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.
Here are other shows like Elite which didn’t make the list that you can also watch:
- Misfits (2009)
- Skins UK (2007)
- Degrassi : The Next Generation (2001)