There’s one thing that Netflix has got right: its teen originals! From the boy meets girl formula, to utter awkwardness, heartbreak, and the magical touch of mystery, these teen originals have become our greatest guilty pleasure and a successful turnaround for the streaming service. By all means, we are suckers for binging Stranger Things as soon as a new season pops-up and we can’t stop going mad when shows like The Society don’t get a deserved renewal.
For this reason, we have narrowed down the best teen shows on Netflix if you are looking to explore more of the high school halls, flings, and the jam-packed drama. By the end of all these binges, you will notice that the new deal is watching these characters living young, wild, and free.
Anne With An E
Created by: Moira Walley-Beckett
Cast: Amybeth McNulty, Geraldine James, Dalila Bela, Lucas Jade Zumann, Aymeric Jett Montaz, R.H. Thomson, Corrine Koslo, Dalmar Abuzeid, and Joanna Douglas
Based on the classic Canadian novel “Anne of Green Gables”, Anne With an E is centered on 13-year-old orphan Anne (brilliantly played by Amybeth McNulty) as she moves to a new foster home. However, when she gets there, the family isn’t very receptive given that they were expecting a boy. Yet, Anne’s charisma and extremely talkative presence draws them in and eventually melts down their stone-cold hearts. If you are looking for a period drama that is light-hearted and optimistic, Anne With an E is definitely the perfect show for you. Despite the show having finished in 2019, its fanbase is still active on social media asking for a continuation because it’s just that good.
Created by: Robia Rashid
Cast: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Keir Gilchrist, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Amy Okuda, and Michael Rapaport
Another heartwarming pick! Atypical is centered on Sam Gardner (Keir Gilchrist), an 18-year-old within the autism spectrum. When he decides that he is ready to find his soulmate, Sam begins to venture into the dating world and its many complexities. Meanwhile, his parents and sister try to not only be the support system that Sam needs, but they also have their own personal struggles to deal with. Atypical really sheds light on the Autism spectrum, especially during the coming-of-age cycle, and it successfully breaks down misconceptions. The last season arrived on Netflix in 2021, and it brings the uplifting closure that fans deserve.
Created by: Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg
Cast: Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Courtney Hanggeler, Xolo Maridueña, Tanner Buchanan, Mary Mouser, Jacob Bertrand, Gianni DeCenzo, Martin Kove, and Peyton List
This Karate Kid spin-off was the perfect way to draw the whole family together to hop on the couch and binge! Thirty-four years after the All-Valley Karate Tournament happened in the franchise’s first movie, Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) decides to reopen the Cobra Kai dojo and teach the misfits how to defend themselves from the bullies at school. In the meantime, his rival Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) returns to his karate origins and coaches Johnny’s son Robby (Tanner Buchanan) and his daughter Samantha (Mary Mouser). Even though most of the characters are teenagers and have compelling storylines, the adult ones also have various moments to shine and show that they still got their martial arts moves intact. You better catch up on this one since season 4 is right around the corner.
Created by: Carlos Quintanilla, Sakar, Adriana Pelusi, and Miguel García Moreno
Directed by: Alejandro Lozano
Cast: Ana Valeria Becerril, Michael Ronda, Yankel Stevan, Zión Moreno, Macarena García, Fiona Palomo, Andrés Baida, and Patricio Gallardo
Gossip Girl fans, this one might be an interesting recommendation for you! In this Mexican Netflix original, a hacker invades an orientation session and exposes a student’s well-kept secret, causing immediate distress. Right after that, a social media account is built and continues to unveil other students’ secrets. While everyone tries to figure out the hacker’s identity, Sofia Herrera (Ana Valeria Becerril) decides to take the matter into her own hands and investigate her peers before she becomes the next victim. This show is easy to binge and season 2 just arrived on Netflix, so this might be the right time to give it a chance. On top of the Gossip Girl-like storyline, one of the actresses (Zión Moreno) is also starring on the HBO Max reboot.
Created/Written by: Lisa McGee
Directed by: Michael Lennox
Cast: Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Louisa Harland, Nicola Coughlan, Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, and Dylan Llewellyn
Derry Girls is the Irish sitcom that we didn’t know we needed! Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), Orla (Louisa Harland), Claire (Nicola Coughlan), Michelle (Jamie-Lee O’Donnell), and Michelle’s cousin from England James (Dylan Llewellyn) attend an all-girl Catholic school and navigate the coming-of-age whirlwinds together. The show is set in the 90s, during a period of political conflict, so the comic relief it exudes really captivates viewers and harbors multiple OMG moments. With its humour-filled dynamic and short episode runtimes, Derry Girls will crack you up in a heartbeat and strike a chord into your nostalgic memories as an awkward teen.
