’13 Reasons Why’ showrunner says ‘there’s quite a bit more of Hannah’s story to tell’ in Season 2

Season 2 will start the healing process.
Image: Beth Dubber/Netflix

13 Reasons Why isn’t stopping at just 13 reasons.

Netflix’s hit drama based on Jay Asher’s bestselling book of the same name is already in production on its second season. Showrunner Brian Yorkey is venturing into completely new territory with the show’s sophomore outing, having no source material to follow, since the first season covered Asher’s book in its entirety.

While Yorkey is keeping some spoilers close to the chest as filming begins next week, he did join stars Katherine Langford (Hannah), Dylan Minette (Clay), Kate Walsh (Hannah’s mother Olivia) and executive producer Tom McCarthy for a Netflix For Your Consideration panel for 13 Reasons Why in Los Angeles on Friday night. Much to the delight of the audience, in the final few minutes of the panel, he finally dropped some hints about what fans can expect to see in Season 2.

“What I can tell you is that certainly one question I get a lot is, ‘How can there be a Season 2 when the story’s over?’ My response is, ‘What story is over?'” Yorkey said. “‘Well, Hannah’s story is over.’ Well, Hannah told her version of events, but there are at least 12 kids who have another version of those events that we actually haven’t really heard from yet. So I think there’s quite a bit more of Hannah’s story to tell.”

Yorkey made it clear, however, that he doesn’t mean that Hannah lied on the tapes. “I don’t think Hannah told any untruths on her tape but I think she told her story and she reclaimed her narrative which had really been taken from her,” he said. “She reclaimed the narrative, ‘This is the story of my life and this is why it ends.’ But there are other people who might want to tell that story differently or who are players in that story who might have a different perspective on some of those events.”

He added, “I think Season 2 will see us look at a lot of the events that we think we know how they went down and maybe learn they’re more complicated than first we thought, and that Hannah herself is even more complicated than we saw in Season 1.”

Another aspect of Season 2 will explore how Hannah’s family and friends have been forever altered by her death, just as in real life examining the grieving process from every angle.

“For those that Hannah left behind, that story is just beginning. The story of their recovery is just beginning,” Yorkey said. “Clay and Olivia Baker are two of the people who have the most healing to do and that process was just in its very, very first stages when Season 1 ended. Season 2 is also about healing and about how we go on, because people always say that you have to go on, but how do we after something like that?”

While Yorkey hasn’t given Minette the full rundown on what he’s going to be doing as Clay in Season 2, the actor is eager to learn any and all spoilers he can.

“This weekend we’re sitting down and he’s going to give me the whole story of this season,” Minette told Mashable on the red carpet. “I know some of it, I read some of it, but I don’t know the entire arc and I’m dying to know. I’m curious to see how well Clay is going to do with closure and moving on and if he’s going to be able to at all.”

Clay may have ended Season 1 looking as if he had a giant weight lifted off his chest, driving away with his friends after passing the tapes on to the school guidance counselor, but Minette “would be surprised if he’s able to just move on.”

“I don’t think that’s going to be the case,” he said. “I’m sure his anxiety is going to come into play still. He handled things pretty poorly here and there in Season 1, so I’m interested to see how he handles things this season. We’ll see. I think there’s more to be explore with his closure, I mean this season ended with him having a smirk on his face in the car riding away. What does that mean? I’m excited to know.”

Breakout star Langford was “pleasantly surprised” when she learned that she’d be back for Season 2, considering that Hannah is, well… not around anymore.

“We’re going to see Hannah in flashbacks,” Langford told Mashable. “We’re going to see parts of Hannah’s life that we didn’t in Season 1. We haven’t really gone into that much detail but I know that we’re going to continue that dialogue and keep developing the story.”

Despite the lack of source material for Season 2, Langford has full confidence in Yorkey and knows that he’ll be able to deliver an exciting, powerful and important story once more.

“I knew that Netflix and the creators would only come back for a Season 2 if it was going to add to the story,” she said. “So when I found out I was coming back and I get to be a part of it, I was just even more excited. I would love to see the quieter moments in Hannah’s life that we didn’t get to see covered in Season 1. It would be really interesting to see some of those missing pieces. And I’m really excited to see who the new narrator is.”

Another character whose story will be developed even further in Season 2 is Jessica (Alisha Boe), who found out that she had been raped by her boyfriend’s best friend and seemed to be about to tell her father in the finale.

“We have to mention Jessica, who is the living victim of Bryce [Justin Prentice],” Yorkey said. “I’ve actually had people say to me, ‘Well her story’s done, she told her dad.’ This to me is one of the problems with what we’re conditioned to expect about stories about rape especially on television, is that they’re an arc that belongs to a character that covers three episodes or five episodes and then a little bit later in the season they’re on to the next thing with new love interests.”

He continued, “Having spoken to many, many rape survivors and having many of them in my life very close to me, we know that it is a lifelong process. So Jessica’s story is very much just beginning.”

Looking ahead at Season 2, Yorkey remains committed to telling real stories about real issues that teenagers are facing these days.

“One of the things that we did well in Season 1 is look long and hard at the real lives that teenagers lead and to go pretty deep into a number of different young people’s lives,” he says. “I’d like to see us keep telling those stories, keep looking at those kids’ lives and how they move on from here and how especially they try to lead lives of fullness and joy in times that are very, very dark.”

13 Reasons Why Season 1 is now streaming in full on Netflix.

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