The second season of 13 Reasons Why has officially dropped on Netflix, which is a good thing — or maybe a bad thing — depending on your views of the controversial show. The first season tackled plenty of hard (and triggering) topics, leading some to call the show “toxic” and “unhealthy” for young people grappling with mental illness or suicide ideation.
At first, it seemed as though the show was taking people’s concerns to heart. Not only did they add trigger warnings before each episode that included graphic depictions of rape or suicide, the cast also filmed a disclaimer that was tacked onto the beginning of season two. But if you think people’s complaints are going to change the way the creators plan on telling their story, you’re wrong.
This season is full of sensitive topics that, if you were upset by the first season, you may want to approach carefully as a viewer. Even the show’s producer Brian Yorkey was aware that this season had at least one episode that would make some viewers incredibly upset, possibly even causing backlash. This though, should not be too surprising, considering Yorkey believed he had a “responsibility” to show how horrific suicide and sexual assault could be.
So, before you go forth and watch the show, here are some plot points you may want to be aware of, just in case there’s something you’re particularly sensitive to:
The first season, of course, showed plenty of bullying between our featured classmates, especially toward students like Hannah, Tyler and Clay. If anything, it only gets worse in this season. Within the first few minutes of the first episode, when Tyler is asked how life at school had changed after Hannah’s death, he responds, “It’s worse.”
2. Sexual Assault
If you’ve seen the first season, you already know that sexual assault plays a pretty big part in the storyline. But just because we know what happened doesn’t mean it’s over. In fact, a big plot point this season will be the Hannah Baker’s trial and how Bryce, Hannah and Jessica’s rapist, will have to start facing consequences to his action. We have a feeling that his part of the trial will be particularly brutal for viewers to watch, as Bustle calls Bryce “Brock Turner”-esque.
3. Gun Violence
This shouldn’t be particularly surprising, given the ending of the first season — with Alex’s self-inflicted gunshot wound and a shot of Tyler’s personal arsenal — but we’re warning you now: expect it.
4. Mental Illness
We know from the first season that several of our main characters battle with depression and PTSD, some of which only becomes heightened going into season two. Like Yorkey said, he feels it’s important to show these mental illnesses “authentically,” and the depictions can definitely get gritty.
If you’re worried about any of these particular topics, I would either advise you skip out on watching season two or, at the very least, watch it with someone you trust. At the end of the day, it’s your mental health that matters most.
If you’re worried about how you or your loved ones may react to sensitive material the show depicts, you can find mental health resources online at 13reasonswhy.info.