‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ premiered in 1990 and follows twins Brandon and Brenda Walsh as they navigate adolescence while also dealing with the culture shock of moving from their hometown of Minneapolis to the glitzy and swanky town of Beverly Hills, California. “Beverly Hills, 90210” has established itself as one of the best shows of all time and is hugely popular. Season after season, since its premiere in 1990, the show has grown in popularity and garnered critical acclaim. As the most unabashed and brazen representation of adolescence, this shoe breaks stereotypes about sex and date rape while also addressing homophobia, animal rights, domestic violence, eating disorders, anti-Semitism, and racism.
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Considering the drama and family surrounding it, I’ve included shows with a similar foundation in terms of thematic elements such as teenage angst and anxiety in this list. The following is my personal list of recommended shows like Beverly Hills, 90210 if you’re looking for something new. Several of these TV shows, such as 90210, are available on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
12. Riverdale (2016- )
It was created by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, an American playwright and screenwriter who drew inspiration from Archie comics for the characters in ‘Riverdale.’ It centers on the dark and twisted antics of a group of teenagers in the fictional town of Riverdale. The show is entertaining to watch and is well-received by critics. However, the portrayal of minority characters and groups is a weakness that undermines the show. For teen drama fans, however, this is a must-see because it gives the adorably lustrous Archie characters a new edge.
11. 13 Reasons Why (2017-)
The teen drama is based on the 2007 young adult novel ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ by American author Jay Asher and stars Dylan Minnette as a seventeen-year-old high school student, and Katherine Langford as his deceased friend Hannah Baker, who committed suicide after being humiliated by school gossip and sexual assault, as well as the lack of support from her friends and her school. Jensen discovers a box of cassette tapes that Hannah had made just before she committed suicide, detailing the thirteen reasons she had for taking her own life. There has been a great deal of controversy surrounding this show because of the depictions of suicide and self-harm. Despite this, the show is entertaining to watch thanks to strong performances, direction, and production design.
10. New Girl (2011 – )
‘New Girl,’ a romantic sitcom starring Zooey Deschanel, follows Jessica Day, a recently divorced woman who moves into an apartment with three other single men after a bad breakup. ‘New Girl’ adds to the plot by putting the 30-year-olds in absurd situations as they manage their personal lives, professional careers, and romantic relationships. The show, which was a single-camera comedy, was well-received by critics and audiences alike. Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris, and Hannah Simone all put in strong performances, and as a result, “New Girl” has become one of the most popular sitcoms thanks to its high reliability quotient.
9. Gossip Girl (2007–2012)
This teen drama is based on Cecily von Ziegesar’s young adult novel of the same name, and it’s narrated by the titular “Gossip Girl,” an omniscient blogger who follows the lives of upper-class teenagers in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Chace Crawford, Ed Westwick, Kelly Rutherford, and Matthew Settle star in the show, which made its debut in 2007. A hit with its primary demographic, the adolescent set, ‘Gossip Girl’ relies on strong performances and clever use of the setting to succeed. Its popularity has spawned numerous international adaptations, including Küçük Srlar in Turkey, Gossip Girl: Acapulco in Mexico, and even Gossip Girl: Thailand in Thailand.
8. The Fosters (2013-2018)
When Callie Jacob (Maia Mitchell) is introduced to the foster home where a lesbian couple and their bizarre mix of biological, adopted, and foster children live, the story takes a turn for the dramatic. Family drama and teenage and young adult themes are intertwined in this show. The show has received praise for its compassionate and accurate depiction of the LGBT community. In addition to winning several awards for its popularity, “Good Trouble” has spun off into its own show.
7. Teen Wolf (2011 – 2017)
TEEN WOLF, created by Jeff Davis, succeeded in adopting and deviating from the clichéd “teen turning werewolf” storyline. The show, which is based on Jeph Loeb’s fantasy-comedy ‘Teen Wolf’ (1985), beautifully uses supernatural phenomena as a metaphor for young people having to adjust to a changing environment dominated by adults.
6. One Tree Hill (2003–2012)
When Lucas Scott and Nathan Scott (Chad Michael Murray and James Lafferty) compete for positions on their high school basketball team, Mark Schwahn’s ‘One Tree Hill’ follows their lives. The show is set in the fictional North Carolina town of Tree Hill. ‘One Tree Hill,’ one of The CW’s longest-running shows, explores themes like love, friendship, rivalry, and betrayal. For its witty dialogue and sarcastic tonality, as well as the performances of the cast, the show has garnered acclaim.
5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ which premiered on ‘The WB,’ an American cable network aimed at teens and young adults, follows titular Vampire Slayer Buffy, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, as she battles evil forces while juggling high school life. The show manages to strike a good balance between supernatural elements and adolescent themes. Critics praised Geller’s portrayal of the titular vampire slayer, and the show prospered thanks to her stellar work on the show.
4. Dawson’s Creek (1998-2003)
‘Dawson’s Creek,’ a hit with young people, was a pioneer in the teen drama genre in the 1990s. Kevin Williamson’s ‘Dawson’s Creek’ centers on James Van Der Beek’s Dawson and her friends as they embark on their adult lives after high school. Adolescence and its associated problems are prominent themes in the show, which reverberates with youthful energy and youthful ideas.
3. Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000)
Freaks and Geeks is a teen comedy-drama film directed by Paul Feig about the titular “freaks” and “geek” rivalry. As Daniel Desario, played by James Franco, leads the “freaks” group, Linda Cardellini plays a young mathlete named Lindsay Weir, who just wants to fit in. The geeks, Bill, Neal, and Sam, on the other hand, are determined to make it through their first year of high school without getting expelled. Since NBC’s egregious decision to cancel the show, it’s become a cult classic. Known for its hilarious writing and performances, the show is fronted by an ensemble of actors who are themselves hilarious.
2. The O.C. (2003–2007)
“The O.C.” follows troubled teenager Ryan Atwood, played by Benjamin McKenzie, as he becomes entangled in the lives of a close-knit group of upper-class residents in Newport Beach, California’s wealthy district. The show, which was created by Josh Schwartz and premiered in 2003, has had a significant impact on pop culture. As it explores themes like intergenerational conflict, social mobility and social alienation, anxiety, hope, loneliness, and homophobia as well as biphobia, pregnancy, ‘The O.C’ has received high praise for the quality of its writing.
1. Degrassi: The Next Generation (2001 – 2015)
‘Degrassi: The Next Generation,’ a classic teen drama, follows the lives of the students at the titular Degrassi Community School as they deal with a variety of taboo subjects like sex, teen pregnancy and bullying, as well as drugs, body image, homosexuality, domestic violence and gang violence. There are 14 seasons in total, and the show has matured to the point where it can be described as a cultural phenomenon. The show is a must-see because of its fearless and audacious depiction of the shocking and at times embarrassing aspects of adolescence.