Created by: Carlos Montero and Dario Madrona
Cast: María Pedraza, Itzan Escamilla, Miguel Bernardeau, Miguel Herrán, Jaime Lorente, Álvaro Rico, Arón Piper, Mina El Hammani, Ester Expósito, Omar Ayuso, and Danna Paola
Elite has had such outstanding success that it ended up as one of the most popular Netflix originals around the globe. The combination of murder mystery, social class disputes, and the typical teenage spirit really make this show approachable for a wide audience. In Elite, three underprivileged students receive a scholarship to study at one of the most prestigious high schools in Spain, Las Encinas. As soon as they get there, they notice that their transition to a posh environment filled with classmates with an upper-class lifestyle will make fitting in very hard. However, when one of their peers is murdered, everyone joins forces to cover up the truth behind the killer.
The End of the F…ing World
Directed by: Jonathan Entwistle, Lucy Tcherniak, Lucy Forbes, and Destiny Ekaragha
Written by: Charlie Covell
Cast: Alex Lawther, Jessica Barden, and Naomi Ackie
This might be the most unusual teen series you might ever see. The End of the F…ing World is a dark comedy centered on James (Alex Lawther), a 17-year-old psychopath who is unapologetic about killing animals. Once he becomes bored of it, James decides to move on to murdering humans. In the meantime, he agrees to run away with Alyssa (Jessica Barden), a loud and problematic girl, so that in return he might get the chance to kill her. What he doesn’t expect is that somewhere along their crime spree, he starts to fall in love with her, and in doing so, realizes his self-diagnosis might have been a misfire. It might sound absolutely bonkers, but this series is just so odd that you won’t stop watching it. Alyssa and James come from opposite poles, but they are just the perfect match.
Created by: Katie Cappiello
Cast: Odessa A’zion, Odley Jean, Amir Bageria, Maliq Johnson, Amalia Yoo, Alphonso Romero Jones II, Thelonius Serrell-Freed, Anthony Ippolito, and Brian Altemus
After a bomb explodes only a block away from the Grand Army High School, students are forced into lockdown. The boiling point pressure they face since this traumatic event is what sets the tone for this group of teenagers to dive into self-reflection and personal growth. Grand Army might have lasted one season, but its way of tackling social issues without sounding off is what makes it a must-see. The show was able to effectively convey a powerful message against systemic racism, the side effects of being sexually assaulted, dealing with economic distress, and trying to seek a sense of belonging far from the stereotypes surrounding multiculturalism.
Written by: Meriç Acemia and Destan Sedolli
Directed by: Ahmet Katiksiz
Cast: Mert Yazıcıoğlu, Kubilay Aka, Alina Boz, Selahattin Paşalı, İpek Filiz Yazıcı, Pınar Deniz, and Kaan Urgancıoğlu
Set in Istanbul during the 90s, Eda (Alina Boz), Osman (Selahatti Paşalı), Sinan (Mert Yazıcıoğlu), and Kerem (Kubilay Aka) are four students that can’t help but constantly getting into trouble. Accustomed to living off the rails, this group becomes desperate when they find out that their favorite teacher (Burcu played by Pınar Deniz) and only person who cares for them will leave the school. If it weren’t for her, they would have been expelled a long time ago. Together, they come up with a plan to make Burcu fall in love with another teacher so she will stay. According to the law, if Burcu gets married, she can choose where she wants to work. As they unite to set their plan into action, these students learn what it means to have a true friendship, find love, and self-acceptance. If you are looking to open your horizons and check out some international content that is teen-driven, add this one to your list. Not to mention that Season 2 is confirmed!
