13 Reasons Why returns for second series after teen suicide controversy

Controversial Netflix series 13 Reasons Why will return for a second series on Friday.

The drama, about a teenage girl who takes her own life and details the reasons why in a series of tapes she leaves behind, won legions of young fans with its first series but received criticism from mental health experts who expressed concern it glamorised suicide.

In response to the backlash, Netflix added warning cards and information about crisis hotlines.

In preparation for the launch of the second series new resources were also added to the show’s website with discussion guides and a set of videos where the cast address issues in the series including bullying, sexual assault and drug abuse.

Katherine Langford, who plays Hannah Baker in the series, has described the role as “probably the hardest first job you could ever be asked to do”.

The second series will pick up in the aftermath of Hannah’s death as those she leaves behind begin the act of healing and recovery.

Brian Yorkey, the show’s creator, has addressed dealing with such a tough topic, saying: “We knew we would have to look at some of these issues in an unflinching way and it might not always be comfortable viewing, but if we did it truthfully and honourably, that it would resonate with people.

“I hope that is what happened with young viewers and they have seen that we are trying to tell these characters’ stories, but also treat these issues as truthfully as we can.”

Discussing the second series of the show, he added: “Each of these characters has so much more to them and as we went through season one it really became apparent to us that we didn’t want to leave them behind.

“We thought there was so much more story to tell, we were really interested in seeing how they would all start to heal from this trauma that they were a part of, and see if they had learned any lessons as a community and if maybe they would learn to come together for each other in a way they weren’t able to before.”

He added: “We became very invested in what happens next for them and for Hannah.

“Have we heard her whole story? We heard her tapes but there must be more to that story.”

The new episodes will continue the plot line of Hannah’s parents suing her school over her death and Dylan Minnette, who plays Clay Jensen, has said: “When this trial begins it brings him back into old memories of Hannah and brings him back to trying to find justice for her again and whether he wants to or not, he can’t really help it.

“No matter whether he believes he has moved on, he quickly realises that he hasn’t.”

The second series of 13 Reasons Why will stream on Netflix on May 18.

- Press Association

 

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