Do you have back to school blues? Check out these underrated high school TV shows to get yourself back in the spirit.
Many high school TV shows have become part of the pop culture zeitgeist to the point that they seem to be ingrained in the collective consciousness. Dawson’s Creek, The OC, Gossip Girl, Riverdale…all of these hits have helped shape the high school experiences of generations.
However, they are far from the only great TV shows chronicling the lives of one of the most fascinating subsets of the population: teenagers. We all have either been one, are one, or desperately want to be one.
Whichever group you fit into, you almost definitely have strong feelings about the high school experience. That’s what makes these shows endlessly entertaining! Luckily, there are plenty to choose from.
Here are eight criminally underrated high school TV shows you need binge watch now.
Daria is the very definition of “over it,” and she doesn’t do a great job at hiding it. The cartoon offers a unique perspective on the high school experience, from someone who really couldn’t care less about any of it.
The highlight of Daria is the title character’s hilarious wit and sarcasm. Tune in for a therapeutic binge session of Daria cynically trashing all of the kids who you wish you could’ve stood up to in high school. Make sure you do it quick, because this is another one that’s headed for a reboot!
Veronica Mars enjoyed a resurgence in popularity when The Veronica Mars Movie was successfully Kickstarted, but there are still far too few Marshmallows (Veronica Mars fans) out there. While the show has expanded from its cult following, it’s never gotten the attention it deserved.
The entire world is in love with Kristen Bell, and Veronica Mars fits her like a glove. Her title character is smart, honest, brave, witty, deeply protective of her small circle, and the exact character we need in 2018.
There’s serious talks of a reboot currently, but don’t miss your chance to watch the original series. The mysteries and the beginning of some amazing ships are too good to pass up, even if Veronica is coming back to our screens with new material.
‘Freaks and Geeks’
Given that so many famous people got their start on Freaks and Geeks, most people with any interest in pop culture have probably at least heard of it. Created by Judd Apatow, and starring the likes of James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Linda Cardellini and Busy Philipps, it’s worth the watch for its star cred alone.
Of course, it has a lot more going for it than big names. Freaks and Geeks features an agglomeration of kids who don’t quite fit in that we haven’t seen before or since. It’s not your typical high school story, but still perfectly and realistically captures the turmoil that teens go through. Unsurprisingly, given the cast and creator, it’s also just really funny!
With another star studded cast, Roswell launched the careers of Shiri Appleby, Colin Hanks, Katherine Heigl and Emilie de Ravin. Roswell was a high school series with a twist, since it’s set in Roswell, New Mexico, ~50 years after UFOs were famously “spotted” there.
Super powers, aliens, and inter-species relationships combine with the normal angst of high school to deliver a delightfully unique series. Binge it before the reboot premieres in 2019.
What if you took all the hormones and high stakes of high school and trapped them on a boat with a bunch of rich kids? What if you also put a young Ryan Gosling on that boat? Well, you’d get the miracle that was Breaker High. You’d think a boarding school on the open ocean would be care free, but they have all the same issues as us land folk. Criminally, the show only had one season, but that just makes it all the easier to binge.
When Jamie Lynn Spears and Victoria Justice hit PCH academy, one of the most fun, but horrendously underrated high school TV shows on the Disney channel is the result. Zoey 101 is packed with cool, quirky characters and offers up a will-they/won’t-they love story that I’m still haunted by, to this day. Unfortunately, the series ended on a cliffhanger when Spears left the show, but it’s still more than worth the ride.
Skins is a British high school series that was famous for diving head first into taboo topics like sexuality, pregnancy, drugs, and eating disorders. Skins didn’t beat around the bush. They were never afraid to take a hard look at the controversial things teens are actually struggling with!
While some high school TV shows fall into a rut when the characters go to college, Skins avoided that all together by changing the cast when people graduated, keeping the show grounded in its original setting. This makes it one of the only true “high school TV shows” out there!
‘The Carrie Diaries’
The origin story of the famously fabulous Carrie Bradshaw was basically Sex and the City for teens. It may be far less scandalous than the original series, but the laughs, the fashion, and the city are all exactly how you remember them.
If you haven’t yet seen The Carrie Diaries, two seasons of fun topped with brilliant ’80s fashion and music await you. Fans of The Vampire Diaries and Supergirl will also be excited to see Chris Wood in one of his first roles!