13 Reasons Why, Netflix’s jarring portrayal of teenage life and the very real problem of suicide, has done what it was supposed to do. It got people talking, and now more than ever, the idea of bullying, sexual assault and suicide are placed at the forefront of viewers’ attention. As the series continues to gain prominence, however, talks of a possible Season 2 have begun springing up.
Even Executive Producer Selena Gomez and Katherine Langford, who plays Hannah, have stated that they are open to the idea of pursuing the story further, as indicated in a Hollywood Reporter report. Since another season of 13 Reasons Why would definitely make good television, there are some very compelling reasons why such a thing should not happen.
Among the most notable reasons why 13 Reasons Why must not have a second season is the simple fact that the story, at its core, is the tragic tale of Hannah Baker and why she decided to end her life. The central conflict of the novel, which dealt with Hannah’s numerous reasons why she chose death over life, has been explored by the Netflix series. Over the course of 13 Reasons Why‘s episodes, there were already moments when the plot dragged on more than it should. With the final episode, it was already evident that Hannah’s story has gone full circle, and that her tale has effectively ended.
The main reason behind speculations of 13 Reasons Why Season 2 revolves primarily around the events that transpired in the final episode of the series. As the episode drew to a close, the fate of the 13 people Hannah singled out was shown, and each has decided to handle their circumstances in different ways. While it would be interesting to see exactly how each of the side characters would deal with the events in the finale, anything more would already be stretching the story too much. TV shows are no stranger to expanding their plot beyond their respective source materials, but in this particular aspect, such a strategy would not be the best for 13 Reasons Why.
One of the best things about the 13th episode of the series is the fact that so much of the plot was left to the reader’s imagination. There’s Justin, who leaves town with a gun and a bottle of alcohol after failing to reconnect with his girlfriend, Jessica. There’s Alex, who is in critical condition after shooting himself in the head, according to an Entertainment Weekly report. There’s also Tyler, who was revealed to have a stash of weapons and ammo in his room. Then there’s Jessica, who finally opens up to her father about what happened to her during her house party.
Even Hannah’s parents were able to get a rather satisfying send-off in the series, as the grieving pair was shown to be listening to Hannah’s tape in their computer. With such evidence on hand, including a direct confession from Bryce, there was very little doubt that justice would, no matter how late, eventually be served. Clay was able to start his redemption arc as well, finally reconnecting with an old friend who might very well be just a few steps away from Hannah.
Suicide affects numerous people in various ways, and 13 Reasons Why was able to portray this immensely well in the season finale. Characters were affected by Hannah’s death, and their different reactions were explored significantly in the series. Any more would be far too cliche and downright exploitative to the overall plot and theme of 13 Reasons Why.
Just like the novel, which also ended with a rather open ending, Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why is already excellent enough on its own, with Hannah’s story taking center stage. It does not need a follow-up season. Not only would it be contradictory to the theme of the first season, it would also, just like the bullies in the show, downplay Hannah’s fate as something that could be brushed aside.
[Featured Image by Netflix]