The Holy Grail of Teen Shows

Welcome back! Yes, I am still thinking about teen shows. Call it a side effect of getting older I start to look back at a time that I cannot take back. Therefore, I live vicariously through television shows. Speaking of which, as I click through the teen show sections on Netflix and Hulu, I started to think about the holy grail of teen shows that will always make me stop and watch.

So, like everyone else on the internet, here is my top three holy grail teen shows that everyone has to watch. Let us begin!

The O.C.

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The O.C. has a very special place in my heart. It was the first show as a teenager to grab my attention. It was the first show that became ‘must see’ television. It was the first time I had pictures of the cast on my wall (RIP Adam Brody’s Seventeen Magazine picture spread that lived on my wall for four years). It’s story didn’t just concern the teens but the adults as well making it easy to transition from teen drama to adult drama in a single scene.

In case you don’t know The O.C. is about Ryan Atwood, a boy from the poor side of town, being adopted by the Cohens, a rich family, after he is kicked out of his house for being arrested. It starts out with Ryan trying to fit in with this new type of crowd without losing who he is as person. The show only lasted four seasons but all the seasons are entertaining from beginning to end.

This show is necessary to see because it is a great snapshot of what the world was like for teenagers in the early 2000’s. I was coming into age in a time where labels were everything and fitting in was the name of the game. The whole nerd culture that is popular now was not very popular then. You could argue that Seth Cohen helped bring that to the mainstream.  The characters are likable and actually grow. I recently watched the pilot and the last episode of the series and the growth of all the main characters is amazing to see. You may find that an odd thing to say but many teen shows at the time never had characters truly grow up before the ratings fell.

The O.C. has a strong legacy in pop culture. From the Housewives shows, Laguna Beach and Chrismukkah the O.C. introduced a lot to the American public that still has an effect to this day. Some might argue those contributions were the worst but I like that a show that had such an impact on me still exists in pop culture.

Check it out on iTunes and DVD. Worth the watch.

Awkward

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I have Awkward in here (a current MTV show) to show that teen shows do exist. Not in the traditional sense but they do exist. Even better? This one is worth checking out.

Awkward follows Jenna Hamilton, who struggles to be a teenager especially after losing her virginity and accidently almost committing suicide. Her best friends, her young parents, her first love and the classic cheerleader enemies surround her as she navigates her life. It is a terrible summary, but I do not want to ruin the show for you. It is a fun ride.

The reason you should watch this show? It reminds me of the classic teen structure while taking into account the struggles current teens are facing. What I truly like about the show is they do not sugar coat anything. The characters screw up regularly. They swear. They get drunk and do not have to have the obvious consequences every time. The characters remind me of my time as a teenager. It feels authentic and I believe anyone can relate to these characters regardless of age.

This show is still on the air starting the second half of season five this month. All the seasons are on Hulu and MTV. Check it out. It is worth the watch. It will bring you back to what being a teenager feels like.

Dawson’s Creek

1997 The cast of "Dawson's Creek." From left to right: Katie Holmes (Joey Potter), James Van Der Bee
1997 The cast of “Dawson’s Creek.” From left to right: Katie Holmes (Joey Potter), James Van Der Beek (Dawson Leery), Michelle Williams (Jennifer Lindley) and Joshua Jackson (Pacey).

Pacey. Pacey. Pacey. If you were a kid or teenager in the late 90’s early 2000’s, you had a crush on Pacey Witter. By the way, Joey and Pacey forever. Dawson’s Creek is the quintessential teen dramedy. Even now hearing the theme song can bring back so many memories.

Dawson’s Creek, for those who do not know, follows Dawson Leary and his friends in a small town as their world is turned upside down by the arrival of Jen Linley from New York City. Joey loves Dawson but Dawson loves Jen. Pacey loves female attention until he realizes he loves Andie then Joey. You have parents that are a mess, dying kids, confusing emotions and break ups that defined lives.

This show is a classic for me. Even now, it still holds up. The show has no unique twist to it. There are not any vampires. People are not trying to save the world. People are not werewolves. These characters are just teenagers living in a small town dealing with things that every teenager can relate to in their lives. I doubt feeling like a kid when you need to start thinking like an adult is something that goes out of style.

Yes, Dawson’s Creek is somewhat corny and near the end the writers seems to get distracted by shiny objects but it is worth the watch. It doesn’t use gimmicks it just using those teenage emotions we all can relate to at any age.

It’s on DVD and Crackle. Enjoy. Report back to me. Also, Joey and Pacey forever. Just needed to say that in this blog again.

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These three shows have had an effect on my life. It is also a good way to look back at a time where many small issues were big and everything was a new adventure.  We may all grow up and move on but sometimes it is fun to look back and remember. I hope these television shows make you look back fondly and help you remember the good parts of being a teenager.

So, that concludes my time in the teenage land. Do you have any holy grail teen shows that bring you back? Tell me in the comments below!

Until next time, the randomness has ended. I hope you enjoyed!

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