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13 Shows Like Elite For Lovers of High School Drama

shows like Elite

The battle between classes and social statuses is a tale as old as time. One of Netflix’s most popular shows, Elite, explores concepts and themes associated with an overwhelming class difference. The Spanish thriller and teen drama series was created by Carlos Montero and Darío Madrona as an addition to the Netflix lineup, it soon became one of the streaming platform’s most successful original series.

Christian, Nadia and Samuel are students who come from less privileged backgrounds who were admitted to an exclusive private school due to an earthquake that destroyed their old school. The show centers around the inevitable culture clash between the new kids and their exorbitantly wealthy classmates, but there’s also a murder mystery woven through the fabric of the show.

From class to drama to romance to crime, Elite has it all. If you enjoyed watching Elite and are looking for another killer teen drama series that will keep you equally entertained, you will want to check out the list of 13 shows like Elite that we have put together for you.

List of Shows like Elite

1. 13 Reasons Why (2017)

13 Reasons Why is based on the novel by Jay Asher. The show follows the story of a high school student named Clay Jensen, who receives a mysterious package of 13 cassette tapes sent posthumously by his classmate Hannah Baker, and Clay and her other classmates gradually come to discover how their inconsiderate actions lead to her death.

This show, similar to shows like Elite, does not feature a rich versus  poor scenario, it no doubt shows the evil side of society and delicate situations that any young person could find themselves in. This show stands out because of its relatability and genuine representation. If you prefer dramas like Elite, then 13 Reasons Why is the one for you.

2. Pretty Little Liars (2010)

Pretty Little Liars is a mystery thriller show loosely based on the novel of the same name by Sara Shepard. Often described as similar to shows like Elite with a hint of Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars series follows the lives of five girls, whose clique falls apart after Alison, the leader of the group, disappears. Fast forward to a year later, the remaining four friends are back together as they begin to receive messages from a mysterious person named “A.”

This unknown figure threatens to expose their deepest secrets, including ones they thought only Alison knew. At first, they think it’s Alison herself, but after her body is found, the girls realize that someone else is planning on ruining their perfect lives. Filled with mystery, scandal, intrigue and nail-biting suspense, the series became a worldwide hit starring Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale, Shay Mitchell and Sasha Pieterse as the girls. It’s highly recommended if you enjoyed Elite.

3. Money Heist (2017)

If Spanish dramas are your thing, you will especially love criminal antics and brilliance in Money Heist (La Casa de Papel). The crime drama is told from the perspective of one of the robbers, Tokyo (Úrsula Corberó). Although the plots revolve around the preparation of large heists at the Royal Mint of Spain and the Bank of Spain, the drama is fueled by the show’s complex characters and their relationships.

Money Heist concluded with its fifth and final season, in September of 2021, winning several awards during its run, including best drama series at the 46th International Emmys. If you haven’t seen this show, then just what are you waiting for? Check it out on Netflix as soon as you can.

4. Dare Me (2019)

This wild cocktail of high school cheerleaders mixed with murder may seem a little unhinged but that’s a good thing. In a similar vein to shows like Elite, Dare Me is based off of a novel of the same name and is a twisted story of jealous and savage teenage girls with major superiority complexes. Part coming-of-age story, part sport drama, part murder mystery, the show focuses on the changing relationship between best friends, Beth and Addy, who are part of their high school cheerleading squad. 

Following the arrival of their new coach, things begin to take a dark turn for Beth and Addy when they discover their coach is cheating on her husband. Their young and rivalrous lives are changed forever when a disturbing crime rocks their quiet little town. Just like how shows like Elite explore issues of class and privilege and its effect on their relationships with each other, Dare Me mirrors that along with the twisted brutal world of cheerleading, a sprinkling of murder, betrayal and manipulation.

5. Outer Banks (2020)

Outer Banks has become one of Netflix’s best teen series, and rightfully so. The mystery adventure series follows a group of friends as they set out to track down a mysterious treasure while hoping to discover what really happened to John B’s father. As they unravel more clues surrounding the disappearance of John B’s father, Outer Banks gradually transforms from a non-murderous storyline to a murder mystery.

