Over the last few years, Netflix has released a plethora of teen shows that have instantly won over the hearts of real-life teens and the young at heart. With no restrictions to adhere to, Netflix has allowed these teen shows to be unapologetically authentic depicting both the highs and lows of teenagehood.
From ensemble casts to shows that center around one main teenager there is certainly a teenage show for everyone to relate to on the streaming service. Whether it’s a comedy or a drama, Netflix’s teen shows are currently in a league of their own.
Updated on June 6th, 2022 by Danielle Bruncati: The smash success of shows like Heartstopper shows that Netflix certainly gives a platform to teen shows, but reports of customers dissatisfaction driving a decrease in subscribers also shows that it doesn’t always let its teen shows reach their full potential, and sometimes cancels them prematurely. Several of Netflix’s top-rated teen series has only had one to two seasons. However, Netflix continues to put out new, impactful, and authentic teen shows that push boundaries while confronting the very real-world issues that teenagers are growing up with in the 2020s. The best part is Netflix doesn’t shy away from any of it and instead has aired teen shows centered on past generations and others in languages other than English.
15 Trinkets (2019-2020) – 7.0
Trinkets is arguably one of Netflix’s best teen series despite being underrated when it comes to the general public of Netflix subscribers. The drama series centers on three teenagers who go to the same high school but become close after attending the same Shoplifters Anonymous therapy group.
The series was based on a young adult book of the same name written by Kristen Smith and dropped its second and final season on Netflix in 2020 which was not as believed as the first season.
14 Everything Sucks! (2018) – 7.5
Everything Sucks! was one of Netflix’s most unique teen shows of the 2010s that aimed to parody teen culture in the 90s by setting the show in that era. The dramedy centers around teenagers in the A/V and Drama club who team up to make a movie together.
The series was praised for its handling of a teen’s coming-out story and for its authentic light on the teen experience in the 90s. Despite its cult following, the series was canceled after only one season by Netflix.
13 I Am Not Okay With This (2020) – 7.5
After getting canceled after only one season, I Am Not Okay With This is one of Netflix’s most popular and most beloved teen shows. It has since been praised for its themes and its representation of LGBTQ teen characters.
The series was based on a comic book by Charles Forsman and follows Sydney Lillis, a teenager who discovers she has telekinetic powers while also trying to figure out who she is in the world of high school.
12 Outer Banks (2020-) – 7.5
Outer Banks is of the most widely talked about teen shows that have been released in 2020. The series quickly garnered attention on Netflix and was renewed for a second season three months after its initial release.
Set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the series centers are John B., a teenager who is the leader of his friend group the “Pogues.” After John’s father goes missing, John B. enlists his friends’ help to discover the truth about his father’s disappearance.
11 13 Reasons Why (2017-2020) – 7.5
Arguably one of Netflix’s most controversial shows of all time, 13 Reasons Why ended its historic run after four seasons on Netflix. Loosely inspired by the Brian Yorkey young adult novel of the same name, the series centers on Clay Jenson, a young teenager who finds himself hitting rock bottom after learning that Hannah Baker has killed herself.
13 Reasons Why definitely pushed the boundaries when it came to teen shows exploring topics of suicide, sexual assault, and drug addiction amongst several others.
10 Teenage Bounty Hunters (2020) – 7.6
Teenage Bounty Hunters was released in 2020 and quickly found support amongst fans of the young adult TV genre. The dramedy series centers around twin sisters Sterling and Blair who get mistaken for bounty hunters after helping a professional capture a bail jumper.
The fresh take on the teen genre was well received with critics praising the show’s humor and portrayal of the twin sisters. It even went on to be featured on Vulture’s “Best Overlooked 2020 TV Series.” Unfortunately, the series didn’t perform to Netflix’s standards and was canceled after one season.
9 Never Have I Ever (2020-) – 7.8
Never Have I Ever is another teen Netflix series that premiered earlier this year and instantly won over the hearts of Netflix subscribers. The series was penned by the incredibly talented Mindy Kaling who drew from her own childhood for inspiration.
The series revolves around sophomore Devi who is determined to change the course of her high school career after a devastating freshman year left her depressed and uncool. Never Have I Ever has been such a hit, it’s been renewed for four seasons, with the third releasing in summer 2022.
