Relatable, unforgettable characters. Nostalgia for past experiences. Suspense of the unknown. Escape from reality. These are the reasons you shouldn’t skip out on watching popular teen TV shows, no matter your age.
From heart-wrenching relationships to thrilling mystery and intense emotions, teen TV shows have some of the best stories on the small screen. These shows transport you to the world of teenage angst, drama, romance and everything in between.
Are you ready to binge some of the hottest teenage TV shows out there? No matter what genre you like best, there’s something in teen TV for everyone to enjoy.
5 Popular Teen TV Shows to Watch Now
Being one of the first to discover a hot new show is exciting. Not only do you get to experience the initial buzz around popular storylines, but you can enjoy being part of the audience experiencing new stories for the first time.
Ready to catch up on the action and join the audience of current fan favorites? Here are some of the shows you should consider if you want to watch popular, recent teen TV shows:
Fans of the hit show black-ish won’t want to miss this spin-off. In grown-ish, we follow Zoey Johnson, played by Yara Shahidi, as she navigates through college. In this series, viewers will watch her adjust to life as a college student and explore everything this chapter offers, from new relationships and social media to identity and academic pressure.
Anyone looking for a teen TV show with a diverse cast will appreciate the characters here, as they add depth and complexity to the overall narrative of the series. grown-ish also addresses various social issues, like race and politics, thoughtfully.
Whether you followed the Johnson family in black-ish or not, grown-ish blossoms from that story and provides a relatable and engaging view into college life.
Watch grown-ish online now.
‘Never Have I Ever’
Created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher, Never Have I Ever is a coming-of-age dramedy series following Devi Vishwakumar, an Indian-American teenager. Devi, played by Maitreyi Ramakrishnan in her first major acting role, handles the ups and downs of attending high school in California, including struggles in relationships, getting along with family and figuring out the future.
This series tackles meaningful topics, such as grief, cultural identity and sexuality, but because it blends comedy into the heavier moments, most still find it relatable and authentic. Never Have I Ever features a diverse cast of characters, including Devi’s mother, cousin, friends and love interests. If you want a teen TV show series full of charming, empathetic moments, this is the one for you.
All American follows the story of Spencer James, played by Daniel Ezra, a talented high school football player from Crenshaw, a working-class neighborhood in Los Angeles. When Spencer gets recruited to play for Beverly Hills High School, he realizes the new school and community are much different than what he’s used to in Crenshaw. As he balances figuring out his new life and team dynamics, he also must consider his other relationships and some of the challenges they bring.
In this teenage TV show, key themes include race and class, but the series also touches on gang violence, police brutality and drug addiction. Inspired by the life of professional football player Spencer Paysinger, All American offers a unique look into the lives of high school athletes through complex, riveting storylines.
Set in the Outer Banks, a string of barrier islands and peninsulas off the coast of North Carolina, Outer Banks follows John B, a character who desperately wants to figure out what happened to his father after he set out on a mission to find a legendary treasure. John B (played by Chase Stokes) and his friends JJ, Pope and Kiara embark on an adventure and travel the stunning landscapes of the Outer Banks to find answers.
As the story unfolds, secrets about the wealthy townspeople and their businesses come to light. Whether you think these people had something to do with the treasure hunter’s disappearance, Outer Banks offers an exciting ride with striking visuals and storylines full of mystery, adventure and romance.
In the mood for something a little more sinister? Cruel Summer is a psychological thriller teen TV series starring Olivia Holt and Chiara Aurelia. The show occurs over three summers in the mid-1990s and follows Kate Wallis and Jeanette Turner, two teens whose lives become entangled in a little Texas town.
Kate is the popular girl, while Jeanette is an outcast. But when Kate goes missing, Jeanette suddenly becomes the “it girl” in school. People believe a stranger kidnaped Kate, and she is now dead, but as the plot thickens and characters unveil secrets, the true events of Kate’s story emerge.
One of the most thought-provoking features of Cruel Summer is its narrative structure, which alternatives between each summer and focuses on different periods in the teens’ lives. With unreliable narrators telling the story, viewers get to fill in the gaps before finding out what really happened.
5 Best Teenage Shows to Rewatch
Whether you’re a sucker for reminiscing about the past, or you want to watch shows you know have great reputations, you’re in luck. There are plenty of cherished favorites out there for you to check out for the first time or the fifth time.