Outer Banks like Elite also play off the chosen family cliché as the teenagers lean on each other more than the adults in their lives. Fans of Outer Banks adore it for its realistic themes and unforeseen plotline, the unexpected twists and turns like we see in shows like Elite makes this TV series a worthwhile watch.

6. Sex Education (2019)

If your favorite thing about Elite is its colorful cast of characters and all of their variant personalities, Sex Education should be your next watch. While not violent, Sex Education is just as proactive as shows like Elite in addressing uncomfortable themes. The series separates itself from conventional depictions of high school TV shows while simultaneously allowing the teens at its center evolve. If you’ve already seen it, check out our list of shows like Sex Education.

Thanks to his therapist Mom, Otis, a high schooler, has become a pseudo sex expert. He teams up with street smart classmate Maeve to set up an underground sex therapy clinic at school. Sex Education like the name implies might be considered too sexually explicit for some, but if you’ve seen Elite, you’re familiar with this. The show employs a lot of humor and sassiness to address teenage sexualities as well as the various dramas they experience, including relationships, friendship, family issues, and academic pressure.

7. Quicksand (2020)

Netflix’s Quicksand is a series that combines the genres of suspenseful crime thrillers and edgy teen dramas successfully. Adapted from a novel written by Malin Persson Giolito, Quicksand is reminiscent of shows like Elite, as the series revolves around an elite Swedish prep school and the tragic event that occurred there. The show, like the novel, is told from the perspective of main character Maja, who suddenly finds herself the only survivor and a main suspect of a deadly school shooting in an exclusive Stockholm suburb. 

The whole series, like shows like Elite, is so realistic in its portrayal of its salient topics from class inequalities, to relationship abuse, to courtroom drama, to emotional abuse, to survivor guilt. Viewers get to piece the show together, through flashbacks between the present day and her memories of events that led up to the shooting. Although it is a very Swedish story, this gripping and mysterious, dramatic and intense show is extremely relevant to the present day.

8. Euphoria (2019)

Euphoria is one of the most popular teen shows in this genre on television right now. Created by Sam Levinson, the HBO series is an American adaptation of an Israeli series of the same name. In Euphoria, Zendaya plays 17-year-old Ruby “Rue” Bennett, a teenager living in East Highland who is a drug addict fresh from rehab attempting to stay clean, but that’s easier said than done. 

Euphoria is a radical drama that tackles a lot of heavy and relevant issues as seen in shows like Elite. If you enjoyed Elite, Euphoria is the booster pack for you. While the two shows are different in many ways, both shows are just as scandalous, an essential viewing for teen drama buffs.

Also Read: Shows like Emily in Paris

9. Gossip Girl (2007)

We can all agree there’s nothing quite like the secrets and drama trailing the characters of the pop culture phenomenon that was Gossip Girl. A trailblazer for shows like Elite, Gossip Girl follows the rich kids of New York’s Upper East Side, who attend a private school called Constance Billard School for Girls and St. Jude’s School for Boys.

Although there is very little murder in the show, there is plenty of drama to go round as the teens are being followed by an anonymous blogger, “Gossip Girl“, who exposes their deepest secrets and scandals, causing absolute chaos in their lives. The show, based on Cecily von Ziegesar’s books, stars Blake Lively and Leighton Meester.

10. Insatiable (2018)

Insatiable is a satirical drama series based on a New York Times article by Jeff Chu titled The Pageant King of Alabama. The show created by Lauren Gussis, stars Debby Ryan in the lead role. Insatiable takes a look at the life of Patty Bladell a teenager who was constantly bullied about her weight. Now thin, she is hell bent on revenge for all the years of bullying she endured when she was overweight. 

When disgraced lawyer and obsessed beauty pageant coach, Bob Armstrong, notices Patty’s potential, he sets out to turn her into a pageant queen. Social climbing, rivalries and the insane world of beauty pageants makes for an enterning watch for fans of shows like Elite.

11. One Of Us Is Lying (2021)

While Peacock series One of Us Is Lying appear similar to Netflix’s hit drama Elite, as they both come from the same showrunner and revolve around a murder mystery set in high school, they are not the same show. One of Us Is Lying is based on Karen M. McManus’ New York Times best-selling novel of the same name. Intrigue surrounds Bayview High when five students walk into detention but only four come out alive. 

