13 Reasons Why returns with season 2 on May 18th. We have a complicated relationship with this show. It was an incredibly engaging drama that explored a lot of heavy issues for an audience that is comprised largely of teenagers (I know that, locally, middle schools were sending notes to parents to help guide their children on how to deal with the themes in the Netflix series). There were some missteps in the first season, namely the graphic nature of a rape scene and questions about whether the series, in a way, romanticized suicide. On that issue, I fell on both sides, I guess. If I’d seen the series as a teenager, I’d have probably perceived Hannah’s exit from this world as “kind of cool,” but I think more than that, I’d have thought, “I’m not alone.”
In either respect, that first season felt very intimate; it poked at a lot of raw nerves for folks, while some found the entire idea behind the series distasteful. I get that, too.
Season two does not have a book upon which to base its story — in fact, the Netflix series has distanced itself from the book’s author, Jay Asher, amid sexual harassment allegations — but it appears that it will continue to take up a number of heavy issues as it grapples with a lawsuit filed against the school over Hannah’s death; the guidance counselor’s efforts to avoid making the same mistake he made with Hannah; gun violence; and serial sexual abuse.
The show has to strike a delicate balance — and I think it did more times than not in its first season — but as it evolves from an issue-based series into a more commercial one designed to maintain its massive first season audience, I worry that the teen drama elements may suffocate the heavier themes.
Also, Polaroids instead of tapes. 😬
Anyway, here’s the season 2 teaser trailer, which doesn’t offer much by way of substance other than confirming that the second season will center on a series of Polaroid pictures.
The tapes were just the beginning. May 18. pic.twitter.com/MZczjM1fP3— 13 Reasons Why (@13ReasonsWhy) April 30, 2018