6 teen dramas that will get you hooked

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: March 14, 2022 (Last updated: December 14, 2023)
6 teen dramas that will get you hooked

With edgy teen drama Euphoria blowing up on our TV screens, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the ultimate teen drama TV shows and why they have become so iconic. 

While adolescent soaps have existed since before the year 2000, the early noughties were the genre’s pinnacle. Week after week, high school dramas spurred angry teenagers, emphasising socioeconomic gaps and trauma, as well as the day-to-day lives of both American and British kids. These programmes weren’t perfect, but they were more than just entertainment: they were an aesthetic. They influenced how we dressed, what music we listened to, and even how we interacted with one another.

Below are our six favourite teen dramas which you are guaranteed to get hooked on if you haven’t already!

1. Skins 2007-2013

Skins was raw, passionate, and messy all at once, projecting every conceivable “teen concern” onto its impoverished, pretty British ensemble, which included Nicholas Hoult, Dev Patel, and Daniel Kaluuya. Skins managed to tell these often heartbreaking stories without trivialising mental health disorders or relying on trauma for shock factor, and any upcoming drama attempting to address difficult subjects—from drug abuse to eating disorders to unexpected death—should look to Skins (the first generation, undoubtedly).

Skins is currently available to watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu.

2. Gossip Girl 2007-2012

Gossip Girl, the show that made The CW what it is today, was unquestionably a phenomenon for the duration of its existence. This teen drama follows the lives of Blair, Serena, Chuck, Nate, and Dan, who are all privileged preppy teenagers in New York City.

These teenagers dealt with lawsuits, addiction, eating problems, and an incredible number of relationship combinations in this incredibly compelling series.

Gossip Girl is currently available to watch on HBO Max and Amazon Prime

3. Dawson’s Creek 1998-2003

Dawson’s Creek follows a group of four high school kids in the small hamlet of Capeside through their highs and lows. As the arrival of new girl Jen Lindley (Michelle Williams) upsets their dynamic, longstanding best friends Dawson Leery (James Van Der Beek) and Joey Potter (Katie Holmes) try to resist the unmistakable romantic tension between them.

Joey’s growing romance with Pacey Witter (Joshua Jackson) came in between her relationship with Dawson, and the series would eventually become noted for producing one of the biggest love triangles on television.

Dawson’s Creek is currently available to watch on Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime

4. Riverdale 2017 – present

It looked like a joke when it was initially announced: Archie Andrews and his friends’ stories reimagined as a dark, gritty teen drama influenced equally by Twin Peaks and Beverly Hills, 90210. Riverdale is obviously crazy, but it is also extremely genuine, and it is this absurdity that makes it so enjoyable.

Archie Andrews (KJ Apa), Jughead (Cole Sprouse), Betty (Lili Reinhart), and Veronica (Camila Mendes) live in Riverdale with their numerous friends, dealing with daily high school life as well as organised crime, serial killers, and, gang rivalries. 

Riverdale is currently available to watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

5. Sex Education 2019 – present

Sex Education has a wealth of information to provide on the perplexing and impossible-to-understand world of modern sexuality. 

The plot follows an awkward teen male who, with the help of the resident bad girl, opens a sex guidance clinic at school. Because his mother is a sex therapist, he uses what he’s learnt from his childhood to help other pupils deal with sex issues. The second season of the show focuses on the primary character group’s relationships as well as an STD crisis at school.

Unlike many other teen shows and movies, Sex Education explores the painful side of sex rather than depicting it as a rite that leads to adulthood. It also dives into sexual exploration’s concerns, worries, and awkwardness.

Sex Education is a Netflix Original and is currently available to watch. 

6. Euphoria 2019 – present

Euphoria, executive produced by Drake, is HBO’s debut teen drama, a rare step for the premium broadcaster. Euphoria chronicles the lives of several high school students as they deal with various challenges, in classic teen drama fashion, even if it comes in glamorous packaging.

All of these factors combine to make every episode of Euphoria immensely emotional, which, let’s be honest, precisely reflects how you felt as a teenager going through any form of adversity. Euphoria has already made an unforgettable impression on the teen drama genre after only one season.

Euphoria is currently available to watch on HBO Max and Hulu (add-on costs apply). 

Keep up to date with the best teen drama TV series with Ready Steady Cut

Starting a new teen drama series is a big commitment, so when you do it, you want to get hooked. That’s where Ready Steady Cut comes in, we have all the latest reviews on teen drama series on all streaming services, so you can check in with us to see if it’s worth your time.

Not looking for a teen drama right now? No problem! Check out all the newest shows our critics have reviewed to find your next binge-worthy series!

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