With one dead just as he was about to reveal earth shattering secrets about the others in a gossip app. Each of the students, Bronwyn, Addy, Nate and Cooper, had the opportunity and individual motives to murder their classmate, but with all pleading innocence, the four survivors must team up and learn to trust each other to clear their names and they must ask themselves which One Of Us Is Lying? 

12. The Politician (2019)

Payton Hobart, son of a billionaire, is a senior in high school. He has only one goal for his future, he wants to be President of the United States. But between now and then, he must first begin his journey into politics by becoming Student Body President of his high school. 

In a similar vein to shows like Elite, Payton’s ambitions are not without drama, back stabbings and lobbying in order to secure his victory. The Politician is a clever, witty and fresh creation from Ryan Murphy that combines drama and dark humor perfectly.

13. The A-List (2018)

Have you ever happened upon a show and binge-watched it? I’ve got one, and it’s this one. Surprisingly, very entertaining it leaves its viewers intrigued and wanting more! The A-List, a supernatural British teen drama series about a group of teens that arrive for summer camp at a Scottish island called Peregrine Island. This is no ordinary island though, and soon enough strange events and abilities of some of the campmates start to emerge. 

One of the characters, Amber, proves a constant antagonist and she has the ability to control the mind of anyone she touches. She’s constantly at odds with Mia, who eventually leads many of the other camp members to rise against Amber. This series is full of twists and turns, and the conclusion will astound you. Although Elite is not supernatural, both shows have a strong drama and enough mystery and romance to hold the audience’s attention.

Honorable Mentions

Here are other shows like Elite which didn’t make the list that you can also watch:

  1. Misfits (2009)
  2. Skins UK (2007)
  3. Degrassi : The Next Generation (2001)

When Lost aired over a decade ago, its successful narrative created a pop culture impact and changed the landscape of television. If you are a fan and want to watch shows like Lost then you can have a look at this list we made just for you.


The hugely successful television series Lost aired in 2004. The premise, as we know, deals with a group of people surviving a commercial passenger plane crash on a remote island. The show masterfully explores supernatural and sci-fi elements on this mysterious south Pacific island.

The use of cliffhangers at the end of each episode of Lost kept the viewers on the edge of their seats, desperately craving for the next episode to come. Even though it's a large ensemble cast, most of the characters receive a justifiable personal arch. Lost was inspired by the movie Castaway and became one of the most expensive pilots to be shot at the time! Lost continues to be appreciated for its originality in storytelling and dynamic character arcs. 

List of TV Shows Like Lost

  1. The Leftovers
  2. Manifest
  3. Lost Room
  4. Twin Peaks
  5. The Prisoners
  6. Battlestar Galactica
  7. The New People
  8. Flight 29 Down
  9. Fringe
  10. Alcatraz
  11. Under the Dome
  12. Dark

1. The Leftovers (2014)

IMDB ratings: 8.3/10

Cast: Carrie Coon, Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman and Margaret Qualley

Creator: Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta

The director of Lost, Damon Lindel also created a supernatural drama series called The Leftovers. The show begins 3 years after an unexplainable global event called ‘Sudden Departure’  where almost 2 per cent of the population, nearly 140 million people, disappear. The Leftovers isn't about WHY people are gone, it's about how the ones who remain dealt with their loss, people often try to comfort themselves with dreams, angels, gods, or even death.

The Leftovers will leave you with so many questions but beyond words, you have to feel it and savour its unanswered questions to find peace. The Leftovers is an incredible television series that starts incredibly well but loses its way by the series's end. I have to say though, Carrie Coon has brilliant moments in the end. The Leftovers is so weird, fragmented and nonsensical at times that it reminds me of Lost. If you are looking for shows like Lost, I recommend that you give The Leftovers a try.

2. Manifest  (2018) 

IMDB ratings: 7.1/10

Cast: Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas and J.R. Ramirez 

Creator: Jeff Rake

The Manifest is a supernatural drama show about a bunch of people who discover that they lost 5 years of their lives when they landed in New York after their aeroplane faced severe turbulence. All the people on the plane were presumed to be dead. Now, these people have to find a way to adjust themselves to a new life around their loved ones. Mild spoiler! They learn their loved ones and the rest of society is not as they left it.

