While the Netflix series had more than 13 reasons why its portrayal of mental health was at times inaccurate, the show still kick-started conversations surrounding teen-suicide awareness. Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) pieces together the mystery of why his former crush Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) killed herself after Hannah leaves select classmates a series of cassette tapes explaining their effects on her high school experience. The series had a sharp pivot after the first season and concluded in 2020 after four seasons.
Stream on Netflix.
The short-lived CW series Nancy Drew gave a fresh twist to the beloved crime-solving heroine. As titular star Kennedy McMann told E! News during the 2019 TV Critics Association press tour, the modern Nancy is "grappling with an extreme loss of a parent, and the loss of the future that she had depended on having because of her mother getting sick. Her college applications fell through, she decided to stay home."
McMann added, "We're seeing her desperately lonely, vying to fill that void with something, and I think if that's not relatable, I truly don't know what is. And I think it's a very normal part of growing up and navigating what one's relationship to that sort of physical intimacy is." Throw in sexy supporting stars, a cozy coastal beach town and an unsolved murder, and we're here for it.
Stream on HBO Max.
The Amazon Prime Video series, which was canceled after one season, follows a group of teens who are haunted by a fatal flaw in their judgment on graduation day. To make matters worse, the ensemble cast consisting of Madison Iseman, Bill Heck, Brianne Tju, Ezekiel Goodman, Ashley Moore, Sebastian Amoruso, Fiona Rene, Cassie Beck and Brooke Bloom are being stalked by a killer who does in fact know what they did last summer. Could it be one of their own peers?
Stream on Amazon Prime Video.
Drug dealers, cult leaders and murderers make up the titular town of Riverdale, where not even Archie (KJ Apa) is fully innocent. The twisted take on the Archie comic book series is chock full of love triangles, deadly mysteries and yes, even musicals. If this isn't a teen thriller, we don't know what is.
Sink your teeth into the steamy Vampire Diaries, which was rooted in the deliciously dark love triangle among human teen Elena (Nina Dobrev) and vampire brothers Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder). The supernatural thriller further moved into the depths of the underworld with spin-offs The Originals and Legends, but there was just something about the Salvatore brothers that kept us coming back for another taste even after the series ended in 2017.
Stream on Netflix.
Get ready to scream for this slasher satire! An all-star cast including Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis, Billie Lourd, Abigail Breslin, Ariana Grande, Niecy Nash, John Stamos and Keke Palmer made up this hilariously dark comedy about a group of sorority girls who are targeted by their university dean (Curtis) and a serial killer dressed as the school Red Devil mascot.
Stream on Hulu.
Wealth disparity between three working-class teens on scholarship and their private school peers leads to multiple murder in this sexy Spanish thriller. María Pedraza, Itzan Escamilla, Miguel Bernardeau (pictured) and Miguel Herrán lead the ensemble cast since the series debut in 2018. Season five premiered in 2022, with even more friendships tested and the killers' true intentions revealed.
Peacock's One of Us Is Lying turns detention deadly as four students from different high school cliques become prime suspects in the murder of one of their peers. Can they unravel the mystery before the school year ends?
Stream on Peacock. Season two premiered 2021 on the NBCUniversal streamer.
It doesn't get more iconic than Buffy. The beloved '90s series follows the titular Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) as she discovers her Vampire Slayer lineage...while navigating high school. An ensemble cast including Alyson Hannigan, Charisma Carpenter, Eliza Dushku, David Boreanaz and more iconic characters propelled this teen thriller to cult classic.
Although the fan favorite series lasted only one season, The Society captivated audiences as the ultimate teen drama, answering: What would happen if all the wealthy parents in a New England town disappeared? High schoolers played by Rachel Keller, Kathryn Newton, Alex Fitzalan, Jack Mulhern, Kristine Froseth, Toby Wallace and Gideon Adlon scramble to create a functioning society on their own—all while trying to solve the mystery of what's really going on.
Based in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the fictional mystery series centers on the social divide between wealthy seasonal residents ("Kooks") and the locals ("Pogues"). A group of Pogue teens search for the truth about what happened to their leader John B. (Chase Stokes) and his missing father, and their sleuthing leads to a treasure map that might change everything. "I think it's exciting for kids to see the journey of teenagers on-screen, exploring and learning about themselves through some larger-than-life events," Stokes exclusively told E! News in July 2021, calling season two "very high octane."
Freeform series Pretty Little Liars has spurred multiple spin-offs and a highly anticipated reboot, but its O.G. series ruled teen TV for seven years. Five best friends, played by Lucy Hale, Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Shay Mitchell and Sasha Pieterse, fall apart after their clique leader Alison disappears. One year later, the estranged pals start to receive threatening text messages from a mysterious "A," who vows to expose their darkest secrets.
Much like its predecessor, Max's Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin tells the story of a new group of liars—played by Bailee Madison, Chandler Kinney, Zaria, Malia Pyles and Maia Reficco—who must solve a mystery from their parents' past while being harassed by a masked assailant.
The most popular girl in school disappears without a trace—and her wannabe just may know where she is. Freeform's Cruel Summer navigated three different timelines to tell dual coming-of-age stories, with one far more sinister than the other. Add in a twist ending, and we're hooked.
A group of misfits played by Helena Howard, Chi Nguyen, Sophia Ali, Shannon Berry, Jenna Clause, Reign Edwards, Mia Healey, Erana James and Sarah Pidgeon crash land on a remote island on their way to a wellness retreat. It's Lord of the Flies at first, but flashbacks prove that each teenage girl is not who she seems. Season two can't come soon enough.
Stream on Amazon Prime Video.
The halls of Neptune High were far safer thanks to teen detective Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell), who uncovered the truth about what really happened to her best friend Lily (Amanda Seyfried). A slew of celebrity guests stars ranging from Paul Rudd to Jessica Chastain added to Veronica's side cases as she tracked down a killer. Lisa Rinna and real-life husband Harry Hamlin even played a married couple in the first season! But most important, the lead character of Veronica was a stunning twist on the classic noir sleuths beyond the era of Sam Spade. She turns her camera on, and goes to work. From love triangles to stakeouts, Veronica Mars is an iconic force of nature that stands the test of time.