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There are so many incredible shows out there, but I was thinking back to all the teen shows I’ve watched that made me cringe but at the same time loved, so I decided to make an official list of my top ten favorite teen dramas! (with ratings included)
10. PARTY OF FIVE (1994 – 2000)
A show simply about a family of five and their lives after their parents died in a car crash. At times I wasn’t the biggest fan, but this show definitely has included storylines that were relatable and sentimental. A lot of teenage syndromes are shown making it very reliable. There’s just something great about watching a family work together after a tragedy occurs, am I right? Party of Five also does an incredible job portraying real-life scenarios in a very sensible manner. It really gave the “I’m perfect the way I am” and “I’m not alone” feel.
Cast: Neve Campbell, Lacey Chabert, Scott Wolf, Matthew Fox, Jennifer Love Hewitt
9. GOSSIP GIRL (2007 – 2012)
Gossip Girl can be super unreal at times, but it’s fun to watch the elite in action. Even though most of the characters are superficial the drama these teens/young adults have to go through is very entertaining.
Cast: Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Ed Westwick, Chace Crawford, Penn Badgley, Taylor Momsen, Jessica Szhor
8. GILMORE GIRLS (2000 – 2007)
The Gilmore girls have a relationship that is way too good to be true, but the love interests of both women are probably my favorite part, besides the mother-daughter dynamic, and the hilarious Sookie played by the one and only Melissa McCarthy. The only flaw I found in this dramedy is the four episode reunion they just had to do. Not only did it ruin the authenticity of all the characters, but completely messed up the way viewers perceived some of the most loveable people on television. Other then that, this is a show that is worth watching if you’re in the mood for some comfort television.
Cast: Alexis Bledel, Lauren Graham, Melissa McCarthy, Scott Patterson, Milo Ventimiglia, Jared Padalecki, Matt Czuchry
7. Glee (2009 – 2015)
Though the show went downhill after the third season, Glee still represented a place that accepted students for exactly who they were, which is inspiring for viewers. Even though I’m not the biggest musical fan, I could relate to this show even though most characters fit perfectly into the classic high school stereotypes.
Cast: Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Matthew Morrison, Chris Colfer, Mark Salling, Darren Criss, Jaane Lynch, Kevin McHale, Jenna Ushkowitz, Amber Riley, Naya Rivera, Dianna Agron, Heather Morris, Chord Overstreet
6. THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (2009 – 2017)
The classic love triangle, vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures. Kind of like Twilight but with a bit of a twist. SPOILER ALERT!!! The main purpose of the show left. It was fun watching the brooding brothers hold the storyline together but at the end of the day, this show is a great time killer with pretty characters!! BONUS: the show was so successful that it got not only one spin-off but two! One of which is set to come out late October 2018.
Cast: Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, Kat Graham, Candice Accola, Matthew Davis, Zach Roerig, Steven R. McQueen, Micheal Trevino
5. ONE TREE HILL (2003 – 2012)
A show with love, deceit, friendship, family and lots of basketball. The people of Tree Hill seem to do some pretty questionable things with the simple excuse of absent parents, yet it was able to steal the hearts of teens all over the world. This soapy drama was both a feel-good show but could also make a person bawl. So, I guess it did its job.
Cast: Chad Micheal Murray, Hilarie Burton, Sophia Bush, Bethany Joy Lenz, James Lafferty
4. THE FOSTERS (2013 – 2018)
At times this show can lead to many eye rolls, but this show has its way to really make its audience feel sympathetic for every character. Not only does The Fosters tackle the problems and flaws in the foster care system but also talks about many political issues. that are important today. This will always be my favorite Freeform show because of the realistic aspect that is presented. It may be hard to understand why this show is above many others listed, but there are only so many teen dramas that don’t overdo the drama and underdo the realistic side. It may be cheesy at times, but I love the message that comes across at the end of the day.
Cast: Maia Mitchell, Cierra Ramirez, Teri Polo, David Lambert, Hayden Byerly, Sherri Saum, Jake T. Austin (Season 1-2), Noah Centineo (Season 3-5)
3. FREAKS AND GEEKS (1999 – 2000)
I loved the honesty of this show. There were the freaks and the geeks, but they all had individuality, which is why, for the most part, none of the characters fell into classic stereotypes. The show ended because not too many were a fan of this much realism at the time, but I personally loved this show and I feel this show is suitable for people with different tastes. BONUS: some of the funniest people on the big screen got their kick start on this show!
Cast: James Franco, Linda Cardellini, Jason Segel, Seth Rogen, Busy Philips, Martin Star, John Francis Daley, Samm Levine
2. DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION (2001 – 2015)
I felt the need to add The Next Generation because honestly speaking, the new reboot isn’t that great. It lacks any realistic storylines and has become like most soapy teen shows. That said, the original Degrassi(s), including junior high and high, is also on the soapy side of the spectrum but every storyline had a very realistic outcome. Something everyone can connect to, which is why this show grabbed the #2 spot on my ultimate teen shows list. The show is incredibly long, but every episode was worth it!
1. THE O.C. (2003 – 2007)
Anyone who knows me knows that the O.C. is my all-time favorite drama. This show takes place in Orange County, California and really gives a glimpse of what life is like in New Port Beach. The only flaw with this show is the obvious age gap between the actors and their characters, specifically the high schoolers. Otherwise, the drama, suspense and romance will make you want to watch this show over and over again! I promise! And to all the Gossip Girl fans out there, the O.C. is created by the same incredible executive producer: Josh Schwartz. But I have to say, this project was his best yet!
Cast: Ben McKenzie, Mischa Barton, Rachel Bilson, Adam Brody, Peter Gallagher, Kelley Rowland, Melinda Clarke
So there you have it! My official list of teen dramas! Stay tuned for more!