Looks like its time to say our goodbyes—and transfer Vitamin Cs “Graduation (Friends Forever)” to cassette tape. Though Netflix has yet to officially renew 13 Reasons Why for a third season, if it does, the teen dramas central character, Hannah Baker, will apparently be absent. Actress Katherine Langford, who plays Hannah, broke the news to Entertainment Weekly on Friday.
“For me, we told Hannahs story so fully in Season 1,” Langford said, adding that her character was basically in purgatory during Season 2. “Then being able to officially say goodbye to her—it definitely felt like time. For me, letting Hannah go was in Season 1; Season 2 was for Clay to let her go.” Representatives for Netflix declined to comment on the status of the shows renewal or cancellation, but confirmed that Langfords involvement with the series will officially end with Season 2.
Langford made her on-screen debut in 13 Reasons Why, so the series will always be special to her, she said. Looking forward, however, Langford said shes also excited about whats yet to come: “Even though the show is so huge, and Im so thankful to have had the opportunity to play Hannah, it still is just one thing that Ive done, and since then I feel very grateful to have been a part of Love, Simon, and I have another film, Spontaneous. But I think ultimately, I feel like playing Hannah was such a small part of me that was magnified, and Im just really excited to, over the next few months or years, show the rest of me.”
The series can certainly survive without Hannah, considering shes been dead since Season 1. Her constant presence was one of the lower points of Season 2, if only because it felt forced; the shows plot also ground to a halt every time Clay began to converse with her newly present ghost.
Still, her loss will alter the alchemy of the series, stripping it of the mysterious storytelling element that differentiated the first season—and some of the second. Season 1 was structured around a series of tapes that revealed the exact circumstances that led Hannah, already dead, to commit suicide. In Season 2, fans learned about other aspects of Hannahs life that retrospectively shifted her story into a new light. With that layer of mystery gone, whats left will likely be a far more standard teen drama—not necessarily a bad thing, but almost certainly a factor Netflix will consider as it weighs whether to renew the series. Given that cliffhanger ending in the finale, however, a junior year for 13 Reasons Why still seems likely.
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