The 7 Best Shows About Teen Angst That Everyone Can Relate To
No matter how old you are, teenage angst is a mood you can probably still relate to. You might even notice that your angsty inner teen seems to resurface every time you visit your parents, or return to the home you grew up in, and the overwhelming feeling that nobody understands you becomes simply too much to bear.
If you're looking for a cathartic activity that could help channel that energy, consider binge-watching one of the excellent teen dramas that capture the many, many emotions of coming-of-age angst so well. From the naughty teens of UK series Skins to the equally naughty teens of US series Euphoria, and the peak '90s yearning in the iconic My So-Called Life, here are seven of the best TV shows about teen angst that we can all still relate to.
The acting talent from the first two seasons of the original UK Skins went on to do wonderful things, among them Nicholas Hoult, who played Tony in the series, was excellent as Peter III in this year's The Great; Daniel Kaluuya, who played "Posh Kenneth", won hearts and awards for his breakout performance in Get Out. While the show became soapier in its third season, the charm of the fictional Bristol teens will be more than enough to win you over with each and every episode.
Set in Northern Ireland in the 1990s, this more recent series follows a group of teenagers as they navigate their most formative years yet during a time of great turmoil in Derry, towards the end of the Troubles. Once you hear that first few bars of "Dreams" by The Cranberries in the show's first episode, you'll be hooked.
Another recent addition to the well of teen TV shows that capture coming-of-age so well, Sex Education is a standout for its humorous take on adolescent sexual awakenings. Gillian Anderson continues to be a compelling presence in the modern TV landscape, playing the sex therapist mother of the show's central character, Otis. You'll especially fall in love with Eric, Otis's best friend, and visually the lush English countryside that serves as the show's backdrop is a sight for tired eyes.
The End of the F***ing World
Another British show in the terrific teen-angst sub-genre, The End of the F***ing World, ups the stakes and becomes more of an allegory than soapy serial. The series follows James, a 17-year-old who believes he's a psychopath, and Alyssa, a rebellious classmate trying to escape a turbulent home. Not only do these teens feel like they're alone and nobody understands them, they literally are alone, parentless, and on the run, after a somewhat accidental death looks a lot like murder. Jessie Barden's performance as Alyssa is truly something to behold, and both lead performances have garnered critical acclaim.
Loosely based on the Israeli series of the same name, Euphoria captures the unique angst of a generation of teens who grew up on social media. With Zendaya giving an industry-best performance as the story's central character, Ru, every element of this series is really something special. It's a story told with as much angst as the characters within it feel.
Freaks and Geeks
The short-lived comedy-drama from Paul Feig launched careers and broke hearts when it was cancelled way too soon after only 12 episodes had aired. There are 18 in total, following dual storylines with older sister Lindsay (Linda Cardellini) and little brother Sam (John Francis Daley) at the centre.
My So-Called Life
Yet another series cancelled far too soon after just 19 episodes, this seminal teen drama is perhaps the most exemplary for American teen angst. With iconic performances by Claire Danes as Angela Chase and Jared Leto as Jordan Catalano, My So-Called Life is peak '90s in every way.
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