You're never too old for a little good 'ol fashioned drama.
It doesn't matter if you're 16 or 46, no one is immune to a show's soapy-goodness when teenagers are the focus. Whether you were a teen, or just reliving your glory days, these 21 shows were most definitely on your guilty pleasure television list!
This Throwback Thursday, take a trip down memory lane (and down the halls) with some of your favorite teen dramas that have since graduated from television!
Dawson and Joey were BFF's, who talked fast, loved films, and had a vocabulary that even English majors envied. Pacey had an affair with his teacher, and fell in love with his best friend's best friend (Pacey + Joey Forever!) Jen was the mysterious girl from another town who shook up all of their lives. Tuning in to Dawson's Creek each week to see what was happening in Capeside wasn't optional, it was a must... you knew that if you didn't watch it, someone would ruin it for you in gym class the next day.
My So-Called Life
My So-Called Life is often hailed as the most realistic teen drama of all time, mainly because it's the only drama that never felt like a typical afterschool special. There were never heartfelt hugs and warm mugs of cocoa. Angela Chase behaved like a girl in high school, just trying to figure out who she was. Both the dialogue and the family dynamic were all-too realistic. Most importantly, the drama was real. Angela's friends were realistic people you went to high school with, both the friend she ditched, and the new eclectic group of people she befriended. Every girl had a Jordan Catalano, and dreamt that he would write a song for them. My So-Called Life was gritty teen TV, and we couldn't get enough!
Beverly Hills, 90210
Beverly Hills, 90210 changed the landscape of the prime-time teen soap opera when it premiered in 1990. The show centered around Minnesota twins, Brandon and Brenda Walsh, as they navigate their new lives in sunny Beverly Hills. With new challenges in friendships that included sex, drugs, alcohol, theft, anorexia, guns, pregancy scares, gangs, and rape (just to name some), the wholesome Walsh twins were fish out of water. The stories were racy, and there were many "very special episodes", but 90210 remains, to this day, the gold standard in teen drama on television.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy Summers wanted to hang out at the mall, talk on the phone, and be a cheerleader. Unfortunately for her (but fortunate for Sunnydale) she had to save the world...a lot. With her librarian watcher Giles, her super hot vampire boyfriend Angel, and her Scooby gang of friends, Buffy's weekly work toward ridding the world of vampires, demons and the forces of darkness was not only entertaining, but somehow felt relatable. While girls everywhere wore their love of Buffy as a badge of honor, it was the guys who thought of Buffy as a guilty pleasure...until they realized everyone was on board, and there was no shame in loving our heroine. Buffy Summers, you were the class protector of every class, around the world.
Ephram Brown's dad chooses to move the family from NYC to Everwood after his mom dies, and it seemed like the worst case scenario. Ephram barely even knows his dad. Everwood was a feel-good family show, where every episode felt like a "very special episode" and many left you in tears, but who doesn't love a good cry? If you watched Everwood, you shipped Ephram and Amy (no Madison love here!) and you love to tell everyone that you knew Chris Pratt first as Bright, the jock who accidentally put his best friend in a coma, and had an epic romance with Hannah. Everwood was the feel good teen drama that you needed, and just couldn't bear to turn off, because of all the feelings.
Degrassi has been a CTV institution for over 30 years, making its way to the US in the 80's on PBS as The Kids of Degrassi Street, and now on Teen Nick under it's newest iteration, Degrassi: The Next Generation. Degrassi never shies away from any and every topic, mixing stories that were edgy with stories about everyday teen issues. In the 80's, Spike gave birth to her daughter Emma at the age of 14, Tess had an abortion, the Zits were the hottest boy band in school, Melanie embarrassed herself while shopping for bras in front of her crush Snake, and Caitlin dealt with hiding her epilepsy at a sleepover. When the show re-launched in the early 2000's with Spike's daughter Emma as the main character, Degrassi didn't skip a beat, bringing its same mix of heartwrenching, edgy, and everyday stories, updated to involve current issues like school shootings, internet bullying, and sexting. The drama was uncomparable, the cast was hot, and they always kept it real.