Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” has apparently started sampling the jingle-jangle supply over at “Riverdale,” because the official trailer for the upcoming third season is taking the show in a decidedly soapier direction.
What began as a series unflinchingly portraying issues that plague many teens like self-harm and suicide has now become a full-blown CW-esque whodunnit, as the first look at the new season thrusts the students of Liberty High School into a murder mystery.
Arriving Aug. 23 on the streaming service, the next chapter will revolve around the question of who killed high school football star and serial rapist Bryce Walker ― previously seen very much alive at the end of Season 2.
In the trailer, returning faces ― including Dylan Minnette, Brandon Flynn and Aisha Boe ― stand over a casket, as Walker’s mother, played “Desperate Housewives” alum Brenda Strong, begs them to help find who killed her son.
Per Entertainment Weekly on the new season and the show’s various characters: “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.”
The series creators have recently taken action in response to criticism of the graphic scene that depicted the suicide of Hannah (Katherine Langford), whose death was the central plot point in Season 1. On the advice of medical experts, Netflix announced last month that the scene had been edited after studies revealed the show has been linked to a rise in suicide rates among teens.
“We’ve heard from many young people that ‘13 Reasons Why’ encouraged them to start conversations about difficult issues like depression and suicide and get help — often for the first time,” Netflix said in a statement. “As we prepare to launch Season Three later this summer, we’ve been mindful about the ongoing debate around the show. So on the advice of medical experts, including Dr. Christine Moutier, chief medical officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, we’ve decided with creator Brian Yorkey and the producers of ‘13 Reasons Why’ to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from Season 1.”
The series has already been renewed for a fourth and final season, which will reportedly chronicle the cast’s senior year, as they prepare to embark on their hopefully much less eventful college years.