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13 Reasons Why: Will season 2 ignite copycat suicide?

13 reasons why

The Netflix blockbuster that may be considered the most controversial show on television this year is making a comeback. 

If you’ve never heard of the names Hannah Baker or Clay Jensen then you have to get out from under that rock. The first season of 13 Reasons Why told Hannah’s story, a high school student who commits suicide and leaves 13 tapes behind to explain why she ended her life and who was responsible. 

The much-talked-about blockbuster is an adaptation from the 2007 young adult novel, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.  Asher takes readers on a mysterious adventure to discover who is truly responsible for Hannah Baker’s suicide. 

13 Reasons Why has received much attention for pushing the envelope in order to spread awareness. The writers and producers of the show did not shy away from showcasing the reality of bullying and assault as well as the domino effect that seemingly small actions have on a teenager.  The hit Netflix show has been praised for starting the conversation about the second leading cause of death among teenagers, suicide. 

Cast and crew of 13 Reasons Why have begun filming the second 13-episode season and fans are eager to learn about what’s next for their favourite characters.  Christian Navarro who plays Tony, was the first of the cast that confirmed filming had started by tweeting it out to all of his fans.

In an interview with Seattle’s Movin’ 92.5 radio station, executive producer Selena Gomez said viewers can expect some more perspective from characters other than solely Hannah. In the interview, Gomez explained season 2 as a resolution.

“I think for season 2, we elaborate more on some of those questions and the stories and the resolution, if you will, of what some of these kids have gone through- and are going through,” Gomez splurges. 

Although the main intention of the show is to spread an important message, 13 Reasons Why has also been receiving negative responses. The show has begged the question, “Does this show glorify suicide?” 

Many viewers have disclosed that the show could be doing more harm than good. Does this show demonstrate that suicide exists and we shouldn’t continue to neglect it or is it instilling thoughts and ideas that we don’t want a young adult to have?

23-year-old Franco Alonso Lazo Medrano who is from Peru committed suicide by jumping off the balcony at his apartment.  Before ending his life, the young man left a collection of tapes he recorded for his loved ones in order for them to understand his decision.

This unfortunate action has brought 13 Reasons Why to centre stage.  Although there is no proof or confirmation that Medrano participated in the show, there is talk that his suicide is coincidentally similar to Hannah Baker’s.  Whether or not his suicide is in any way inspired by the show remains unknown.

Does depicting suicide in this manner provoke “copycat” suicides? More importantly, will more buzz through a second season initiate a whole new conversation: young teens mimicking suicides that have received a lot of responsiveness for attention.

By: Julia Colavecchia