I found that the show’s premise was very intriguing and the actors give a very convincing performance. The narrative details of the show, however, in my opinion, are a bit sloppy and inconsistent. The writers surely have room for improvement but their concept is incredibly thrilling. Every episode of Manifest keeps you on your toes. Manifest has completed 3 seasons up until now and continues to be on air. Manifest is a pretty good choice if you want to watch TV shows like Lost.

3. Lost Room (2006)

IMDB ratings: 8.1/10

Cast: Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies and Peter Jacobson

Creator: Christopher Leone, Laura Harkcom

This lesser-known show The Lost Room is an American Sci-fi television miniseries which only had 3 episodes of 90 mins each and no follow-up seasons. The show was based on a very unique idea where the room in question (known as the ‘Lost Room’) and the objects in the said room had supernatural powers. This strange room is set in a 1960s motel along the iconic U.S. Route 66.

One day the protagonist (Peter Krause) Joe Miller’s daughter disappears inside the room. Joe, with the help of objects present in the room, tries to find his daughter Anna (Elle Fanning). The story of Lost Room was intensely engaging. I found the direction and the actor’s performances to be absolutely brilliant. It baffles me that the creators did not return to make another short season within the same concept. If you have been searching for TV series like Lost then I can assure you that Lost Room will be worth a watch.

4. Twins Peaks (1990) 

IMDB ratings: 8.8/10

Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Mädchen Amick, Sherilyn Fenn and David Lynch

Creator: David Lynch

David Lynch, the well-known director of weird and captivating films such as Eraserhead and Blue Velvet created an iconic show called Twin Peaks. It is a hauntingly eccentric show about the investigation of the mysterious murder of a small-town homecoming queen named Laura Palmer. Believe me, as odd as the show may seem at first, you will grow to love it, after all, it is considered to be one of the best mystery shows ever created.

With the mysteries, the supernatural elements and the list of bizarre characters, Twin Peaks has it all. In my opinion, the cinematography of the show was truly ahead of its time. Kyle’s Dale Cooper was especially entertaining. Twin Peaks’ experimental formula of the satirical soap opera is extremely unsettling yet rewarding to watch, I must warn you, it’s not for the faint-hearted!  If you are in search of TV shows like Lost then Twin Peaks won’t disappoint you.

The Prisoners (1967)

IMDB ratings: 8.5/10

Cast: Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat and Geroge Markstien

Creator: Patrick McGoohan

The Prisoner centres around an unnamed British agent (Patrick McGoohan) who tries to flee his country after abruptly quitting his high-ranking government job. He is abducted and held captive in a strange ‘sea-side’ village that is isolated from the rest of the world. This village is a highly secure and monitored place filled with weird technology. There are only 17 episodes to this late 60s show but it manages to bring up such surreal surprises, it's sure to leave a great impact on the viewer.

The Prisoner’s unique concept influenced many popular shows including Lost. The creators of Lost even cited the show. I was very impressed by how ahead of its time The Prisoners proves to be. If you want to watch more shows similar to Lost the Prisoners should definitely be on your list.

6. Battlestar Galactica (2004)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Edward James Olmos and Tricia Helfer 

Creator: Glen A. Larson

The 2004 Battlestar Galactica is a reboot of the original 1978 miniseries of the same name. Do not be mistaken by the title, the show is not related to Star Trek.  Battlestar Galactica is set in the 7th millennium AD and follows Cylons, the robot enemy of humanity that resurfaces to destroy the 12 colonies of Mankind. Only a few survive and are able to escape on ships led by a powerful warship called Battlestar Galactica. Mankind struggles to fight the Cylons and work their own political agendas and disputes while finding their long-lost 13th colony Earth.

The show is a dark, intense and gritty socio-political commentary with EPIC cinematic value. The script is especially clever and as a huge fan of sci-fi shows, this show ticks the boxes in all the right categories. When the show was released, it blew the viewers and critics away. As far as an obsessive and gripping story goes, Battlestar Galactica is one of the most similar to shows like Lost. 

