Have you binge-watched all of "13 Reasons Why" yet? If you have, you're probably a little emotionally devastated, and that's a-okay.
You're also probably asking yourself if this amazing Netflix series will be a standalone piece, or if there's room for a Season 2. Here at Screener, we're of two minds about it.
Obviously we want more of this story and more of these characters and their turbulent lives, especially after the way the series ended. On the other hand, we have to ask ourselves if that would truly be the best way to serve Hannah (Katherine Langford) and Clay's (Dylan Minnette) story.
Yes, there should be a Season 2.
While this powerful series managed to tell compelling and heartbreaking stories that desperately needed to be seen, "13 Reasons Why" didn't exactly wrap up all its loose ends.
Alex (Miles Heizer) shot himself in the head, but did he survive? Did he record 13 of his own tapes before he pulled the trigger, launching this whole cycle again? There's also the question of what happened to Justin (Brandon Flynn). He left town, which was probably the best move for him, considering his home life was toxic at best and abusive at worst. We're dying to know where he goes from here, and if he can ever work his way towards redemption for everything he did to Hannah and Jessica (Alisha Boe).
Don't think we didn't catch that trunk full of guns at Tyler's (Devin Druid) house either. There's no recapturing the magic of what made Season 1 so awesome, but launching this story from a school shooting standpoint would be a new and horrific take on the alternative so many kids unfortunately consider when they're bullied the way Tyler and Hannah were. Rather than harming themselves, they decide that vengefully harming others is their only option. An attack on the school would certainly be a chilling way to revisit these troubled characters.
Finally, we're just too invested in Hannah's story to have it end with Season 1. We want to watch Bryce (Justin Prentice) pay for what he did. We want to see if and how Jessica recovers from the trauma she was put through. We want to see the school -- and Mr. Porter (Derek Luke) in particular -- suffer the the consequences of the bullying culture they refused to acknowledge or correct. We want to see Hannah's parents battle for justice. Mostly though, we want to see how Clay deals with the aftermath of this situation, and if he can help Skye avoid the same fate as Hannah. -- Lindsay MacDonald
No, there shouldn't be a Season 2.
There's no denying that the first season of "13 Reasons Why" left plenty of stories that could be told in future installments. That doesn't mean they need to be told, though. At the end of this series, viewers are left with the sobering reality that Hannah is still dead and there's nothing that will change that. However, there's also the heartbreak in knowing that the cycle of brutality doesn't simply end with her.
The point of this series and the book it was based on is to point out the nature of abuse and the damage it can cause, even driving someone to take their own life. What happens next, as sad as we are to say it, is inconsequential. Perhaps Alex survived his own suicide attempt, maybe Tyler ended up carrying out a shooting at school -- or some other very public venue. Chances are Bryce ended up facing some very serious punishment for what he did, while the school was dismantled by authorities for their poor treatment of a student. These are all ideas that, with any other show, would make for an interesting way to continue the story.
That isn't this show, though. This is Hannah's story, in which she tells viewers what drove her to the point of making a decision she couldn't undo, while pointing out all of the opportunities there were to change things.The story of a girl who was bullied, harassed and sexually assaulted by fellow classmates that seemingly worked together to hide their horrible behavior. It's a series that shows the terrible things people do to each other have consequences, even though sometimes we'd rather believe that to not be the case.
To continue that story beyond its natural conclusion cheapens the powerful tale that unfolded this season. "13 Reasons Why" isn't about closure or moving on. It forces us to sit with the idea that this could have been avoided at so many turns but wasn't. That's not something the show itself should look past in an effort to tell another compelling story in the same world. -- Chris E. Hayner
For those looking for closure on Hannah's story, the after show, "Beyond the Reasons" is an incredibly insightful alternative to a Season 2.
"13 Reasons Why" is available now on Netflix.