Zendaya as Rue in Euphoria

19 Shows To Watch If You Miss Euphoria

Each one is more dramatic than the next.

by Dylan Kickham, Ani Bundel and Meguire Hennes
Originally Published: 
Eddy Chen/HBO

HBO's hit show Euphoria reached new highs when it returned after over two years off the air. The Season 2 finale ranked as the highest-rated series on HBO since Game of Thrones ended in 2019. The combination of gritty portrayal of addiction, high-flying drama, and teen soap antics has turned out to be catnip for audiences on streaming and on social media. But with a long wait until Season 3, fans need to find teen shows to fit that Euphoria-shaped hole in their lives.

Euphoria holds nothing back in its explicit portrayal of the modern teenage experience. Helmed by Zendaya, who has won two Emmys for Best Actress for her portrayal of Rue in both Season 1 and Season 2, the show was inspired by the groundbreaking Israeli series of the same name. Despite the critical acclaim, it has shocked audiences with its graphic depictions of violence, nudity, and substance abuse. And yet, despite complaints, its popularity has only grown, with the Season 2 finale bringing in 6.6 million viewers and crashing the HBO Max app.

However, Euphoria is far from the only teen series to shine a harsh light on usually unspoken truths. Here's a rundown of some of the best teen series tackling these subjects for fans to watch.

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1. Skins

More than anything else, the show Euphoria is most similar to is the seminal British teen series Skins. The show ran for seven seasons from 2007 to 2013, divided up into three different generations of students in high school. Like Euphoria, Skins was deemed groundbreaking in its representation of controversial and taboo topics, such as teen sexuality, drug use, and various forms of mental illness.

All seven seasons of Skins are streaming on Hulu.

2. Degrassi: The Next Generation

I jokingly call Euphoria "A24's Degrassi," after the arthouse indie film producer. Although the Canadian soap seems tame now, in its heyday from the late 1980s to the mid-aughts, it was infamous for tackling controversial storylines and going to completely unexpected places with its plot. Perhaps that's why HBO Max is investing in the franchise, reviving it for yet another generation.

Due to the series' revival, old Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High episodes are in streaming limbo until 2023, when they debut on HBO Max. However, Degrassi: The Next Generation is on Amazon Prime Video, and Degrassi: Next Class is on Netflix.

3. Genera+ion

Canceled after only one season, Genera+ion is a coming-of-age story set in California's more conservative circles. This high school drama has everything from teen pregnancy to explorations of diverse sexuality, and trying to make sense of both in modern society when raised in a sheltered upbringing.

All episodes of Genera+ion are streaming on HBO Max.

4. Grand Army

Based on Katie Cappiello's Slut: The Play, this one-season wonder series is set in Brooklyn's Grand Army High School, the largest public high school in the borough. The series focuses on an ensemble of students who deal with various real-world problems, from racism and bullying to sexual identity and violence.

All episodes of Grand Army are streaming on Netflix.

5. Misfits

While the trippiness in Euphoria comes from its drug-induced scenes, the U.K. series Misfits imbues weirdness into its teen storyline through superpowers. The show centers on a group of young offenders who unexpectedly gain superpowers during an electrical storm and struggle to cope with their strange new abilities.

All five seasons of Misfits are streaming on Hulu.

6. Elite

Netflix's Spanish-language soap opera thriller Elite is one of its most popular teen series ever. Set in Las Encinas, a wealthy private high school in Spain, it follows three working-class scholarship students as they experience culture shock. Despite the cliché setup, the show features diverse characters and storylines, and progressive themes, along with a flash-forward mystery to solve.

All five seasons of Elite are streaming on Netflix, with Season 6 to come in 2022 and 2023.

7. It's A Sin

Named for the hit Pet Shop Boys song of the era, It's A Sin is a U.K. coming-of-age drama set in the gay community in early 1980s London. As the AIDS crisis crosses the pond, four teenage boys try to discover themselves while staying alive. This critically acclaimed miniseries, which covers the entire decade of the epidemic, boasts a stellar cast and a raft of awards and nominations.

All episodes of It's A Sin are streaming on HBO Max.

8. Extracurricular

In K-drama offerings that fit the Euphoria theme, there's Extracurricular. The series begins with a poverty-stricken model student desperately trying to navigate a wealthy high school. To survive, he turns his numbers know-how into running an illegal business. All is going well until the girl he has a crush on takes an interest in him and insists on getting in on the action.

All episodes of Extracurricular are streaming on Netflix.

