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TV Shows to Binge Before You Start High School

April 09, 2018

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From homework to drama, high school can be difficult for a myriad of reasons. But, with these TV shows in your repertoire before you embark on your journey through secondary school, you’ll know what to expect. As you’re going through this list, you’ll undoubtedly notice that a few of these shows neither take place in a high school, nor do they feature a high school student. I included them in this list because they’re often referenced by students in my high school – you read that right, I’m a high school student, just as you are soon to be.

Watching TV is an enjoyable way to destress.Watching TV is an enjoyable way to destress.

“The Carrie Diaries”

This recent show portrays high school life in the 80s with relatively little melodrama – all evil Donnas (reminiscent of the Heathers) aside. This show tells the coming-of-age tale of high schooler Carrie Bradshaw, who has recently lost her mother to cancer. She is forced to re-establish her relationship with her father, rebellious sister, and friends. Most importantly, she is forced to re-evaluate her future when she gets a weekly internship at a New York City law firm, but is later offered a dream job writing for a fashion magazine. The clash between the life her parents want for her with the life she longs for is relatable and entertaining. This show will be cathartic in times of stress, and it’ll make you want to listen to 80s music, splatter paint accessories with nail polish, and eat peanut butter and jelly on saltines. You’ll see.

Explore the world of 80s fashion alongside Carrie.Explore the world of 80s fashion alongside Carrie.

“Friends”

This is a show about life after college, but it’s still relatable and entertaining to high schoolers and middle schoolers, alike. Featuring the reunion of high school best friends Monica and Rachel, this show is about relationships growing and changing as the people who formed them grow and change, as well. This show proves that adult life can be fun and is something to look forward to, and isn’t all 9-to-5 desk jobs. Maybe you’ll be inspired to be a fashion merchant, like Rachel, an actor, like Joey, or a chef, like Monica. But, mostly, this show is just a fun ride.

Join Phoebe, Chandler, Monica, Ross, Joey, and Rachel on their adventures through their post-college years.Join Phoebe, Chandler, Monica, Ross, Joey, and Rachel on their adventures through their post-college years.

“The Office”

This show has pretty much nothing to do with high school, but it’s beloved by high school students everywhere. A simple word or phrase from this show’s utterance will have the whole class laughing or joining in, such as “Parkour!” or “I am Beyoncé, always.” Through this show, you’ll find April Fool’s prank inspiration and brilliant minimalist Halloween costumes. Get ready to become invested in Jim and Pam’s relationship and cringe at Michael Scott’s every action. While this show gives you an entirely unrealistic expectation for the workforce, all nine seasons are filled with laughter and stress-relieving joy.

With characters such as Jim and Dwight, this is no ordinary office. With characters such as Jim and Dwight, this is no ordinary office.

“Gilmore Girls”

Sharpen your comedic skills and literary references while you watch Rory Gilmore’s transition from public school to private, and later, from high school to and through college. This show is a true time capsule to the late 90’s and early 2000’s with its time-relevant political and musical references, as well as through the hair, makeup, and clothes of the time. Despite this, the show is not dated but extremely relevant, especially to the college application process. Bond with fictional Rory over your shared high school anxiety, and forever wish you could live Lane’s life.

Escape to Stars Hollow and enjoy the peaceful yet ever entertaining lives of Lorelai and Lorelai Gilmore.Escape to Stars Hollow and enjoy the peaceful yet ever entertaining lives of Lorelai and Lorelai Gilmore.

“Everything Sucks!”

Don’t let this melodramatic title deter you. This currently one-season, ten-episode show received enough hype to pretty much guarantee it a second season. I watched the whole show in a day – granted, I had the flu and pretty much nothing else to do. This show takes place in the 90s and features the coming-of-age of three freshmen boys, the coming out of a sophomore girl, and several bullies’ increasing humanity. Their parents’ lives are changing, too. While the journeys they go on and the immediate problems they face may be unrealistic, their underlying struggles are very real. After watching this, you’ll want to make an alien movie with your friends and dress like Kate Messner.

Flashback to the nineties and experience the clash between AV club members and drama kids.Flashback to the nineties and experience the clash between AV club members and drama kids.

“Freaks and Geeks”

According to Vanity Fair, this late 90’s show, which takes place in the early 80s, is “one of the most beautiful and ambitious television series ever made.” Many stars are now very famous, such as Seth Rogen, James Franco, and “How I Met Your Mother” star Jason Segal. This show is a more grown up version of “Everything Sucks!” It’s about Lindsay Weir’s transition from mathlete to “freak” and her struggle to be accepted by everyone. It’s also about her younger brother, Sam, who is a “geek” and is constantly tormented by bullies. This show is more realistic than the rest, as, while it is a bit over-the-top for comedic affect, it features a lot of very real aspects of high school.

While Lindsay's family and friends may have their flaws, you'll come to love them.While Lindsay's family and friends may have their flaws, you'll come to love them.

“Veronica Mars”

I truly saved the best for last. While this show is not included in most streaming services, it’s filled with brilliant writing, acting, and plot lines. A young Kristen Bell stars as Veronica in this early 2000’s show whose plot is largely driven by criminal investigations. Veronica is a high school junior dealing with family drama, the death of her best friend, some serious friend drama, helping out with her dad’s PI business, along with the more typical aspects of being a high school junior: schoolwork and college applications. Veronica’s life will serve to prove that it could be worse – a lot worse. Although this amazing series lasted a mere 3 seasons, the cast made a reunion movie ten years after the show’s first season. Fun fact: the film was funded by fans via a Kickstarter campaign.

This detective show isn't all about crime -- main character Veronica experiences the obstacles of an everyday teen, too.This detective show isn't all about crime -- main character Veronica experiences the obstacles of an everyday teen, too.

Have Your Say

Have you seen any of these shows? If so, what did you think of them? Are there any shows that you feel should be on this list? Happy watching!