The second season of 13 Reasons Why is going to be a little different than the first, but in the best, most responsible way possible.
Following the passionate conversations that stemmed from the show's first season — which explicitly dealt with tough topics including bullying, mental health, suicide, and sexual assault — Netflix commissioned a study through Northwestern University's Center on Media and Human Development. They surveyed 5,400 teens, young adults, and parents in the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand to determine what the show did well, and the areas in which they could improve moving forward.
Some key takeaways from the study's global report include:
— 74% to 80% of teens and young adults surveyed agreed that the issues portrayed on the show are issues people their age deal with, and 63% to 74% felt the intensity was appropriate
— The show encouraged 67% to 76% of teens and young adults to be more considerate of how they treat others, and 45% to 60% reached out to someone to apologize for how they had treated them
— 59% to 88% of teens and young adults and 44% to 68% of adults (with even higher percentages in Brazil) reported an increased understanding of and the ability to process the hard topics addressed in the show
— The show sparked many helpful conversations within and across age groups, but over half of teens and young adults, and even more parents, wanted more discussion in the show about what viewers could do to help those who may be suffering, and 62% to 74% of parents wanted more resources from mental health professionals
In response, Netflix is making some necessary changes heading into the show's second season, which will see returns from central characters Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette), and Jessica Davis (Alisha Boe).
In addition to bulking up the resources available on 13ReasonsWhy.info, including adding a viewing guide to facilitate more nuanced conversation, each season will begin with a custom video message from the cast members (as themselves, not their characters) discussing how to get help and support.
A new aftershow will provide even more insight from the actors, experts, and educators, and Netflix has started to share some of the stories of actual viewers through a series of videos on YouTube called "Tell Them."