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13 Reasons Why Season 2 is Coming in 2018

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Jonathan Silva

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Mind Works:
December 21, 2017

Should you watch?

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Katherine Langford plays Hannah Baker in the series”13 Reasons Why.”

Katherine Langford plays Hannah Baker in the series”13 Reasons Why.”

Photo by Beth Dubber/Netflix

Photo by Beth Dubber/Netflix

Katherine Langford plays Hannah Baker in the series”13 Reasons Why.”

 

The controversial “13 Reasons Why” web series, based on the book of the same name by Jay Asher, has been renewed for a second season on Netflix. The streaming service has already released a teaser trailer for the second season, which is expected in 2018. In its first season, the show portrays the aftereffects and reasons behind the suicide of Hannah Baker, a character portrayed by Katherine Langford. “I think [the purpose of the web series] was to show how suicide affects people. I guess to show [Hannah’s] life, and show how saying one thing can really affect a person,” said Emory Hornung (9). With the focus on teen suicide amid other subjects such as self-harm and rape, “13 Reasons Why” has sparked controversy among parents and schools. After the release of the first season, many school districts, including District 38, released a warning email to parents concerning the show. Students also remain divided in their opinions. Hornung, for instance, enjoyed the first season of “13 Reasons Why,” but thinks that the show romanticizes teen suicide.

In Victor Spalloni’s (12) point of view, the series “was definitely very controversial and there were different sides to every story [in the series]. It’s really based off your perspective. For teens, you may think ‘it’s not that big of a deal.’ For parents, [it is] way big of a deal.” Regarding the district warning to parents about the show, Spalloni said that he “think[s] that is fair. If schools think that it’s not appropriate, then it’s not appropriate. But it is up to parents and their children to decide whether or not they think they can handle it or not.”

Cliffhangers at the end of the first season insinuated that a possibly more controversial scenario, gun violence on school property, will appear in the second season. Tyler Down, a character played by Devin Druid, hid guns and ammunition towards the end of the first season, leading many viewers of the show to believe he will commit a mass murder. Meanwhile, character Alex Standall, portrayed by Miles Heizer, finished the first season with a gunshot wound.

“I think if you try to continue [the suicide plot] onto a second season, and then try to bring a school shooting into it, [the show] won’t be as focused. I don’t think there should be a second season,” said Hornung. Spalloni also highlighted a perceived change in tone for the series. “It’s definitely interesting because instead of one person affecting many from their death, it will be one person affecting others by killing them, which I think will create a completely different story [from the first season],” Spalloni said. “That would raise more concern to parents in general.”

Victor Spalloni (12) and Emory Hornung (9) have shared opinions to the Bear Truth on the controversial series.

Ms. Tamarra Hardin, Palmer Ridge’s school psychologist, made a few statements about the web series’ upcoming second season:  “I’ve heard that the second season is going to be worse. It’s hard because our news [outlets] report graphic materials. The movies and TV shows [do as well] . . . It’s difficult because our way of lifestyle has grown into much more violence – the need for much more graphic violent context in order to do the shock and awe [of a drama]. If you just talked about it, it wouldn’t create the same level of a response . . . The concerns are the students or teenagers or young adults that we don’t know [have] that level [of depression] because they are able to hide it better. [The show] could create a different context for them.”

In 2012, there were 1,053 completed suicides in the United States, which was an increase of 15.8% from the previous year. In 2014, there were 1,058 completed suicides; suicide was the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24, following car accidents (Colorado Crisis Service). Ever since Columbine in 1999, the frequency of school shootings has increased. There have been over 200 school shooting occurrences since Sandy Hook in 2012 (Huffington Post). Currently, El Paso County has the highest teen suicide rate in Colorado (Colorado Crisis Service).

The one point that Ms. Hardin, Spalloni, and Hornung all agree on is that media should not be blamed for teen suicide rates. Hornung believes it is the local high expectations for students that lead to depression, and eventually suicide attempts. “I think you can’t blame [teen suicide] on a TV show, obviously,” Hornung said. “But I think [El Paso] has this teen depression problem because we are smarter. We have a smart county [concerning high school students].  [The depression and expectation to prove intelligence] go along together because students push themselves.” It is worth noting that depression and anxiety are not the only mental health disorders associated with suicide; other mental health issues, such as mood disorders, PTSD, or schizophrenia can contribute to someone’s attempt to take their own life.

Ms. Hardin has her own thoughts about the cause of suicide attempts; “You really should be blaming the lack of education around mental health and therapies and the stigmatizations around someone with depression [or some other mental health issue] . . . it is the lack of awareness for mental health.” As a psychologist, Ms. Hardin is a strong supporter of improving mental health care, as she stated to The Bear Truth last year. “For someone to be able to take their own life, it is the ability for someone to override their own survival instinct,” Ms. Hardin said. “It has to be a very conscious decision. If someone is that strong, what can they do if we gave them the help they needed?”

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, anxiety, and/or suicidal thoughts, please contact:

  • Palmer Ridge’s School Psychologist – Ms. Tamarra Hardin at [email protected]
  • Your School Counselor (see the staff profile page of the Palmer Ridge website), trusted family members, or spiritual leaders
  • Safe-2-Tell at 1-877-542-7233
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or 911

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