The best teen drama series capture at least one aspect of the high school experience enough to keep both adults and teenagers riveted. Shows like Gossip Girl, Friday Night Lights, and Veronica Mars had enough of the realism of the world at large to keep people of all ages entertained. And these days, everyone with an HBO subscription is hooked on Euphoria, which touches on teen drama themes past and present. Although the COVID-19 pandemic set back the second season of the show, fans are getting an early Christmas present with two special episodes of Euphoria on Dec. 3.
That’s not to say that every teen drama has to be realistic to be good. Sometimes, realism is the last thing you want out of a teen drama: just ask Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Riverdale. After all, if you can't fully relate to a 16-year-old or 17-year-old, you might as well take it one step further and add dark magic or spooky creatures into the mix, right?
No one wants to go back to real high school, but everyone wants to live in a teen drama version of it. Here are the best teen TV shows of all time.