As a teenager, I had a constant need to gawk over the latest teen-centric shows and movies available to watch. I constantly found new crushes and daydreamed about countless on-screen kisses, living vicariously through so many on-screen characters. I could only imagine how excited I would have been if streaming services like Netflix had existed back when I was a teenager. Today, my inner 16-year-old geeks out every time I scroll through the site and see works like Jane The Virgin and Mean Girls. There are so many shows and movies on Netflix that my teenage self would've just obsessed over, and I'm sure yours would've, too.
Right now, teens are kind of ruling so much of the content that's streaming on sites like Netflix. Shows like 13 Reasons Why and Pretty Little Liars were huge recently, and those two series, plus plenty of others, are ones that would've made my younger self totally flip out. So take a look at these 14 movies and shows available on Netflix, all of which would've had your teenage self totally excited.
The film Dope is influenced by ’90s hip-hop culture and has plenty of throwbacks. But besides the gold chains, high top fades, and bomber jackets, the movie touches on topics like race, identity, and staying true to yourself, all the things my teen self would've love to see on film. Plus, seeing Quincy Brown would most certainly have helped the viewing process.
2. Can't Buy Me Love
A young Patrick Dempsey stars in this iconic '80s comedy as an outcast who pays one of his high school crushes to make him popular. This movie is the fantasy we all probably imagined during our awkward phases in high school.
3. Jane The Virgin
Honestly, the main reason I would be low-key dying over Jane The Virgin is because of the gorgeous, quirky Gina Rodriquez and the easy on the eyes Justin Baldoni, but there's so much else to love about this great show.
4. 13 Reasons Why
13 Reasons Why is an addictive story that touches on heavy issues like depression, which I personally faced in high school. Nothing is left untouched in the show, and while it might seem over the top at times, the series made me face my own demons from high school. So, I could only imagine the help 13 Reasons Why would've been if it had been around during my teenage years.
5. Struck By Lightning
Gossip, dirt and revenge, oh my! My teenage self always loved a little drama. Glee's Chris Colfer wrote and starred in this high school comedy, which premiered in 2012, and also features the hilarious Rebel Wilson, Allison Janney, and Dermot Mulroney.
6. Good Burger
Kel Mitchell and Kenan Thompson play teen misfits working at an old-fashioned burger restaurant competing with a new, galactic diner across the street. The duo uses their creative, hilarious skills to save their jobs. “Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger. Can I take your order?” will definitely get stuck in your head and remind you of your teen and preteen years.
Glee used music to make poignant observations about gender, sexuality, relationships, disability, family, and adolescence through song. If you were a high school music buff, your teen self would've appreciated the passion in Glee, for sure.
8. Dear White People
This show embodies the "woke" movement of today and shows the plight of both young Black women and men. Although the series is based in college, a lot of the issues faced, such as racism and gender roles, are relevant to high school, too. My teen self would've loved this show.
9. Haters Back Off
Haters Back Off is an original series that YouTube sensation Miranda Sings co-created with her brother. The series is somewhat of a spin-off of Sings' videos, which have featured her dissing famous people, abusing the English language, and showing tutorials about making Taco Bell Popciscles. This show is silly and hilarious, and that's all my inner teen needed sometimes.
10. The Get Down
The ambitious hip-hop themed drama The Get Down is set in the South Bronx in the late 1970s. The grit and grime of the early stages of the Bronx's lyrical empire of rap is exciting to see, and it reminds me of the several times I failed trying rap on the long bus rides home from school.
11. Pretty Little Liars
You know the story: four teen girls deal with their best friend Alison's disappearance and an anonymous menace called "A" who wants to expose the clique's dirtiest secrets. It's a suspenseful show that all our teen selves would've loved.
12. Mean Girls
This movie is probably one of the most quotable films of our time. It shows how flawlessly savage high school cliques can be, and if you're too young to have been a teen yourself when Mean Girls came out, watching it now will leave you with so many thoughts about high school drama.
Hormonal teens. Lots and lots of bad decisions. It's a bit much, but you'll find yourself obsessing over Skins, watching kids who are constantly fighting to find themselves in the awkward stage between childhood and adulthood.
I have something to admit — I still watch 90210 daily. I don't know if it's because I live in California or if I secretly wish I experienced parts of my teenage years living near the beach. Either way, this series is a must watch for your inner teen.
Now that you have your list, go to Netflix and travel back to a time where you had plenty of crushes, drama, and angst.