‘Dawson’s Creek,’ a beloved coming-of-age story set in the fictional coastal town of Capeside, revolves around the lives and relationships of a close-knit group of friends as they navigate the highs and lows of adolescence together. There is plenty of drama and sex in this show, which seems to portray a more realistic view of the adolescent experience in the United States, as the characters begin their stories in high school before moving on to the exciting but nerve-wracking college years.
Many people enjoyed this show, and as a result of its popularity and fairly standard plotlines, you can expect to see a slew of similar shows in the future. To sum it up, if you’ve come to this page hoping to find more films geared toward teenagers, you’ve found it. We’ve put together a list of seven of the most engrossing shows similar to ‘Dawson’s Creek’ that you can watch on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime for free.
7. Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990-2000)
In ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’, a group of young people navigate their way through the affluent and exclusive neighborhood of Beverly Hills, California. Teens in this show, like those in ‘Dawson’s Creek,’ slowly make the transition from high school to college, but their lives are far more comfortable and star-studded than those in the former. It begins with twins Brandon and Brenda, who have just moved to Beverly Hills, California, from Minneapolis, Minnesota. They are dealing with the effects of culture shock. While initially focused on rape and domestic violence, the show gradually expands to include more complex issues like substance abuse and homophobia as well as animal rights.
6. My So-Called Life (1994-1995)
There is more seriousness in “My So-Called Life” than in “Dawson’s Creek,” but it remains a teen drama at its peak. Set in the fictional Pennsylvania suburb of Three Rivers, it follows the friends of Angela Chase (Claire Danes) as they navigate the emotional ups and downs of adolescence. Children’s abuse, homophobia, teen alcoholism and homelessness are just a few of the issues that are tackled in this film, but they’re all handled exceptionally well as a whole. Yes, the show ended on a cliffhanger in the hopes that it would be renewed for a second season, but trust us when we say that despite that, it is still a drama that you should watch.
5. Gossip Girl (2007-2012)
A narrator (voice actor Kristen Bell) who revels in revealing secrets about the lives of privileged adolescents in Manhattan’s Upper East Side tells the story of Cecily von Ziegesar’s novel series “Gossip Girl,” which is based on the same name. In addition to Blake Lively and Leighton Meester’s starring roles as Serena and Blair Waldorf, ‘Gossip Girl’ also features a slew of other teen-centered characters who get into scraps, including the aforementioned Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf. An important part of the appeal of this show is its depiction of adolescent sexuality and partying, similar to that of the decade-old series “Dawson’s Creek.”
4. The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017)
Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec are the creators of both ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and ‘Dawson’s Creek,’ so the similarities between the two shows are obvious. There were many supernatural teen shows in the 2000s, but ‘The Vampire Diaries,’ with its large fan base and constantly evolving characters and concepts, stood out from the rest, lasting 171 episodes over eight seasons.. Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) is a teenage girl who meets and develops relationships with vampire Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) and his enigmatic older brother Damon in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia (Ian Somerhalder).
3. The O.C. (2003-2007)
Everyone should watch ‘The O.C.’ because it’s a great teen drama. It’s an underrated Josh Schwartz series about the life of Ryan Atwood, who is adopted from a broken family and raised by a wealthy family. Storylines include cultural clash, life in a closed society, and just plain old melodrama that goes through the roof, and it has four seasons to tell it all. Orange County, California, is the setting for the show, hence the use of the abbreviation “O.C.” You can binge-watch the entire series on Netflix and fall in love with it all at once.
2. Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)
‘Gilmore Girls,’ created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, is about a mother-daughter relationship. When compared to ‘Dawsons Creek,’ this show is far less risqué but was released at the same time and has a similar sense of community in a small town. Set in the fictional Connecticut town of Stars Hollow, ‘Gilmore Girls’ follows the story of a mother-daughter duo as they deal with love, friendship, and other problems that come up in their daily lives.
1. One Tree Hill (2003-2012)
Without mentioning ‘One Tree Hill,’ we can’t even begin to discuss teen dramas, can we? These two half-brothers, Lucas Scott (Chad Michael Murray) and Nathan Scott (James Lafferty), are competing for positions on their high school’s basketball team in the fictional town of Tree Hill, North Carolina.
In the end, the drama is centered on their personal lives and the lives of their friends and family when their rivalry turns to friendship and then brotherhood For better or worse, “One Tree Hill” and “Dawson’s Creek” have huge fan bases around the world and are among those rare shows that have held up well over time. As a result, it comes as no surprise that many people still cling to it.