On May 1, Netflix announced a return date for 13 Reasons Why — May 18! — with a teaser trailer that gave fans some insight on what to expect for the sophomore season. On May 8, the official trailer dropped, offering audiences well over two minutes of pure Season 2 intensity. The wildly popular, albeit controversial, program featured the suicide of teenager Hannah Baker and the 13 cassette tapes of clues she left behind.
According to Netflix, "Season 2 picks up in the aftermath of Hannah's death and the start of our characters' complicated journeys toward healing and recovery. Liberty High prepares to go on trial, but someone will stop at nothing to keep the truth surrounding Hannah's death concealed. A series of ominous Polaroids lead Clay and his classmates to uncover a sickening secret and a conspiracy to cover it up."
Creator/showrunner Brian Yorkey added that the series will also explore sexual assault, in addition to the fallout from Hannah's suicide. "I once read something online where someone said, 'Well, Jessica told her dad she was raped, so her story is over,' he told The Hollywood Reporter. "I remember thinking that right there is reason enough to do a Season 2 because her story is just beginning — her experience continues to be a central part of Season 2." He added, "In Season 2, we explore how these characters deal with the aftermath of what happened to Hannah. [Guidance Counselor] Mr. Porter will be coming to terms with the way that he let Hannah down and will be determined not to let any kids down in the future. His story is one of the most compelling to me. We’ll see a man who is determined to reach every kid who needs to be reached and help every kid who needs to be helped, whatever it takes. I think he will probably go out of bounds a bit in the other direction, trying to be helpful in the best way that he knows."
The screen adaptation of Jay Asher's 2007 young adult novel sparked backlash for its graphic content throughout Season 1. Schools in several states sent home letters warning parents about the show, which spokesperson for Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland Derek Turner told News 4 "romanticizes" some "very adult themes."
As a result, the streaming company put out a warning ahead of the show's premiere date and revealed that they commissioned a global research study with Northwestern University's Center on Media and Human Development, which looked at the impact of media on children and teens. The study revealed that 71% of teens and young adults found the show relatable, and nearly three-quarters of teen and young adult viewers said the show made them feel more comfortable processing tough topics. More than half of teens reached out to someone to apologize for how they had treated them, and nearly three-quarters of teens said that they tried to be more considerate about how they treated others after watching the show.
13 Reasons Why Season 2 premieres Friday, May 18, on Netflix.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.