13 Reasons Why is officially back for a second season and it's all anyone wants to talk about it. The showrunner of the series, Brian Yorkey, is even already teasing major aspects of the show's sophomore run, which is due out on Netflix sometime in 2018.
It's crazy to think that it was less than two months ago that we were first introduced to the tapes and tales of Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) and the events at her high school that led to her death by suicide. And now, here we are, brainstorming what ways the late teen could be communicating with her peers once again. Yes — Yorkey promises that there is a new method of analog communication that will be used in season 2. replacing the iconic cassette tapes with blue nail polish numbers on them.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the showrunner says that the tapes will be gone, and a new semi-archaic method of communication will be used. "The tapes are still obviously on people’s minds, but there is a different sort of analog technology that plays a hugely important role in season 2," he said, cryptically. "So the cassette tapes aren’t at the center of it — those two boxes of tapes are still hanging around and matter to people — but there will be a new piece of technology for 13-year-olds to Google and try to understand what it was."
He also says that like season 1, there will be voiceovers narrating the series, but it won't be Hannah's voice via the tapes. "Yeah, we’re definitely still weaving past and present," he said of the flashback timeline. "And there’s voiceover in every episode, but the voiceover is no longer Hannah. The voiceover and the stories that are being told bring us into the past and back to the present much in the way that Hannah’s voiceover did in season 1. So there will still be that weaving of time frames and seeing them unfold and how they impact each other as they go."
So, let's examine our clues: there are voiceovers being used to tell a story uniting past and present events, but it will be told through a new piece of technology that presumably 13-year-olds are unfamiliar with.
I have a few ideas:
1. Welcome to your vinyl record: not a lot of middle and high schoolers have record players these days. These are definitely harder to record than cassette tapes.
2. Welcome to your floppy disk: remember these? Probably not.
3. Welcome to your fax machine: okay this is a voiceless machine, but it would be a confusing device for the unacquainted to learn.
4. Welcome to your palm pilot: a foreign device of yesteryear that was once the trendiest item to buy at Office Max.
5. Welcome to your telegraph: a little ancient, but within reason.
6. Welcome to your abacus: who knows what truths an abacus can hold? Okay, it's only used for math problems but that would be a plot twist. (Google it.)
7. Welcome to your VHS tape: I have my money on the VHS tapes. It's been a long time since I've seen a TV with a built in VHS player, and it feels very on-brand with the tapes.
For those who need a refresher, after Hannah died, she sent out a box of 13 tapes to her friend Tony (Christian Navarro) and instructed him to share the tapes with a select group of students who she had interacted with in high school. The recipients ranged from boys she slut-shamed her to ex best friends to a stalker to an unrequited love. Hannah's final wish was for her classmates to understand why she died, and the tapes explicitly detail the events leading up to her death, person by person, action by action. While the premise behind the series has been deemed controversial by some, it has also opened up a larger conversation about teenagers, mental health, bullying, and the specific intensity of being a high school girl in 2017.
Whatever season 2 brings, abacus or otherwise, we are ready.