7. The New People (1969)

IMDB ratings: 7.3/10

Cast: David Moses, Zooey hall and Tiffany Boiling

Creator: Larry Gordon Aaron Spelling

The New People is an American Tv series that aired only for 1 season and is focused on a couple of college students who survive a plane crash. The incident takes place while they were returning from a trip to Southeast Asia, their plane crashes on an island in the south of the Pacific ocean. 

By now this show must already be sounding a lot like Lost to you, and it surely is. The remaining group of people discover an unusual truth about the island: there’s an above-ground unused nuclear test site filled with supplies for the survivors. If you want to see more plane survival stories like Lost then The New People should definitely be on your list.

8. Flight 29 Down (2005)

IMDB ratings: 7.2/10

Cast: Allen Alvarado, Halle Hirsh and Corbin Bleu

Creator:  Stan Rowgow D. J. MacHale

The show Flight 29 Down is a drama series about a group of pre-teens/teens who are stranded on a South Pacific island after their plane crashes in a tropical storm while they were flying from an eco-adventure camping trip in Palau. The show is in many ways a younger version of the Adult-centred show Lost but sans the supernatural elements. I’d say that the show draws inspiration from the show The New People.

Flight 29 Down uses the technique of a video diary as a plot device for the viewers to keep up with the story of these children. It was very engaging to watch young intelligent characters finding their way on the island. The first two seasons of the show are quite engaging but I seemed to lose interest in its 3rd and final season. Regardless, Flight 29 Down is a really good series to watch if you want to see TV shows like Lost.

9. Fringe (2008)

IMDB ratings: 8.4/10

Cast: Anna Torv, John Noble and Joshua Jackson

Creator: J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci

Fringe is a popular Sci-fi crime drama television series. It may seem like a standard procedural drama at first, but the show actually explores the parallel universe, alternate versions of people filled with crazy scientific experiments. I personally had a great time watching this show.

Fringe is actually inspired by shows like Lost, The X-files and The Twilight Zone. The 3 main characters of the show work with a special division called Fringe. There are so many brilliant twists and turns in Fringe that in my opinion, the show is at the top of its category. If you are searching for TV series like Lost, I strongly recommend you watch Fringe

10. Alcatraz (2012)

IMDB ratings: 6.9/10

Cast: Sarah Jones, George Garcia and Jonny Coyne 

Creator: Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt

This American fiction show is based on the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary built on Alcatraz island in San Francisco Bay. The prison is now closed but once kept some of the most dangerous criminals of America. The show takes the liberty to make a show around the conspiracies of the place.

In the interesting premise we see that under unknown circumstances, 256 inmates and 46 guards of the prison disappear without a trace. Later the disappeared ones start to appear one by one without ageing a day and resume their criminal activities with no realisation of disappearance. A special government unit is dedicated to finding and putting those criminals back in prison. If you are looking for mystery shows similar to Lost, try watching Alcatraz. 

11. Under the Dome (2013)

IMDB ratings: 6.5/10

Cast: Alexander Koch and Rachelle Lefevre

Creator: Stephen King

Based on a novel written by the sci-fi legend Stephen King, Under the Dome tells the story of the residents of the fictional small town called Chester's Mill, when a huge, transparent and indestructible dome suddenly cuts them off from the rest of the world.

Now the trapped residents try to find a way to discover the truth, origin and purpose of these domes. This journey forces them into situations where they learn more about each other than they ever knew. Under the Dome may not be on the top of this list but it’s quite a decent watch if you’re looking for mystery shows similar to Lost

12. Dark (2017)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Louis Hofmann, Lisa Vicari and Gina Stiebitz

Creator: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese

The German-language Netflix series Dark is an interesting blend of Science fiction and Mystery. Truly a compelling and mind-bending story to watch. At the beginning of Dark, many children suspiciously start disappearing in the German town of Winden. The dark past of generational mysteries of 4 families living in the town namely, Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler, and Tiedemann is brought to light.

After the discovery of a wormhole, the lives of the families intertwine more than one can imagine. I believe every element of the show is top-notch, especially Dark’s cinematography, which is a TRUE masterpiece. If you are looking for TV series similar to Lost then the intense and gripping story of Dark is sure to keep you engrossed.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few TV shows like Lost that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. Carnivale
  2. Yellowjackets
  3. Game of Thrones
  4. Black Mirror
  5. Flashforward
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