The 35 Best Teen TV Shows, Ranked


From animation to survival epics to superheroes, teen dramas are as distinctive and assorted as actual youngsters. To honor the triumphant return of “Never Have I Ever,” IndieWire considers the highest of the TV class.

The perils and plights of adolescence have lengthy been a supply of fascination for tv audiences. That’s significantly obvious these days with Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Showtime, FX, and others vying for zeitgeist dominance with teen-focused dramas taking part in to a wide range of inventive strengths. As narratives have gotten extra subtle general throughout the TV panorama, it is smart that the methods wherein we have a look at tales about younger folks have additionally developed. From “Never Have I Ever” and “Love, Victor” to “Yellowjackets” and “Stranger Things,” TV teenagers in 2022 are amongst among the most wealthy ever written.

Because life as an adolescent is equal elements comfortable and unhappy, hilarious and tragic, sexy and horrifying, the next curation doesn’t restrict choices by style, which means: These picks vary from animation to sitcoms to homicide mysteries to science fiction. That mentioned, there are additionally a good variety of picks which are completely targeted on the dramatic ups and downs of this turbulent time in peoples’ lives. Sometimes that’s all of the drama we’d like.

Liz Shannon Miller, Hanh Nguyen, and Michael Schneider contributed to this checklist.

35. “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” (2008-2013)

"The Secret Life of the American Teenager"

“The Secret Life of the American Teenager”

ABC Family/Everett Collection

Molly Ringwald and 17-year-old Shailene Woodley shine as mom and daughter in “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”: an ABC Family drama so soapy it’d as effectively come geared up with a loofah. What begins as a really “Teen Mom”-esque portrait of a (fictional) pregnant excessive schooler blooms right into a betrayal-laden neighborhood saga when a love triangle turns love sq. turns love…octagon? A marvel of multiplication, “Secret Life” set itself aside by hitting the identical coming-of-age beats as numerous exhibits earlier than it at a scale and pace that was nothing if not over-the-top entertaining. Sure, it’s virtually impenetrable “message” was all over, as Woodley has since identified. But you simply can’t beat “One Night at Band Camp.” —AF

34. “That ’70s Show” (1998-2006)

"That '70s Show"

“That ’70s Show”

Everett Collection

Nostalgia has by no means gone out of fashion. Running from 1998 to 2006, “That ’70s Show” invited audiences into the Nixon-era dwelling of 1 Eric Forman (Topher Grace): a sarcastic stoner who primarily spends his smartphone-less adolescence goofing round with associates Donna (Laura Prepon), Kelso (Ashton Kutcher), Jackie (Mila Kunis), Hyde (Danny Masterson), and Fez (Wilmer Valderrama) within the Forman household basement. Upstairs, Eric’s dad and mom Kitty (Debra Jo Rupp) and Red (a profession greatest Kurtwood Smith) ship equally snarky antics to spectacular impact. Not solely did “That ’70s Show” boast a comedy type but to be matched by one other teen sequence, however it bridged the hole between adolescent and grownup humor so effectively the present stays a powerful look ahead to a large viewers. —AF

33. “American Vandal” (2017-2018)

"American Vandal"

“American Vandal”

Tyler Golden/Netflix

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