One of the interesting things about Netflix and their original series is that the passage of what becomes a hit (seemingly: the streaming service still fiercely protect actual viewership figures, but it’s easy enough to tell from social media buzz and the like) is genuinely organic. “Orange Is The New Black” became a much bigger talking point than the infinitely more-hyped “House Of Cards,” “Bojack Horseman” gradually built fans to become a cult comedy, and last year, “Stranger Things” came from almost nowhere to become seemingly the streaming service’s buzziest show ever.
The latest example of that is “13 Reasons Why,” the network’s adaptation of a YA best-seller. Coming from the, uh, unexpected creative team of executive producer Selena Gomez and “Spotlight” director Tom McCarthy, the show follows the aftermath of the suicide of Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), a high-schooler who has posthumously distributed a series of tapes where she points the finger at the 13 people that she blames for her death.
We reviewed the show when it debuted and found it to be a decent, if deeply flawed teen drama, but it’s had a lot of chatter around since it debuted (partly, it seems, because of debates over the show’s graphic depiction of Hannah’s suicide), suggesting that this is one of the real breakout shows on the service. Netflix seem to be happy, anyway, because The Hollywood Reporter have revealed that the series is all-but-confirmed to get a second season, with a writer’s room already assembled.
Fans had already picked up some clues that this was likely — Ross Butler, who plays Zach, recently left rival teen drama “Riverdale,” with his part set to be recast due to “his commitments to other projects.” But the trade’s report certainly seems to cement the speculation. The question is, is this a good thing? Other Netflix shows, like “Bloodline,” have suffered from stretching their plot beyond the obvious ending point and ending up feeling like mostly epilogue, while a “13 More Reasons Why” structure would end up feeling contrived. But we hope that original writer Jay Asher and showrunner Brian Yorkey have something up their sleeve: clearly, there’s an audience desperate for more of these characters out there.