Netflix‘s teen drama 13 Reasons Why has courted controversy since its inception, but that hasn’t stopped audiences from watching and rooting for Hannah, Clay, and their fellow students at Liberty High.
Based on Jay Asher’s book of the same name, the first season initially followed Clay, an introverted high schooler who receives a box of tape cassettes from his former crush, Hannah, who died by suicide. Through a series of flashbacks, we meet Hannah and are introduced to other high schoolers whom she names and shames as contributing to her deep and eventually fatal depression.
The following seasons expanded their focus, with episodes dedicated to the growing cast of high school students, including Hannah’s rapist, Bryce, whose murder was the main focus of series three.
The show has been previously criticised for including graphic onscreen portrayals of both suicide and rape, including a brutal scene where a male character is sodomised with a broom handle.
Season four, which was released on Netflix last week, has also not been without its controversy, drawing fire for (spoiler alert) the traumatic death of a fan favourite by HIV/AIDs. However, that hasn’t prevented fans from speculating about a potential fifth season – despite assurances from Netflix that the show has officially ended.
Read on for everything you need to know about 13 Reasons Why season five.
Will 13 Reasons Why be back for season five?
Unfortunately, Netflix has confirmed that 13 Reasons Why won’t be returning next year, with the fourth season being Liberty High’s last.
The streamer explained in a statement that it was purely a creative decision to end the show after series four, which will “feature the core cast’s graduation from High School” and therefore “a natural conclusion to the show”.
Netflix also released a teaser clip for season four, showing the 13 Reasons Why cast emotionally finish their final read-through.
The video features Alisha Boe, who plays Jessica Davis, tearfully saying, “I will never forget this experience for the rest of my life, so thank you.”
In May, showrunner Brian Yorkey told Entertainment Weekly that he decided to end 13 Reasons Why whilst filming season two, believing that ending on the students’ graduation “felt like the logical ending point.”
“When it became clear that we might have the chance to make more seasons of this, I pretty quickly go to a place where it felt like a four-season story,” he said.
“I’m always a little bit suspicious of high school shows that go beyond four seasons because high school is four years long.”
“It felt like bringing these characters to their graduation and to scattering to their next things felt like the logical ending point,” he added.
“So for a long time, the idea has been, should we be so lucky to have the opportunity, we would do four seasons of this. So certainly going into breaking story for season four, we knew it was the end.”
The fourth season landed on Netflix on Friday 5th June, with fans treated to a longer 13 Reasons Why season 4 finale than usual.
“I’m incredibly proud of our finale episode. I think it’s very special and it’s also supersized,” Brian Yorkey told EW.
“It’s a supersized finale, so even if people aren’t super happy with the ending, at least they can’t say we were stingy,” he added.
The fourth and final season of 13 Reasons Why landed on Netflix on Friday 5th June 2020 – check out our lists of the best TV shows on Netflix and the best movies on Netflix, or see what else is on with our TV Guide