From hanging out with the gang in Eric Forman’s basement on That 70’s Show to trying to figure out who keeps tabs on everyone in Gossip Girl, these are classics for a reason. Here are just a few of the treasured series you should watch or rewatch if you love teenage TV shows:
Gilmore Girls is a classic teen drama that many regard as one of the best teen TV shows ever. Airing from 2000 to 2007, the show follows single mother Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) and her teen daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel) as they navigate through life in the fictional, quaint town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut.
And with a mini-series revival in 2016 (Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life), those who love this show can find out what happened to their favorite Stars Hollow residents after the show wrapped.
People adore this series for its witty dialogue, heartwarming relationships, quirky characters and relatable storytelling. While tackling popular teen themes like family, academics, relationships and more, Gilmore Girls infuses each scene with charm and wit, capturing the hearts of all ages.
Airing from 2007 to 2012, Gossip Girl is the story of wealthy, privileged teens living in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The titular character is an anonymous blogger who seems to know everything going on (even behind closed doors) with the main group of teens and constantly exposes secrets, creating plenty of twists and turns in the show.
With juicy, soapy drama, this teen TV show has everything from high-stakes power struggles to backstabbing frenemies and scandalous affairs. Starring favorites like Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley and Chace Crawford, Gossip Girl is a guilty pleasure show if there ever was one. And as soon as you start watching, you’ll be on the edge of your seat following these glamorous lifestyles and high drama.
‘That ’70s Show’
Another entry on the list of best teenager shows ever is That ’70s Show, a beloved sitcom that aired from 1998 to 2006. Set in the fictional town of Point Place, Wisconsin, and based in the mid-to-late-1970s, this teen TV series is about a friend group who support each other and navigate their relationships while growing up in a changing world.
Starring Topher Grace, Ashton Kutcher, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis and more well-known names, That 70’s Show features a hilarious, yet relatable cast of characters. And one of the reasons people love this show is the nostalgia factor, as the show unfolds during a time when disco was trendy, bell bottoms were stylish and social norms were just a little different.
If you want a funny, loveable show with a lot of heart, That 7’0s Show is a must-watch. And, if you find yourself wanting more after finishing the series, you can catch the spin-off That ’90s Show to see what happens in the Forman household years later.
For fans of the supernatural, Teen Wolf is a thrilling drama that premiered in 2011 and aired for six seasons. This teen TV show follows Scott McCall, a high schooler who gets bitten by a werewolf and gains extraordinary abilities as a result. As he deals with the challenges of being a werewolf and navigates this newfound identity, Scott also enters a world filled with danger and threats that may disrupt his life and the lives of those he loves.
Teen Wolf has compelling characters and storylines, all made more exciting by the otherworldly elements of the series. Starring Tyler Posey, Dylan O’Brien, Tyler Hoechlin and Crystal Reed, this series features a sundry cast of friends and relationships that evolve throughout the show. Those seeking exhilarating fight scenes and roller-coaster suspense won’t want to miss this coming-of-age story with a paranormal twist.
The Fosters is a family drama that aired from 2013 to 2018. Created by Peter Paige and Bradley Bredeweg, The Fosters follows the lives of Stef Foster and Lena Adams, who raise a blended family of biological, adopted and foster children. All children face diverse challenges and struggles, which the family tackles upfront in a supportive way.
Confronting intense, important issues in a sensitive and realistic manner is one of the main reasons people love this show. This teen TV series fosters inclusivity and representation in a way that entertains, inspires and educates. But viewers also appreciate the writing style and expert acting from stars Teri Polo, Sherry Saum, Maia Mitchell, Noah Centineo and other main cast members.
Anyone looking for an emotional teenage TV show that will make them laugh, cry and cheer will enjoy The Fosters.
Find Teen TV Shows and More on DIRECTV
Looking for some serious entertainment? Teen TV shows come complete with colorful narratives, lessons in self-discovery, romantic wins (and fumbles) and so much more. You’ll find yourself hooked on the hilarious jokes and captivating plotlines these shows bring to the table.
If you seek a good laugh, a few tears or maybe even some life lessons, these series are the way to go. Escape the stresses of real life and indulge in the guilty pleasure that is teen TV with DIRECTV or DIRECTV STREAM.
Not sure how to pick the best package? Take our quiz to make the best choice for your household.
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