8 On My Block (2018-2021) – 7.9
Next up on the list of best Netflix teen shows is the coming-0f-age dramedy series On My Block. The series centers on a group of childhood friends who must navigate their South Central Los Angeles neighborhood while dealing with the more traditional teenage problems like love and friendship.
The fourth and final season of the series was released in 2021 and answered some important questions fans were left wondering about when season 3 ended on a major cliffhanger. Since then the series has been praised for its likable characters and for dealing with difficult themes like gang involvement and violence.
7 The End of the F***ing World (2017-2019) – 8.1
With an 8.1 rating, The End of the F***ing World lands itself on the list of Netflix’s best teen shows of all time. Based on another Charles Forsman comic, the series follows two teenagers who embark on a road trip that forever changes the course of their lives for various reasons.
The series ran on Netflix for two seasons where it garnered both critical and commercial success earning both a British Academy Television Award for Best Drama Series and the 2019 Peabody Award.
6 American Vandal (2017-2018) – 8.1
The teen genre finally got its very own mockumentary when American Vandal was released back in 2017. The series centers around Peter Maldonado, an aspiring documentarian, who must use his skills to prove that his Catholic school’s class clown was not responsible for a string of pranks.
The series ran for two seasons on Netflix which were both met with huge critical acclaim. American Vandal went on to win a Peabody Award in 2018. Despite its success, Netflix canceled the series despite the creators’ wish to create another season.
5 Atypical (2017-2021) – 8.3
Atypical is one of Netflix’s most heartwarming teen comedies and comedies of all time. The series centers on Sam, a teenager on the autism spectrum, who is determined to find love while in high school. Sam’s desire for a girlfriend affects his entire family as they adjust to Sam becoming more independent.
There are currently three seasons of Atypical on Netflix with a fourth and final season set to drop sometime in 2021. While the show overall is well received, it has been the subject of criticism with many finding faults in its lack of autistic actors and generalized depictions of autism.
4 Young Royals (2021-) – 8.3
Despite being a Swedish teen drama series airing entirely in Swedish, Young Royals earned a loyal American fanbase since the series was available on all Netflix properties. The series follows Prince Wilhelm of Sweden who is forced to attend a boarding school after getting into trouble. Wilhelm plans to lay low but ends up befriending Simon, a scholarship student, whom Wilhelm ends up having feelings for.
The series has since been picked up for a second season but there hasn’t been any word on when Netflix plans to release it. One of the reasons for the high rating is because the series chose to cast actual teenagers to play teenagers while also being inclusive in terms of race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
3 Julie And The Phantoms (2020) – 8.4
Julie and the Phantoms quickly soared to Netflix’s top charts when first released and held its place for several weeks. The teen musical series centered on Julie, a young teenager who has given up on music after her mother’s death. However, when Julie accidentally summons the spirit of 3 teenage musicians, they team up to help each other reclaim their dreams of being famous musicians.
Julie and the Phantoms was one of Netflix’s biggest teen shows of 2020 which is why fans were outraged when Netflix decided to cancel it over a year later. Despite only airing for one season, it was highly praised and was even nominated for Outstanding Young Adult Series at the Daytime Emmys.
2 Sex Education (2019-) – 8.4
With an 8.3 rating on IMDb, Sex Education earns the title of being the best teen show on Netflix. The teen dramedy series centers on Otis, a socially awkward teenager whose mother happens to be a sex therapist. With the help of his mom’s work material, Otis creates an underground sex therapy clinic at his high school.
The British dramedy series quickly built up a massive following earning a whopping 40 million views during its first season debut. There are currently two seasons on Netflix with a third on the way.
1 Heartstopper (2022-) – 8.9
Heartstopper was released on Netflix in April 2022 and instantly shot to the top of the trending list. A feat that’s not surprising since the series is based on the popular web-comic turned graphic novel series. The show centers around Charlie, a gay teenager at an English boarding school who finds an unlikely friend in popular older classmate Nick. As the two spend more time together, both boys begin to realize their friendship might be something more.
With only one season out, fans are hopeful that Netflix will renew the series soon considering there is tons of source material to use for future episodes. The series has been praised by fans and critics for offering LGBTQ teenagers a heartwarming and positive love story that’s often reserved for straight couples.
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