Never Have I Ever
Created by: Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher
Cast: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Richa Moorjani, Jaren Lewison, Darren Barnet, John McEnroe, Poorna Jagannathan, Lee Rodriguez, and Ramona Young
Never Have I Ever is seemingly one of the most delightful binges for anyone into teen rom coms and diverse representation on screen. It revolves around Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), an Indian girl who is determined to get popular in her first year of high school and date the school heartthrob, Paxton Hall-Yoshida (Darren Barnet). While Devi and her best friends try to set their plan into action, Devi struggles with the recent loss of her father and dealing with her cultural heritage. This series has everything from love triangles, extremely OMG moments, and it will definitely crack you up.
On My Block
Created by: Lauren Lungerich, Eddie Gonzalez, and Jeremy Haft
Cast: Sierra Capri, Jason Genao, Brett Gray, Diego Tinoco, Jessica Marie Garcia, Julio Macias, and Peggy Blow
This comedy-drama teen show is all about truly celebrating the BIPOC community. In On My Block, four best friends from a South Los Angeles neighbourhood are committed to living out the whole high school experience, including romances, hardships, and having their friendship tested. This might sound like a generic plot, but the humor in this series really balances out the truths about being a teenager and the uncertainties that go along with it. Through laughs and cries, Monse (Sierra Capri), Ruby (Jason Genao), Jamal (Brett Gray), and Cesar (Diego Tinoco) will win you over with their quirky snider marks and impossible to dislike wit.
Created by: Josh Pate, Jonas Pate, and Shannon Burke
Cast: Chase Stokes, Madelyn Cline, Madison Bailey, Jonathan Daviss, Rudy Pankow, Austin North, Charles Esten, and Drew Starkey
This treasure hunt mystery show is not only intriguing, but it features the right amount of teen drama to spice it up. In Outer Banks, John B. (Chase Stokes) decides to investigate his father’s sudden disappearance alongside his partners-in-crime, the working class local teens called the Pogues. When they look for clues to solve the mystery, they find out that the disappearance was linked to a 400-million-dollar treasure in the Royal Merchant, a ship that sank years ago. As the Pogues try to find the gold, they notice that there are more people searching for it too. If you enjoy shows that blend murder mysteries with non-stop action scenes, treasure hunting adventure, and romantic moments, this is a go-to.
Created by: Laurie Nunn
Cast: Asa Butterfield, Gillian Anderson, Ncuti Gatwa, Emma Mackey, Connor Swindells, Kedar Williams-Stirling, Alistar Petrie, Mimi Keene, Aimee Lou Wood, and Chaneil Kular
In Sex Education, Ottis Milburn (Asa Butterfield) is a timid boy, who shies away from any opportunity to talk about sex. Oddly enough, his mother is a sex therapist and unashamed to address anything related to this topic. When Otis unintentionally gives sex advice to the school bully, he decides to continue helping other people in school to deal with their sexuality. Alongside his best friend Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) and the troublesome Maeve (Emma Mackey), they seek to not only assist their peers but embrace their true selves in the long run. Not only is this show lighthearted, but it is also filled with the 80s style and iconic soundtrack.
Created by: Christopher Keyser
Cast: Kathryn Newton, Gideon Adlon, Sean Berdy, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Jacques Colimon Olivia DeJonge, Alex Fitzlan, Kristine Froseth, Jose Julian, and Alexander MacNicoli
Time and time again you will notice that various fans still comment on Netflix’s social media posts advocating for the renewal of The Society. This teen drama really caught the attention of those who gulped up the first season in one sitting and were left on a cliff-hanger. This Netflix original focuses on a great group of high school students that hop on a bus to go on a camping trip and aren’t able to go through with it due to a big storm. However, when they return to their homes, they immediately notice that all the adults are nowhere to be found. As they try to take care of their town on their own, these teenagers must find ways to stick together in order to survive.
Created by: Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer, Shawn Levy, and Dan Cohen
Cast: Millie Bobby Brown, Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Natalia Dyer, and Charlie Heaton
This one was an obvious pick to join the list. Stranger Things is another teen-centered series that engages with the whole family due to its 80s references and incredibly binge-worthy storyline. When Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) is abducted by a supernatural force, his nerdy best friends look everywhere after him. At the exact same time that Will disappears, a young girl named Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) escapes a secret government-led scientific research facility and encounters the group. With the help of Eleven’s telepathic superpowers, they work together to uncover Will’s mysterious disappearance into what is later known as the Upside Down. Stranger Things is atemporal and truly instigates viewers, catching them off guard in every season.
KEEP READING: ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 Release Date, Cast, Filming Details, and Everything We Know So Far