A recent panel discussion of 13 Reasons Why producers has given us our first significant insight into the upcoming second season of the hit Netflix teen drama.
The biggest take-away from the talk, which featured showrunner Brian Yorkey, Netflix’s vice president of original series Brian Wright and a host of mental health experts, was that the sexual assault that Jessica (Alisha Boe) suffered in season one is set to form a major plot point in the new set of episodes.
“Jessica in particular, her experience continues to be a central part of season two,” Yorkey said. “We wanted very much to look at her recovery. To look at what it is to go from being a victim of sexual assault to being a survivor of sexual assault.”
He continued: “We look at the ways that that sexual assault has been perpetrated over a number of years, has been in fact documented, and also the ways in which the institutions, the athletics department, Liberty High School itself, are in some ways complicit in letting that happen,”
The showrunner also confirmed that Mr Porter, the school counsellor who questions Hannah’s account of her sexual assault in the days leading up to her suicide, will face the repercussions of his actions.
“Mr. Porter, in particular, will be coming to terms with the mistakes that he made, with the ways that he let her down, and will be, I think, very determined not to let any kids down in the future,” he said.
“In fact, I think that his story is, I think, one of the most sort of compelling to me in season two. And we’ll see a man who is determined to reach every kid who needs to be reached and help every kid who needs to be helped. Whatever it takes.”
There is currently no set release date for the new season, but an announcement feels imminent. The cast recently got together to film a new content warning video for the series to warn young viewers about the depictions of sexual assault, suicide and substance abuse.
13 Reasons Why season 2 is expected to arrive on Netflix UK later this year