We discuss 10 shows like Netflix’s Elite you must watch. Check out these excellent recommendations.
The one thing Netflix has done with its platform is open it up worldwide for many stories to be told from different cultures and ethnicities. Even though we’ve got plenty of stories involving prep schools, Elite is a bit more unique than the others.
Of course, there is plenty of drama that comes with these characters, which allows for some plots that people can’t get enough of. When three working-class teenagers begin attending an exclusive private school in Spain, the clash between them and the wealthy students leads to murder, as per the synopsis on IMDB.
The battle between class status is a tale as old as time, but as the years go on, the students have become more ruthless and really cause horrible situations that no one would ever think about it. Elite is a bit darker than other series, and Netflix doesn’t shy away from showing different programming.
Creators Darío Madrona and Carlos Montero bring forward a new age of high school drama and join the ranks of some of the best, which are listed below. A good teen drama has plenty of twists, multiple relationships, and a fairly attractive cast to make audiences stick around.
10 shows like Elite you must watch
Gossip Girl (2007)
Yes, there is a reboot of this show on HBO Max that you could watch, but the original is iconic.
When teenagers in the Upper East Side fight for the popularity crown, there are those in the middle class that get caught in the crossfire. The love story between Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley) and Serena Van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) gets a bit messy because everyone gets involved in their business.
Slowly, Dan realizes that he needs to adapt to their trickery in order to be accepted into Manhattan’s elite. The cast of characters all work incredibly well together and if you’re someone who loves drama, then this show should definitely be a priority for you.
Beverly Hills 90210 (1990)
This is another series that got remade for a new generation and it didn’t quite hit the same. The actors in Beverly Hills 90210 became somewhat of a phenomenon because of all the drama that went on behind the scenes and on-screen with their characters. The show lasted 10 seasons and kept it interesting for such a long period of time.
They delivered on romance and teen heartthrobs at a time that didn’t really have such a risqué series. It’s about a group of friends living in Beverly Hills, California who make their way through life from their school days into adulthood, as per the synopsis on IMDB.
This is one of the few shows that did not get stale after the high school students graduated, their lives only became more interesting through adulthood.
The Vampire Diaries (2009)
At this time, vampires were all the rage coming straight from the cult classic Twilight. This series has it all: werewolves, vampires, witches, and more importantly a love triangle that becomes the central focus for the first four seasons.
The reason why this series worked was because of all the journals kept by the vampires and of course the mortal of the show, Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev). Mystic Falls, Virginia was a place that felt like it was haunted because of the rich history of the families who lived there.
The love story between a mortal and a vampire is classic and is some of the best storytelling, but once Elena meets Stefan’s (Paul Wesley) brother Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder) things take a turn. Even though they are vampires, both brothers have lost something dear to them and Elena is that heartbeat.
The CW had a period of time when their teen dramas were failing, and superhero shows consumed their programming. It wasn’t until Riverdale bounced on the scene that people were happy the teen drama was back.
More importantly, it’s loosely based on the Archie comics we all grew up reading. The series does combine Archie’s Weird Mysteries, which was an animated series on WB that many watched on Saturday mornings. These teens navigate regular high school romances, school, and family all while trying to solve some mysterious people that enter their town and change up the dynamic that they have.
There are actors that have a great return as we haven’t seen them in a very long time like the late Luke Perry, Molly Ringwald, Madchen Amick and Skeet Ulrich. All of them were teen heartthrobs in their day, so to have them back as parents was a real treat.
Young Royals (2021)
When Prince Wilhelm adjusts to life at his prestigious new boarding school, Hillerska, he starts to follow his heart but it proves more challenging than anticipated, as per the synopsis on IMDB. It’s important to have queer representation in high school stories and that’s exactly what this series does. Even though it does involve some royalty, they are living the exact same life as everyone else.
They need to adapt to their new surroundings, make their own mistakes, and discover who they truly are. Of course, the more they try to live their life, other people get in the way and this couple has to face a lot of hardships.
This series slowly crept up on people and it was one of the most talked about shows last year. There is this wildly talented high school girl soccer team that becomes the (un)lucky survivors of a plane crash deep in the Canadian wilderness, as per the synopsis on IMDB.
Creators Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson take the high school drama and combine it with Lost as these women have to navigate the wilderness and learn to live outside with each other. They change their attitude and adapt as quickly as possible to the situation, but it is definitely not an easy feat for any of them. The wilderness is a different entity entirely.
How to Get Away With Murder (2014)
When Viola Davis took her turn on television, this series started off with an incredible concept that slowly fizzled in later seasons, but the important thing is that it started off strong. A group of ambitious law students and their brilliant criminal defense professor become involved in a twisted murder plot that promises to change the course of their lives, as per the synopsis on IMDB.
Leave it up to Shonda Rhimes to handpick a brilliant cast like this who all worked together so incredibly well to make this murder mystery engaging. This was essential viewing on Thursday nights along with Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal.
Sex Education (2019)
If you want a lighter teen drama with some extremely awkward and fun moments, then Sex Education is the right way to go. A teenage boy named Otis (Asa Butterfield) has a sex therapist as a mother and teams up with a high school classmate to set up an underground sex therapy clinic at the school, as per the synopsis on IMDB.
What’s so entertaining about this is the fact that Otis has very little experience, so many people go to him for advice but he’s just stating facts that he has had discussions with his mother about. The series becomes more intricate as everyone’s sexual relationships keep evolving to a new level and they have to have different discussions.
Sam Levinson and Zendaya created a series that has become essential for viewing Sunday nights on HBO. Even though the series can be extremely dark and a bit difficult to watch, the way they handle the subject matter is important. Rue (Zendaya) is a recovering addict and she tries to move on from her past, but her addiction keeps calling her whenever something goes wrong.
The writing for Rue has been strong, and the women in this cast have all had their share of screen time with their own high school issues that are important to address as well. There are many conversations that can start thanks to this series, but they do not shy away from showing the brutal truth of addiction.
This series highlights a group of British teens who are trying to grow up and find love and happiness despite questionable parenting and teachers who would rather be friends (and lovers) than authority figures.
The IMDB synopsis is a bit odd and it’s questionable to write a series that deals with an inappropriate teacher/student relationship but they do make it interesting. The series lasted seven seasons and is sharply funny. There are plenty of awkward situations these teens are placed in and they all grow from their mistakes.
Do you have any other recommendations for shows like Elite? Let us know!