×

Everything We Know About ’13 Reasons Why’ Season 2

The Season 2 premiere of Netflix’s buzzy teen drama13 Reasons Why” is fast approaching, and the recently released trailer, featuring the returns of main cast members Katherine Langford, Dylan Minnette, Alisha Boe, and more as the Liberty High students grapple with Hannah’s death, has piqued anticipation for the series’ sophomore run.

The new season begins in the throes of a court case that forces its teen protagonists — and antagonists — to delve deeper into their inner struggles and actions that led up to Hannah’s suicide in the Season 1 finale. Here’s everything we know about “13 Reasons Why” Season 2, streaming Friday.

Seven New Actors Joined the Cast

The show’s ensemble cast expands in the second season to include seven new recurring characters played by Anne Winters, Bryce Cass, Chelsea Alden, Allison Miller, Samantha Logan, Kelli O’Hara, and Ben Lawson. Winters plays Liberty High’s newest head cheerleader and beautiful “it girl” Chloe; Cass plays the edgy and mischievous Cyrus; Alden plays Cyrus’ artsy, witty, and outspoken sister Mackenzie; Logan plays respected track star Nina; O’Hara plays a passionate advocate for bullying victims named Jackie; Miller plays a smart and ambitious young litigator named Sonya; and Lawson rounds out the newcomers as Liberty High’s beloved baseball coach, Rick.

Katherine Langford Returns as Hannah Baker

While Langford’s character died by suicide in the Season 1 finale, Hannah will reappear in flashbacks and as a haunting figment of characters’ imaginations in the second season. Earlier this month at Netflix’s annual FYSee Kick-Off event in Los Angeles, newcomer Lawson commented on Hannah’s role in Season 2. “We also see a lot more of what Hannah’s story involved,” Lawson revealed. “That’s not over. You’ll see a lot more of what happened in the lead up to her suicide.” Langford received a 2018 Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of Hannah in Season 1.

The Writers Heard Viewer Criticisms

13 Reasons Why Season 2

The most-tweeted-about show of 2017, “13 Reasons Why” viewers did not hesitate to share their thoughts on Season 1’s handling of difficult topics such as suicide, sexual violence, and bullying. One common critique of the show argued that none of its bully characters faced sufficient consequences for their actions. At the FYSee event, Derek Luke, who plays school guidance counselor Kevin Porter, told Variety that the feedback informed the Season 2 script. “Our Season 2 was affected obviously by the writers’ room, but it was also affected by the outcry of fans who wanted some type of redemption,” Luke said. “We all went in there feeling a burden to deal with the hurt. Some of that hurt is in the shape of an antagonist that I think people will love to see get dealt with.”

Trigger Warnings Will Precede New Episodes

After Netflix conducted multiple studies which found the show had a significant cultural impact, igniting tough conversations and causing viewers to take action in regard to its address of serious issues, the streaming giant announced a formatting change for Season 2 which will feature a warning video to air prior to each episode. In the video, stars Langford, Minnette, Boe, and Justin Prentice warn viewers of potentially triggering topics to come and encourage fans to seek help via crisis resources and a viewing guide to 13ReasonsWhy.Info. Additionally, Season 2 episodes will be followed by new after-show content titled “Beyond the Reasons,” in which actors, experts, and educators will break down each installment’s darker plot threads.

Liberty High Students Face Justice

13 Reasons Why Season 2 Alisha Boe

The new trailer for Season 2 picks up where the first season left off as Clay, Jessica, Bryce, and the rest of the Liberty High crew testify in a court case Hannah’s parents have filed against the school. In the process of recounting details from the events leading up to Hannah’s suicide, the students also have to face their own personal experiences and truths, expanding on each character’s Season 1 demons.

Adult Characters Evolve, Too

13 Reasons Why Season 2

It’s not only the teenagers who have to come to terms with their respective knowledge and mistakes. The show’s adults, including parents and school faculty members, cannot avoid the harsh realities of a local teen’s suicide as Hannah’s death becomes increasingly publicized. Luke also commented on adult characters’ new Season 2 outlook at the FYSee event. “The word ‘accountability’ now for the adults is different because in our story the story has gone public,” Luke said. “So, anytime you’re in the media’s eye the emotions and the weight get even heavier. I think this season everyone’s looking [for] who to blame, especially the adults.”

Sheri Grapples With Guilt

Ajiona Alexus 13 Reasons Why

Season 1 left Sheri in a fragile emotional state as Hannah’s tapes forced her to confront the reality that she took out a stop sign resulting in the death of a classmate, adding to Hannah’s stress as a passenger. At the FYSee event, actress Ajiona Alexus said Season 2 will continue to explore her character’s damaged psyche as she grapples with the guilt and trauma of her secret. Alexus acknowledged that the solution for bullying comes from consequences and “at the end of Season 1, I think you kind of feel like people got away with it.”

POPULAR ON VARIETY:

More TV

  • Liz Garbus on Why We May

    Liz Garbus on Why The World May Never Know 'Who Killed Garrett Phillips'

    By the time Liz Garbus’s two-part documentary “Who Killed Garrett Phillips?” debuts on HBO, there could be a new public lead in the case of the murdered titular 12-year-old. As least, that’s what many may hope after the new St. Lawrence County district attorney admitted a new tip earlier this spring. Garbus says she would [...]

  • Mike Fleiss

    'Bachelor' Producers in Wait-and-See Mode Amid Police Probe Into Fleiss Incident

    Those working on “The Bachelor” and its sister shows are in wait-and-see mode as a domestic incident involving creator Mike Fleiss continues to be investigated in Kauai, according to sources close to production. The results of the police investigation are still pending, after Fleiss’ wife, Laura Fleiss, had accused him of attacking her in their [...]

  • Variety Cord Cutting Placeholder Cable

    Cable Blackouts Growing More Common, Even If Subscribers Get Angry

    Among media companies, “going dark” was once a matter of last resort. Now it’s an option that is seeing more light. CBS is not currently available on DirecTV or AT&T’s U-verse, the result of a battle over how much the two outlets’ owner, AT&T, ought to pay for the right to send CBS into millions [...]

  • maria elena salinas

    CBS News Names Maria Elena Salinas Contributor

    Maria Elena Salinas, one of the best-known anchors in Spanish-language broadcasting, will join CBS News as a contributor, Susan Zirinsky, the unit’s president, told staffers Monday. Salinas stepped down from her role at Univision at the end of 2017 after an on-air tenure of more than three decades. She is expected to contribute reports across [...]

  • Jonathan Taylor Thomas Ed Asner Elliott

    Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Ed Asner, Elliott Gould Seek SAG-AFTRA Board Seats

    Ed Asner, Elliott Gould and Jonathan Taylor Thomas are seeking SAG-AFTRA national board seats as members of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. Asner is the former president of the Screen Actors Guild, serving two terms from 1981 to 1985, and winning five Emmys for his role as Lou Grant and two others [...]

  • Markella Kavenagh

    'Lord of the Rings' Series at Amazon Taps First Cast Member (EXCLUSIVE)

    The upcoming “Lord of the Rings” series at Amazon has made its first casting decision. Variety has learned from multiple sources that Markella Kavenagh is in talks for a role in the upcoming epic fantasy series. Details of Kavenagh’s characters are being kept under wraps, but sources say she would be playing a character named [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content