Since the show debuted in 2017, Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why has been a source of massive controversy. The series, which is based on a YA novel of the same name, focuses heavily on suicide and mental health. Many have strong feelings that Netflix doesn’t handle these issues in the correct way, and one scene, in particular, caused a stir last season. But despite the seemingly unending controversy, the show will return to the streaming service for its third season later this month.
The main concern with 13 Reason Why has been the way it portrays romanticizes teen suicide. Shortly after the show’s debut on March 2017, Google trends data saw a shocking 26 percent increase in the search “how to commit suicide.” The first season also featured a gruesome scene in which the show’s main character, Hannah, takes her own life. Many critics saw this as detrimental to the show’s young viewers, and Netflix eventually agreed to edit the episode to remove the scene (though many felt this was too little, too late).
But regardless of the show’s backlash, it remains a hugely popular series for Netflix. After its release, season 2 immediately snagged the number 1 spot among all U.S. digital original series, according to Variety. The show’s third season will return on August 23 and will partially focus around Tyler, another teen who attempted suicide last season. “The stakes are raised in this riveting third season of 13 Reasons Why,” the press release reads. “As the consequences of even the most well-intended actions can alter a life forever.”
Season 3. August 23. pic.twitter.com/nLCSn7dFqo
— 13 Reasons Why (@13ReasonsWhy) August 1, 2019
In addition to the controversies over the depiction of suicides, some critics on Twitter have pointed out one of the biggest concerns about the series is that it deviates from the Jay Asher novel simply because it seems more concerned with continuing its own existence rather than telling a story with a definitive end.
lol remember when #13ReasonsWhy was a beautifully wrought, gut-wrenching book about vulnerability and bullying and the importance of the impact we have on each other and not a sensationalistic ode to gratuitous violence and cash-cow capitalism
— Allyson Gronowitz (@TheFakeFangirl) August 1, 2019
Season 3 of 13 Reason Why Will Hit Netflix on August 23.