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"By making a second season, 13 Reasons Why ceases to make sense."

As of this month, it has been confirmed that controversial American teen drama 13 Reasons Why will be renewed for a second season.

Season one begins with Clay Jensen receiving a package containing 13 audio tapes. When he presses play, he hears the voice of Hannah Baker – a close friend who recently died by suicide.

The season is split into 13 episodes, and each explores a distinct ‘reason’ why Hannah ended her own life. The final episode depicts Hannah’s death in graphic detail.

A month ago I wrote a piece outlining why the final episode of 13 Reasons Why should never have been made, and I firmly stand by it.

Health experts worldwide have criticised the series’ portrayal of suicide, and headspace Australia has issued a public health warning regarding possible suicide contagion.

Laura Brodnik and Clare Stephens discuss the upcoming second season of 13 Reasons Why on The Binge. Post continues below.

Since the series’ release, headspace has had a growing numbers of calls and emails directly related to the program, with a number of young people reporting that they now feel as though “suicide is a possible option for them”.

In New Zealand, which has one of the highest youth suicide rates in the world, the classification was officially changed to ‘RP18’, meaning the show must be watched with a parent or guardian if one is under 18.

In the US, a superintendent of Palm Beach County, Florida schools, told parents that their school has seen an increase in self-harm and suicidal behaviour among students since the release of 13 Reasons Why. 

But rather than acknowledge the very valid criticism from health experts, and participate in valuable conversations about how we portray and discuss the issue of suicide in a context where it is the leading cause of death among young people, Netflix has decided to instead commission another series.

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13 Reasons Why has been renewed for a second series. Image via Netflix.

Yet, in doing so, they're overlooking a truth of suicide that the first season also failed to acknowledge.

For Hannah, it's over. There is no more to her story. There cannot be another chapter.

The first season had Hannah narrating beyond the grave. It was a revenge fantasy, whereby Hannah sort vengeance on those who 'wronged' her. But suicide is not, and can never be, an act of revenge.

There are no realisations. There is no redemption. Because when an individual ends their own life - that's it. The lights turn off.

They don't watch their family mourn, or their friends grapple with loss. They do not hear the conversations where people ask themselves what more they could have done, and how they lost a smart, funny, brilliant best friend with endless potential.

For them, it's endless silence.

Image via Netflix.
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Viewers are calling for another season, to tie up the loose ends, and answer the questions the finale didn't. But that is perhaps the only redeeming feature of 13 Reasons Why. 

There will always be questions, and there is no universal truth to be discovered. It's messy and complicated, and whether Bryce is charged for Hannah and Jessica's rape, or Justin has an epiphany that he contributed to Hannah's death - nothing will bring her back.

Closure isn't something the world gives you, especially when it comes to suicide.

There is no more story for Hannah, who is at the heart of 13 Reasons Why. Her tapes are what underpin the book and the series. No more sense can be made, because to the healthy mind, suicide does not make sense.

It is time, now, to let Hannah rest.

You can listen to the full episode of The Binge, here. 

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