It’s the day we’ve all been anticipating… Season 2 of Thirteen Reasons Why airs on Netflix TODAY! It’s hard to explain, but I think everyone who saw the show can relate to this in a way: you can’t wait to watch, but you’re also a little nervous about it. It’s just like watching Hannah’s suicide scene at the end of season 1 – it’s so painful, but you have to look. So with all the cliffhangers we were left with and even more sensitive topics coming up (gun violence, for instance), we are desperate to see what happens, but are also dreading it at the same time.
Mandy Teefey, Executive Producer of the show, CEO and founder of her company Kicked To The Curb Productions (and Selena Gomez’ mom), has been giving the show her all with the intention to discuss and portray these exact topics. We’re not supposed to look away. Mandy told us how she dealt with the backlash after season 1, what we’ll be seeing in season 2, and what else she has in store for us to look forward to.
Season 2 of Thirteen Reasons Why is finally out on Netflix today. Can you give us a sneak peek on what we can expect?
We ended season 1 with a lot of questions. Not simply for a season 2 pick-up, but to create conversation. Conversations that need to be encouraged to have instead of shamed because it is too hard to face. In season 2, we explore a lot of the “whys’”, why did Hannah choose suicide as an option, why did the other characters choose to make the choices they made. We explore new social issues, alongside discovering that the psychological reason behind every perspective is different. We get to hear the other characters truths.
The show discusses important topics including suicide, sexual assault, and gun violence. What are you hoping to achieve by highlighting these problems?
Conversation that motivates people to change.
There was some backlash after season 1. How did you deal with the challenge of portraying such sensitive topics on screen?
There is a fine line between being insensitive and being honest. Backlash is fear of having nowhere to hide and feeling forced to have an opinion on a real serious issue. Suicide in general is a topic that has always been looming over society. People will quietly have discussions, even if that, but when you do not want to be judged on your views they shut down. I feel if your work is not a reflection of society in its truest form, even if you are making fantasy, then you are missing out on the chance to use a platform to stop senseless pain. Great art is a mirror of our world. You just have to research, live and fight to accomplish what the show did. It took an army to stand with me to make this happen.
Growing up and getting to where you are now, was not easy for you. Do you have any advice for teenagers who can relate to any parts of the show, or are struggling in general?
I believe every person can relate to some part of the show. I can relate to almost every issue in the show. We go through seasons of our lives that help get us to where we want to be. The world isn’t always kind, but that is why no matter what happens to you, you don’t let that become who you are, you let it be something that happened and as far away as the answer may be, you will, one day understand how it molded you. You may not ever get WHY answered, but take your pain and use it to help stop other people from having to be in pain. If I hadn’t endured everything I went through, not feeling shameful to be who I am, then Thirteen Reasons may not have ever made it to the screen. The book changed lives, the show changed lives, and that was every person’s goal involved in the show. Find a way to use it so it makes sense to you, instead of feeling like you deserve less than you do.
You are the founder and CEO of Kicked To The Curb Productions. Can you tell us more about the company?
I come from a commercial/music video background. I had my own production company in Dallas prior to relocating to LA. I was also part of a The Deep Ellum Film Festival (that is no longer around). I always loved storytelling and knew I had to find a way to do that for a living. I started July Moon Productions with Selena when she was a minor to help find crossover material and to try and put that transition in our hands instead of the industry deciding her future for her. Once Spring Breakers launched, it opened a lot of doors for her. So, she hit 18 and I had more freedom to start re-directing my focus back into my career!
Will there be more collaborations with you and Selena in the future?
Anything is possible so, we will see!
What other projects are you currently working on?
A docuseries about Nature Vs Nurture and a novel component on the topic, we have some other adaptations and originals that are in different levels of development right now!
Check out Mandy’s work on www.kickedtothecurbproductions.com, follow her on Instagram and Twitter @kicked2thecurbproductions, and watch her on Netflix’s 13RY panel: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwgDvHHicZQ&t=9s!
Don’t wait any longer and go watch the ENTIRE second season of Thirteen Reasons Why on Netflix (and every episode is downloadable, so you can even start watching on your train ride home from work today!) We know what we’ll be doing tonight!
Featured Photo Courtesy of Netflix