Angst, love, heartbreak, gossip, football: these are all defining things from teen hood. Here’s a roundup of the best teen dramas that stand the test of time — and surpass age limits.
“Dawson’s Creek” ran on The WB from 1998-2003, and starred James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams and and Joshua Jackson. The show set the stage for shows featuring teen love in small towns like “One Tree Hill” and “Gilmore Girls.”
Kristen Bell is the voice of Gossip Girl, an anonymous blogger who revels in revealing secrets about the spoiled kids of Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Drama lovers, your search ends here: Serena (Blake Lively) and Blair (Leighton Meester) go through scandals galore. The show was on The CW from 2007-2012.
“Degrassi: Next Generation”
People still love to talk about “Degrassi” because we like to remember Drake when he was still Aubrey Graham. The Canadian-set show about high school kids deals with more than heartbreak: some of the more notable episodes deal with teen pregnancy, racism and eating disorders. The show started on MTV in the U.S. but has played on several networks and launched the spinoff “Degrassi: Next Class.”
“California, here we come,” are lyrics in “The O.C.” theme song, also the theme song for any California road trip ever. The show about bad boy Ryan (Ben McKenzie) living in Newport Beach hit Fox in 2003 and ended after Season 4 in 2007.
“One Tree Hill”
“One Tree Hill” is like the “Dawson’s Creek” for the next generation. Taking place in small town North Carolina, the show documents the relationship between two half brothers who go back and forth between being friends and rivals. The show ran on The WB, then The CW, from 2003-2012.
“The Vampire Diaries”
The 2000s were fraught with vampire shows, but “The Vampire Diaries” stands out against some of the rest of the noise, especially with its huge fan following. The show started in 2009 and had its series finale this year, and aired on The CW.
The CW’s latest show has quickly picked up a large fan base. Based off the “Archie” comics, “Riverdale” has murder, sex and lies … the perfect cocktail for a good drama.
Watching “Gilmore Girls” is kind of like curling up with a warm cup of coffee on a snowy day. It’s warm and fuzzy and familiar. We’re not including the recent Netflix reboot, by the way. “Gilmore Girls” started in 2000 and ended in 2007 on The WB, then The CW.
“Boy Meets World”
“Boy Meets World” aired from 1993-2000, meaning many a millennial would come home from school to watch Cory Matthews mouth off at school to Mr. Feeny. But we eventually grew up, right alongside Cory, and for that “Boy Meets World” has a special place in our hearts. The show aired on ABC.
This British teen drama dives right in to serious topics like anorexia, drug abuse and death. The show spawned an MTV spinoff that only lasted one season, but the original aired on BBC America from 2007-2013.
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”
The classic teen vampire show. Fans of “Buffy” will probably tell you that it’s the best teen show of all time. Whether or not they’re right, you’ll probably enjoy this gem starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. It aired from 1997-2003 on The WB, then United Paramount Network.
Wait, you didn’t know that Kristen Bell starred in a teen crime show? Well, now you know. “Veronica Mars” was short-lived–it lasted from 2004-2007 — but has become a cult favorite. It aired on United Paramount Network/The CW.
“My So-Called Life”
This teen drama starring Claire Danes and Jared Leto only lasted one season — 1994-1995 on ABC — but is a much loved show. Some would even call it TV’s best teen drama. Good news is, one season is really easy to binge now.
“Friday Night Lights”
Football. Kyle Chandler. High school stakes. What more do you really need? “Friday Night Lights” aired on 2006-2011 on NBC and then The 101.
“Freaks and Geeks”
“Freaks and Geeks” served as a launching pad for many beloved actors, like Linda Cardellini, James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel. The one season tale of misfits–from 1999-2000 on NBC– won an Emmy in 2000 for Outstanding Casting in a Comedy Series.