9. Yellowjackets

Showtime's newest smash hit, Yellowjackets, is a little bit of everything. Set in two timelines, one in 1996 and one in the present, it follows a group of girls lost in the wilderness after a plane crash. In the past, viewers witness their descent into cannibalism; in the present, their various attempts at reintegrating into normal society.

Yellowjackets Season 1 is exclusively on Showtime, while Season 2 will arrive in early 2023.

10. Sex Education

Sex Education is a teen coming-of-age dramedy that confronts sex and drugs with humor as well as realism. The British teen soap features awkward outcast Otis, the son of a sex therapist, who discovers the apple hasn't fallen very far from the tree, and his ability to help his fellow students is the key to popularity.

Sex Education Season 1 through 3 are streaming on Netflix. Season 4 is expected in 2023.

11. We Are Who We Are

We Are Who We Are is a British-Italian coming-of-age series from acclaimed director Luca Guadagnino (Call Me by Your Name). The series is set on a U.S. military base in Italy and follows the lives of two 14-year-olds, Fraser and Caitlin, who are strangers in a strange land trying to find themselves.

All episodes of We Are Who We Are are streaming on HBO Max.

12. Derry Girls

Like Sex Education, Derry Girls is a raunchy U.K. series that explores the realities of teenage life with humor. Set in the mid-1990s, Derry Girls follows four catholic school misfits as they discover life, boys, drugs, and maturity in the middle of the Irish Troubles.

The first two seasons of Derry Girls are streaming on Netflix. The third and final season will be released on Netflix on October 7, 2022.

13. Snowfall

Drugs are at the center of Euphoria, as Zendaya's character Rue secretly partakes in substance abuse after a nearly lethal overdose. The same can be said for FX's crime drama Snowfall. The series follows a 19-year-old drug dealer in Los Angeles in the '80s who finds himself embroiled in the era's crack cocaine epidemic.

Snowfall Seasons 1 through 5 are streaming on Hulu. Season 6 was renewed in April 2022, with FX confirming that it will be the final season.

14. Dare Me

Dare Me feels like a fictionalized version of Netflix’s hit docudrama Cheer, focusing on the reality of the world of competitive cheerleading and the way it can affect teenage girls. Based on Megan Abbott's novel of the same name, this miniseries follows the toxic relationship of two teenage best friends and how their new coach exploits and manipulates them.

All episodes of Dare Me are streaming on Netflix.

15. Freaks & Geeks

If Euphoria is a symbolic work for Generation Z, then the quintessential high school series for the millennial generation is Freaks & Geeks. In the series that first introduced the world to future movie stars like James Franco, Seth Rogen, Linda Cardellini, and Busy Philipps, two groups of outcasts — the stoner "freaks" and the nerdy "geeks" — toil to make it through the minefield that is high school.

Freaks & Geeks is streaming on Paramount+.

16. Shameless

Showtime's family drama Shameless has been shocking audiences since its premiere back in 2011. Although it is only partially a teen series, since half of the show focuses on adults, it has notably tackled intense storylines involving drugs, sex, and violence.

All 11 seasons of Shameless are streaming on Netflix.

17. Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin

The fourth television series in the Pretty Little Liars franchise on HBO Max gained faithful fans almost instantly. Similar to the 2010 original series, Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin is a teen drama mystery series that follows a group of five friends who are all receiving threatening messages from a mysterious aggressor named “A.” Like Euphoria, the show includes realistic Gen Z issues and stances on the world, but with more slasher elements.

Season 1 of Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin is streaming on HBO Max. The show was recently renewed for another season.

18. Gossip Girl (2021)

Another reboot of a classic 2010s teen drama, Gossip Girl tells the story of socialite rich kids in Manhattan, New York and how a mysterious blogger can ruin their lives, one rumor at a time. The 2021 Gossip Girl provides more diversity to a beloved storyline — introducing LGBTQ+ characters and people of color as main roles in the series.

Gossip Girl Season 1 is available on HBO Max. It was recently renewed for Season 2, which will be available on the same streaming platform.

19. Conversations With Friends

Just as Euphoria does, the Hulu original series Conversations With Friends combines drama and romance seamlessly. Two college students develop an interesting relationship with a married couple, one that would eventually lead to adultery, deception, and self-exploration in the end. Based on the Sally Rooney novel, Conversations With Friends comfortably shares themes of sex, drugs, alcohol, and young adult growth.

All episodes of Conversations With Friends are available on Hulu.

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