit and despite our own reservations about renewal, TVLine confirmed today that we will indeed be getting a second season of the series. This news also comes with a shake-up behind the scenes, as original showrunner Diana Son will be replaced by Tony and Pulitzer winner Brian Yorkey, the man behind Next to Normal and a crucial creative force behind Million Dollar Quartet. It’s not like Yorkey would be an entirely new element to the show: he’s credited as creator, producer, and writer on every episode in the first season. It sounds like a nothing move but it might be exactly the change-up that helps the series crawl out from under its hard-to-argue controversy.
There’s no release date for Season 2 right now but one would have to expect that it would be ready by the time the anniversary of its first season arrives in 2018. For now, there’s a teaser trailer that features shots from Season 1 and not much else, which you can watch below. What I hope is that the next season doesn’t feel so overly sober and controlled, so pleasingly moody and pretty that the intensely serious issues at play don’t just feel like parts of an intricate mystery story. The show is about teenagers but it has the rigid sobriety of an adult filmmaker, one that can’t quite remember how uncontrollable and untamable kids emotions can be. And whereas we see every single indignation that Hannah suffers, all the other characters’ problems seem to be muted and at a distance, which shows an irksome lack of empathy and emotional scope. There’s plenty of promise in 13 Reasons Why but a successful second season will rely on some serious growth for the show’s creative team. We shall see.
Here’s the first teaser trailer for 13 Reasons Why Season 2:
— 13 Reasons Why (@13ReasonsWhy) May 7, 2017