Note: this is a spoiler-free advanced review of 13 Reasons Why’s second season, which premieres on Netflix on Friday, May 18.
There was a lot of collective head-scratching when Netflix announced a second season of 13 Reasons Why. Not because the first season wasn’t a well-crafted teen drama (you can see my review here), or because its apparently massive viewership numbers didn’t warrant a follow-up. The confusion came from the fact that Season 1 told a largely finite and self-contained story. The goal was to show us why troubled teen Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) committed suicide, and the first season definitively answered that question. In the process, it used up the entirety of the Jay Asher novel. What is there to be gained from revisiting Hannah Baker’s story?