Controversial, popular Netflix series ’13 Reasons Why’ could get a second season

13 reasons why season 2
Beth Dubber / Netflix

The controversial Netflix original series 13 Reasons Why could be getting a second season, according to several sources.

While Netflix hasn’t officially confirmed the news, it wouldn’t be surprising given that the series, based on a novel of the same name by Jay Asher, was Tweeted about more than any other Netflix series during their first week of availability.

Reception to the series, which was executive produced by Selena Gomez, has been polarizing. While some praise its open approach to presenting teenage life, depression, rape, and suicide, some critics and mental health organizations believe that it could do more harm than good, and that it sensationalizes and glorifies suicide. But creator Brian Yorkey told The Hollywood Reporter that they felt it was important to show the graphic suicide scene, in order to “confront the fact that suicide is messy, ugly, and incredibly painful … as difficult as it is to watch, it should be difficult to watch.”

The story follows Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), a high school student who commits suicide, leaving behind a series of audio cassette tapes to be passed around to several individuals whom she says played a role in the decision to take her own life. Each episode covers one side of a tape and one person, with Hannah’s narration depicted alongside flashbacks. These scenes are interspersed with the present day as everyone, including Hannah’s love interest, Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette), deals with the aftermath of her death. A handful of the episodes, which carry warnings, show graphic depictions of rape and suicide.

Given the finality of the storyline, it’s tough to imagine how to keep the series going, but The Hollywood Reporter, among other sources, reports that the streaming site is nearing a deal to make a second season a reality. Two likely scenarios could (spoiler alert) center on the character of school photographer Tyler Down (Devin Druid), who appeared to be planning a mass shooting of some kind, or to explore the fate of classmate Alex Standall (Miles Heizer).

Another hint pointing toward possible renewal: Ross Butler, who played jock Zach in 13 Reasons Why and had a supporting role on the first season of Riverdale, is reportedly being recast for the second season of that CW show due to his “commitment to other projects.” Might that be 13 Reasons Why?