After becoming an instant hit upon its release at the end of March, Netflix series 13 Reasons Why was confirmed to be receiving a second season earlier in May. The announcement was made with the release of a cryptic trailer from Netflix, and revealed that the season would be continuing on from where Season 1 left off — a relief for fans eager to see the unanswered questions from the show finally wrapped up.
But while we now know that #13ReasonsWhy will continue Hannah and Clay's stories (as well as those of Alex, Jessica, Tony, Justin, Tyler etc.), as it turns out it wasn't always going to be that way. In fact, 13 Reasons Why was very nearly an anthology series, telling a new story every season like American Horror Story.
Speaking to EW, creator and showrunner Brian Yorkey explained that they'd initially thought of two different concepts for how the show might run: one taking the more traditional route, and the other taking inspiration from shows such as HBO's True Detective. Yorkey said:
"When we sold the show, there were two ways we thought the show could continue. One way was continuing to follow these characters who really have been through tremendous trauma, all of them in some part coping with the trauma of Hannah’s death and the aftermath. [But] when we originally pitched it, there was another version, which was an anthology version where, in sort of 'True Detective' mode, every year you start with a new 13 reasons."
So basically, if the show ended up running as an anthology series then Season 2 would have focused on an entirely different story and cast of characters. Yorkey explained that this approach held a lot of interest for him, due to the wide range of subjects that could be tackled with this storytelling technique. However, as we know, in the end the series has decided to continue with the story of Hannah and her classmates; a decision Yorkey says he arrived at in the middle of Season 1:
"It became very apparent to me, somewhere in the middle of the season, that I wasn’t going to be done with these characters after the first season, that I would want to know more and I would want to follow them."
It was most evident that Yorkey and the writers came to this decision in the Season 1 finale when they inserted several loose ends into the show as a hook for the second season. Storylines like Alex's fate, Tyler's gun stash and Justin's whereabouts have fans crying out for answers, and theres no doubt they would have been angered if the show had focused on a new story in Season 2.
Would you have liked to see an anthology version of 13 Reasons Why?
(Source: Entertainment Weekly)