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Lately it seems like there’s a new teenage drama show or a movie releasing every other month. Amid this overwhelming clutter, we have curated a list of qualitative and genuinely inclusive Teenage Drama shows like Heartbreak High.
This newly released Teen drama Heartbreak High has quickly gained attention from young viewers for its high school drama. I know many shows fit the bill, so you might ask what is so special with this show. The answer is simple; Gen Zs love to watch shows representing their identity, relationships, and social status.
The main protagonist Amerie Wadia is a South Asian teen (Ayesha Madon). Being typical outcastes, Amerie and her friend Harper start an incest wall where they chalk down the relationships that run in their high school. By no surprise, the wall is quickly found out by their peers and Amerie takes the whole blame and not even her best friend talks to her, leaving her all by herself.
Heartbreak High is a reboot of the 1994 Australian show of the same name and tries to look at relevant issues at hand like racism, discrimination by peers, teachers even cops. The reality of acceptance of a person’s individuality (neurodivergence) is explored in this show as well.
List of Shows Like Heartbreak High
- Sex Education
- Heartbreak High
- Never have I Ever
- Love, Victor
- Young Royals
Sex Education (2019)
IMDB ratings: 8.4/10
Cast: Asa Butterfield, Emma Mackey and Ncuti Gatwa
Creator: Laurie Nunn
The Netflix British drama series Sex Education is highly praised by viewers and critics. The show centres on a secondary student called Otis. His mother is a sex therapist, and he begins an underground sex therapy clinic after his school hours using her handbooks. The show is funny and heartfelt but also responsible, mature, and genuine.
The show beautifully adapts an asynchronous style of the 80s clothes, and the 90s cars with modern-day smartphones. Sex Education is a highly engaging and well-made show. As you might have seen in Heartbreak high, Sex Education also revolves heavily around teenagers exploring their sexuality through varied relationships, which in turn helps them understand who they are. If you are looking for shows like Heartbreak High, check out Sex Education.
IMDB ratings: 8.4/10
Cast: Zendeya, Sydney Sweeny and Hunter Schafer
Creator: Samuel Levinson
Euphoria is currently one of the most popular shows, so there’s a good chance you might know about it, but if for some reason you haven’t seen/heard of it yet, I will tell you all about it. American show Euphoria follows the story of a high school girl called Rue (Zendeya). She is a drug user and recently out of rehab, trying to adjust back to her school.
Many of Rue’s fellow students face their own challenges with substance abuse and relationships. Euphoria is a darker version of Heartbreak High. The acting performances and the writing of the show are exceptional. Euphoria should undoubtedly be on your list if you want to see shows like Heartbreak High.
Heartbreak High (1994)
IMDB ratings: 7.8/10
Cast: Callan Mulvey, Lara Cox and Sarah Lambert
Creator: Michael Jenkins and Ben Gannon
Since you’re here to see more shows like Heartbreak High, it only makes sense that we would have the original version on our list, Heartbreak High (1994). The original followed an ensemble cast of students in the same school, Hartley High in the 1990s.
The new version has a lot in common in terms of the setting but the original show is a product of its time and lacks diversity and inclusivity in its storyline. Regardless, the show holds on the lighthearted humour and frivolous nature of the teenagers. I highly recommend you check out Heartbreak High (1994).
Never Have I Ever (2020)
IMDB ratings: 7.9/10
Cast: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Darren Barnet and Jaren Lewison
Creator: Mindy Kaling
Never Have I Ever is another show that tackles the lack of diversity in the main cast of teenage drama shows. Like Heartbreak High, this show also has an Indian-origin protagonist. But it does more than just place a South Asian American character like Devi at the front; the show looks at her life with what is true to her.
Daughter of Indian immigrants, Devi lives a life understanding two different cultures, one she is born into and one her parents teach her. After losing her father, Devi’s mother becomes overprotective of her. Devi ignores her grief and is fixated on her high school life. Never Have I Ever is a heartwarming journey of a 16-year-old. You can also watch it on Netflix if you want to see shows like Heartbreak High.
