The novel Thirteen Reasons Why has a conclusive ending to its story — but the television series based off of it seems to be forging its own path. Season 2 of Netflix's teen drama 13 Reasons Why premieres on Friday, May 18, featuring a whole new plot after having adapted the original novel in Season 1. Season 2 is moving beyond the novel, but will this new story attract enough viewers to ensure that there will be a Season 3 of 13 Reasons Why?
Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why is picking up shortly after the events of the first season, with Hannah's suicide still fresh on everyone's mind. This season, instead of using a leftover selection of cassette tapes to solve the mystery of why Hannah committed suicide, Hannah's former classmates will be using a collection of polaroid photographs to try and uncover a conspiracy going on in their hometown. The show may be done with the cassettes that dictated the original 13 Reasons Why and gave the show it's title, but in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, creator Brian Yorkey believes that the show could tell a story much larger in scope than the novel it's inspired by — and the show has already been making some important production decisions.
In The Hollywood Reporter, Yorkey said, "We’re following the stories of these characters. I always think there’s more story to tell, but I think that depends on viewers and everyone’s reaction to it and whether it’s important to keep telling the story." While the show is reliant on the viewership of its fans, Yorkey believes that telling an interesting story is more important than trying to recreate exactly what made Season 1 of 13 Reasons Why a success. He said, "If there is a future for the show, to me, it’s about these characters, and not necessarily a new set of reasons or a new set of tapes. Someone else might do that, but that’s not my job to do that."
While this doesn't confirm that there will be a third season, it does confirm that should there be a Season 3 of 13 Reasons Why, it will be following these same characters. In an interview with EW in 2017, Yorkey revealed "When we originally pitched [the show], there was another version, which was an anthology version where, in sort of True Detective mode, every year you start with a new 13 reasons.” That changed along the way, and Yorkey still wants to explore these characters even further instead of starting from scratch.
Despite the lack of a formal announcement about a Season 3 of 13 Reasons Why, a news leak may have revealed that Netflix is already planning for another season. According to Sonoma West Times & News, Analy High School — the school that 13 Reasons Why uses for filming — approved a licensing agreement with Paramount Pictures, allowing their school to be used as a backdrop for a third season. There's still a chance that Netflix could cancel the show after the second season, but the chance that the show seems to be taking steps towards a third season is a positive sign for fans.
While Season 1 of 13 Reasons Why ended up causing some controversy over its depiction of teenage suicide, it also opened up an avenue for teenagers to openly discuss some serious real-life issues. Aided by resources like an official Season 1 discussion guide, 13 Reasons Why ends up being more than just another teen drama. The series' commitment to providing viewers with the necessary language to discuss things like sexual violence and drug abuse suggests that a Season 3 of 13 Reasons Why would be more than just an addition to the story — it could be a valuable education tool as well. Of course, that all depends on how the story is explored in Season 2. But, if it gets renewed, look for it in spring of 2019 per previous season air dates.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.