If you’re like me, you’ve probably been binge-watching several TV shows within the past 6 months. To be fair, there aren’t that many other things to do. Personally, the early 2000s teen TV shows are my favorite. They include everything from comedy, drama, and romance and they’re always fun to watch. Although there are so many shows from the early 2000s involving teens, there are some ones that definitely stand out and are ones you must see!
1. The O.C. (2003-2007)
Not going to lie, I’ve probably watched this show over 4 times just because it is that good. Bad boy Ryan from Chino ends up being taken in by public defender, Sandy Cohen, and his family who live in Newport Beach. The lives of the Newport Beach residents are filled with enough lies, betrayal, a scandal to make every episode interesting and fulfilling. Also if you are a fan of NJB’s (Nice Jewish Boys), Seth Cohen is literally everything you could ever want in your future husband. He even invented Christmakkah. If you’re a fan of shows like Gossip Girl you’re definitely going to love this show. Just think Gossip Girl except in Newport, but the scandals are just as crazy.
2. Everwood (2002-2006)
I started Everwood mostly because I wanted to see a young Chris Pratt, but I kept watching mainly due to the show’s compelling storyline and the loving characters. Andy Brown, a well-known neurosurgeon in NYC, experiences the loss of his wife and decides to move his teenage son and younger daughter across the country to a small town called Everwood, Colorado. We get to watch him become closer to his children and watch them grow up. The show deals with important topics and life lessons like dealing with grief, first love, and heartbreak. The town of Everwood kind of reminds me of Gilmore Girls’ Star Hollow; everyone sticks together as a community and it’s beautiful to watch.
3. Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)
If you want to watch a show with a close mother-daughter relationship, Gilmore Girls definitely portrays it so well. Single mother, Lorelai Gilmore, is raising her daughter, Rory, in a small town called Stars Hollow. Lorelai is a chatty, quirky, humorous mother while Rory is a more quiet, studious, and driven girl. Despite their differences in personality, Rory and Lorelai are best friends and although they go through ups and downs they always stick together as a mother and daughter should. They may talk at a mile a minute, but you’ll be able to keep up and learn to love their back and forth banter and charm. Plus you’ll probably catch glimpses of some pretty big stars making appearances as you keep watching.
4. Felicity (1998-2002)
This show may have begun in 1998, but it still went into 2002. I love this show for the characters and how it really deals with so many issues that people face while in college. Felicity has just graduated high school in California and is planning on attending Stanford, however her long time crush, Ben, is going to college in New York and she decides spontaneously to follow him. Okay so you shouldn’t base your future on a boy, but this show ends up being about so much more. Felicity discovers so much about herself and gains her own sense of self. However, I still found my heart racing when she was choosing between the same 2 guys for the whole show.
5. Dawson’s Creek (1998-2003)
This show really set up everyone’s craze for teen TV shows and so many shows that came after this used similar plot storylines. Dawson and his friends start high school in their small town and they have to go through the process of growing up while still maintaining their long-time friendships. I never really watched the show for Dawson, it was mainly the other characters like Joey and Pacey that I connected with. Also, Dawson’s Creek was the first show to feature two males kissing on TV (I know, gasp!). Side note, Dawson crying is the single most funny thing on this show.
6. One Tree Hill (2003-2012)
9 seasons is a pretty long commitment, but trust me, it is 100% worth it. You will laugh and cry along with the characters and become so attached that in the end, you will probably end up sobbing and wondering what you’re going to do with your life. Gavin Degraw’s theme song will be stuck in the head forever and every time you hear it you will sing it at the top of your lungs. The friendships, the relationships (Naley!), the drama, will have you vicariously living through these fictional characters’ lives. Brooke Davis will become your biggest female role model. And you most likely will have a love/hate relationship with Dan Scott (THAT MAN NEVER DIES).
7. Gossip Girl (2007-2012)
Welcome to the lives of Manhattan’s elite, XOXO Gossip Girl. Gossip Girl is an exclusive insight into the lives of the rich, scandalous Upper East Side teens as they navigate high school and fancy socialite events. This is one of those iconic shows that every girl has probably watched at least once in her life (probably more).
8. Veronica Mars (2004-2007)
A high school girl is also a teen detective…need I say more? Veronica solves mysteries that sometimes even her PI father doesn’t know about. You’ll get to see a young Kristen Bell being as sassy and smart as ever. Who doesn’t love a girl who can solve crime while being a high school student at the same time?
9. Greek (2007-2011)
Looking for a show on Greek life in college? Although it may not be that realistic, Greek is funny and also all based on fraternity and sorority life. Casey, a junior sorority girl, experiences what it’s like to go to school with your brother when Rusty, a science nerd who is a bit quirky, starts college at the same university. And even worse…Rusty wants to join a fraternity. This show will have you laughing, but also super invested in the relationships.
10. Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
Before The Vampire Diaries and Teen Wolf, there was Buffy on her mission to save the world from vampires, demons, and any other kind of monster. At the same time, she was literally conquering evil, she was also trying to act like a normal high school student. From sci-fi to romance, this show has it all.
You will become obsessed with these shows within the first couple of episodes, I promise. Now turn on your TV and start watching or re-watching!
Do you love any of these shows? Let us know in the comments below!
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Caitlyn is a third-year student at UCLA. She is majoring in English. She enjoys writing, and going to hot yoga classes and, of course, binge-watching Netflix. At UCLA, Caitlyn is a feature writer for HER Campus, part of the American Cancer Society club, and a member of Alpha Gamma Delta.