My Favorite Teen Dramas

by Cristina | Last Updated: July 30, 2021

This is a post dedicated to all the teen dramas that got me through all the tough times. The teen dramas that were filled with romance, class feuds, good times, bad times, absent fathers, runaway mothers, and crazy sisters.

This summer I had the honor and the privilege of camping out in an RV. Oh have I not mentioned it enough? You can find part of that story here

One of the best things to come out of this trip, is all the quality time we got to spend with Bobby’s sister, Leann and her family.  Specifically the kids, Cameron and Kellyn.  Cameron is turning 12 now and it blows my mind constantly how this beautiful amazing little tater tot that I used to spoil with Elmo toys, feed “fresas” to and who I could only refer to as Bell for years after she watched Beauty and the Beast and fell in love with Disney just like all of us, is now on the edge of being a teenager and binging shows on Netflix.  

Between the hikes and s’mores we found a deep common love for television. One would think that I should have nothing in common with a 12 year old but listen Cameron is mature and I watch everything so we found common ground, lots of it. 

Outer Banks was big for her. She desperately wanted to make it home to watch the premier this week on July 30 with her best friend. I’ve never understood anyone more. Shout out to my tv soul mates out there. 

I was not that into the Outer Banks when it premiered last year. I mean Chalk it up to the timing of the pandemic.  Perhaps I was just too overwhelmed to really get into it. Perhaps I was laying on the bathroom floor praying for my sanity to return to me.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I watched it all- pretty quickly. But I wasn’t into it the way I usually was into high drama teenage angst. 

Shit. Am I just too old now to enjoy some good old fashion teenage highschool angst. LOL never.   I decided to give it another chance, and it turns out it was definitely my mental state.  This show has everything you want in a teen drama.  Exhibit A: the cute boy:

It is set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  The show centers around John B and his group of friends, who are raised on the wrong side of town and are known as “the Pogues”.  They are desperately in search of John B’s missing father. This show hits all the boxes.  The classic old school rivalry between the kids on the wrong side of the tracks and the kids “with money”.  A love story between John B. and the beautiful girl whose daddy runs the town.  There is a treasure hunt and a boat chase.  Everything you need on a rainy Saturday when you need a good binge. 

Talking to Cameron about these shows and what is going on in her life, helped me realize why I love this category of show so much.  They bring us back to that highschool high. Is it high or is it fear?  Hard to say sometimes.  That time in your life where every day you are trying to figure out who you are while maneuvering through a sea of other kids trying to do the same. Anything could happen.  

That time in your life where you are going to parties, making new friends, making enemies, find out that a student is having an affair with a teacher, or find out that the dreamy guy you are in love with a is a vampire and now you have to face the ultimate decision of whether you want to be ordinary or live forever with this super hot guy you met in science.  Oh, sorry I got lost… 

Anyway, here are a list (and a brief summary) of some of my favorite teen dramas to watch (or rewatch for my hardcore kids out there) after you catch the new season of the Other Banks on today on Netflix. 

10 Great Teen Drama Binges

  1. 90210: I am only referring to the original here.  This is the OG show of teen angst, and it could be argued that it created the entire genre.  We would not have the Outer Banks if Kelly and Dylan McKay did not make out on the beach dramatically stabbing Brenda and Brandon Walsh right in the back.  The plot moves a little slow, kids we did not have streaming back then, so there were 20 episode seasons of very slow moving action so if we had to miss an episode one week we didn’t fall years behind.  It was the 90’s and it was glorious. You can watch all 10 glorious seasons HERE on Hulu.
  2. Dawson’s Creek: My favorite chatty teens living in the small town of Capeside.  Dawson and Joey grew up as soulmates but things get really complicated when Dawson’s other best friend, Pacey, falls in love with her.  The PG teenage love triangle that defined a generation.  If you could get past the slow moving plot and all the monologues, this show may just be for you. I still stand firm that the finale of this show was one of the most beautiful heart wrenching episodes I’ve ever seen. I’m currently rewatching it on Netflix for the 97th time.  And HERE is my full on Dawson’s Creek fan girl post.  You can watch all 6 seasons HERE on Netflix
  3. Gossip Girl: I am obviously only referring to the original Gossip Girl, because the new one has yet to pull me in.  Blair, Chuck, Serena, Nate and Dan.  Just their names are a full sentence.  Will Blair forgive Serena for what she did to her with Nate?  Will Chuck Bass, ever settle down his bad boy ways?  The drama kicks off right away on this one, and it really never slows down.  Also did I mention the clothes?  With Kristen Bell narrating the mystery over who is Gossip Girl keeps you hooked. You can watch the original HERE on HBO Max.
  4. The OC: Bad boy from Chino, Ryan moves to the OC to live with his do-gooder lawyer Sandy Cohen (played by Peter Gallagher for anyone with an eyebrow fetish).  Ryan befriends Seth, Sandy’s nerdy but low key cool son, and immediately falls in love with the beautiful neighbor, Marissa Cooper, who naturally is with the “cool” muscle head at school.  Throw in a sassy best friend, Summer (Rachel Bilson) and you have a show that will entertain you for almost every season.  The last season of this show may kill you with boredom and disgust but you have to ask yourself if you are a quitter. You can catch it HERE on HBO Max
  5. Vampire Diaries: Elena had the life most little girls dream of.  She was popular and her boyfriend, Matt, was the dreamy letter jacket wearing football player that all the other girls until one day her family gets into a horrible car accident on a bridge and a mystery stranger (who is obviously insanely handsome) saves her.  Then he pops up at school, and we find out this super hot stranger is also…. A vampire.  Hook.  Line. Sinker.  Find all 8 seasons HERE on Netflix 
  6. Riverdale: (Based on the Archie comics) After there is a murder in town, the red headed jock, Archie, his best friends Betty and Jughead along with the new girl, Veronica try to investigate and get to the bottom of it.  Not without catching major feelings and having personal drama for you to eat up.  First four seasons HERE on Netflix 
  7. All American: God Bless a show that brings us back Taye Diggs. He plays Coach Billy Baker, a former NFL star out of South Central, who is back in Beverly Hills to coach the football team. He recruits South Central football player Spencer James for a chance at a “better education and safer school,” the teen must adjust to his new Beverly Hills high school and teammates This show has filled the hole the OC and these other shows has left for me. An easy straight forward high school experience, packed with some music, cool scenes and teen angst. Just like I like it. Find the first three seasons HERE on Netflix.
  8. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Classic story.  Girl goes to highschool, girl finds out she is the chosen “slayer” and must now train to start fighting vampires and other monsters at night.  Naturally she falls in love with a tall, dark, handsome- Vampire! Sarah Michelle Gellar stabbed her way into my heart years ago.  I rewatched it recently, and while the special effects leave a lot to be desired, it’s still so entertaining.  Catch it here on Hulu 
  9. Party of Five:  After their parents die tragically in a car accident, the Sallinger siblings are on their own, with the oldest brother, Charlie, left in charge of his 4 younger siblings.  Here we meet Matthew Fox, Neve Campbell, Scott Wolfe, and Lacey Peterson for the first time, and let’s not forget the cameo of America’s darling, Jennifer Love-Hewitt (my god where did she go?!)   
  10. Roswell:  Max Evans, his sister Isabel and their best friend Michael have been living a normal low key existence since emerging from their incubation.  Things start to get complicated when Max falls in love with Liz.  The girl he met at school.  He can’t get enough of her, and she is also into it.  Watch their relationship heat up, while they try to keep the fact that he is an alien a secret.  Feels like just the right drama you need right about now.  Catch it HERE on Hulu.