Netflix has announced the Season 4 renewal of its popular and controversial teen drama “13 Reasons Why,” which will be its last. Be warned: the newly released trailer for Season 3, which will premiere on the platform later this month, spoils a major character death. The show appears to be embracing the dark tone and thriller tropes of “Riverdale” by focusing on a murder mystery plot-line, perhaps in an effort to pivot away from its previous focus on suicide. Netflix has been under intense scrutiny ever since the show premiered in 2017, even removing a graphic suicide scene from the first season finale after facing two years of major backlash.
Based on the young adult novel of the same name by Jay Asher and created by Tony-winning playwright Brian Yorkey with executive producer Tom McCarthy, “13 Reasons Why” is a YA melodrama about a young girl who takes her own life. The title is derived from the 13 tapes she leaves, each addressed to a different person in her life, detailing the reasons why she committed suicide. The series has received criticism for romanticizing suicide, first in this publication, with suicide-prevention groups and psychiatrists continuing to speak out against it even as the seasons have progressed.
It’s unclear if the third season will continue to stir up controversy, but the official Netflix synopsis reads: “Eight months after preventing Tyler from committing an unthinkable act at Spring Fling, Clay, Tony, Jessica, Alex, Justin, and Zach find ways to shoulder the burden of the cover-up together while helping Tyler move toward recovery. But when the aftermath of a tumultuous Homecoming game culminates in the disappearance of a football player, and Clay finds himself under police scrutiny, it’s up to a shrewd outsider to steer the group through an investigation that threatens to lay bare everyone’s deepest secrets. The stakes are raised in this riveting third season of ’13 Reasons Why,’ as the consequences of even the most well-intended actions can alter a life forever.”
According to the Season 4 renewal announcement from Variety, there will be no suicide in Season 3.
Netflix will release the third season of “13 Reasons Why” on August 23. Check out the (SPOILER-filled) trailer below.