Also Read: Shows like Twin Peaks
Skam (Norway) (2015)
IMDB ratings: 8.6/10
Cast: Josefine Frida Pettersen and Henrik Holm
Creator: Julie Andem
The Norwegian teen Drama streaming series Skam became widely popular on social media for the way it dealt with heavy topics such as infidelity, religion, mental health, sexuality, and sexual assault. However, one of its unique characteristics is the format. Each season of Skam follows a different protagonist; this format was also seen in the British show Skins.
Skam received high critical acclaim and significant recognition, especially for its portrayal of sexual abuse in the second season and homosexuality in the third. The series’ success spawned various remakes, including Skam America, Skam Netherlands, and Skam France. If you liked Heartbreak High then I highly recommend you try to watch Skam.
IMDB ratings: 8.2/10
Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Dev Patel and Hannah Murray
Creator: Bryan Elsley Jamie Brittain
Perfect segway from Skam, this 2000s British teenage drama show Skins is an extremely popular tense (even hilarious at times) show about a bunch of teenagers who live in Bristol, England. The show was ahead of its time, it explored controversial topics on television like substance abuse, sexuality, teenage pregnancy and various mental disorders and illnesses.
It was a bold move for a show to represent such raw topics as nudity on screen but Skins manages to deliver everything including flawed characters brilliantly. The non-superficial way of story-telling continues to be liked by viewers. A show like Skins paved the way for all the shows that exist in recent times and which is why I think if you watch Heartbreak High then Skins is a perfect choice for you.
IMDB ratings: 8.7/10
Cast: Kit Connor and Joe Locke
Creator: Alice Oseman and Euros Lyn
Both the shows have ‘Heart’ in their title and centralise young love. Heartstopper is a young adult LGBTQ+ show based on the graphic novel series by Alice Oseman. The show follows high school sweetheart Charlie and jock classmate Nick as they discover their unlikely friendship might be something more.
Coming-of-age Heartstopper was released this April and received very positive reviews. It’s just as sweet and likeable as Heartbreak High. I adore Connor and Nick; they are my new favourite fictional pairing. If you can’t get enough of shows like Heartbreak High this will easily make it to the top of your list.
Love, Victor (2020)
IMDB ratings: 8/10
Cast: Micheal Cimino, George Sear and Nick Robinson
Creator: Isaac Aptaker
Love, Victor is an American teenage drama spin-off series from the movie Love, Simon and is set in the same world. The story follows a boy called Victor Salazar, he moves to Creekwood and tries to adjust to his new life and his newfound sexual desires living in a strict religious family.
The show brings Love, Simon’s feel-good tone and introduces Victor to a brave new world. Heartbreak High addresses many concepts amongst which homosexual love story Darren’s, Victor’s challenging journey of self-identity, self-acceptance and social approval. If you want to watch shows similar to Heartbreak High, you can check out Love, Victor on Netflix.
Also Read: Shows like Trailer Park Boys
IMDB ratings: 7.4/10
Cast: Arón Piper, Itzan Escamilla and Samuel Garcia
Creator: Carlos Montero Darío Madrona
Elite is a Spanish thriller teen drama television series set in a fictional Elite high school. The story opens up with 3 teenagers from working-class homes who enrol in the school with a scholarship. Their contrast with ultra-rich kids and unlikely relationships all connect to a shocking mystery of a student’s murder.
The series features an attractive ensemble cast who deliver exceptional performance. The show’s dark-toned high school drama is highly addictive to watch. Spanish shows like Elite and Money Heist saw huge success in the last couple of years. Elite is one of the best shows similar to Heartbreak High.
Young Royals (2021)
IMDB ratings: 8.3/10
Cast: Edvin Ryding and Omar Rudberg
Creator: Lisa Ambjörn Lars Beckung Camilla Holter
This story about a young prince and a boy he falls in love with, sounds like a fairy tale, right? If only. The Swedish teen drama show Young Royals follows a fictional Prince Wilhelm of Sweden and his budding romance with a fellow student called Simon.
Needless to say, a homosexual romance involving a prince does not come without its drama. High school proves to be more challenging for Wilhelm than he ever imagined. This romantic story between the two is really touching. I appreciated that they should also focus on learning disabilities like ADHD. Watch Young Royals want to see more shows like Heartbreak High.
Here are a few shows that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless:
- Pretty Little Liars
- Degrassi: The next generation
- The Vampire Diaries