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5 Shows like Awkward: Surviving High School

Kirsteen Duckers itcher‘Awkward’ follows 15-year-old Jenna Hamilton who has lived most her teenage life invisible to the rest of her classmates. Unexpectedly, a freak accident suddenly propels Jenna into the ranks of the popular kids. TV shows like ‘Faking It’, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ‘The Inbetweeners’ also follow teenagers trying their hardest to survive high school.~ Kirsteen Duckers

Plenty of High School Drama

Awkward Jenna Hamilton, who is desperate to be one of the cool kids, suddenly becomes the most popular girl at her high school after her classmates mistake an accident she has for a suicide attempt.

‘Awkward’ is witty, self-deprecating and more realistic than the modelesque, rich and crazily stylish girls who supposedly represent high school students, as seen in ‘The O.C.’ and ‘Gossip Girl’.

Read on for 5 other TV series like ‘Awkward’ about socially outcast (but totally awesome) teenagers just trying to survive high school…


Shows Similar to ‘Awkward’…

‘Faking It’ (MTV, 2014)

‘Faking It’ is about Karma, a high school student who pretends she’s a lesbian with her best friend so she can be in with the popular kids at her abnormally inclusive high school. The show humorously re-molds the definition of what is cool, highlighting its shallowness and steering the plotline and character relationships away from the old dusty, predictable trajectories of the high school genre.

Similarity Match: 90%
Both leading characters are full of personality, both are determined to be popular and both shows have a boldly unique style in exploring self-identity, characters seeking to define themselves and the lengths teenagers will go to fit in.

‘The Inbetweeners’ (Bwark Productions, 2008)

While shows such as ‘Skins’, ‘The O.C.’ and ‘Gossip Girl’ depict high school and college as being all about wild parties, cocaine habits and gorgeous classmates, ‘The Inbetweeners’ shows high school as full of ‘uncool’ (but not quite outcast) sex-crazed virgins who rock ugly school uniforms (…and sometimes briefcases).

‘The Inbetweeners’ is an absolutely hilarious account of the lives of super-geek Will and his ‘friends’ – Jay (who claims to be getting a ton of sex, but is clearly a total virgin), Simon (obsessively in love a girl he will never get) and Neil (adorably stupid).

Every episode of ‘The Inbetweeners’ has you in spasms of laughter as Will and his gang try their best to be cool and get in with the popular kids, yet can’t ever seem to get past being spectacularly awkward. The characters will totally feel like people you knew at school – especially dorky Will and squeaky-voiced Jay, who loves to claims he is always ‘knee deep in clunge’ (as iiiif…).

Similarity Match: 80%
While Will and his friends ever try to claw their way up the social ladder, failing amazingly, Jenna manages to capture her classmates’ attention in ‘Awkward’. However, the theme of the uncool kid trying to find themselves in a hilarious, drama filled comedy gives ‘Awkward’ and ‘The Inbetweeners’ a highly similar appeal.

‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ (Mutant Enemy Productions, 1997)

‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ is a show about a prophesied vampire slayer named Buffy and her lovable misfits, ‘The Scoobies’, who attempt to survive high school; psychologically, socially and literally…

This sharp, emotionally engaging show deals with a lot of the troubles teenagers go through during their school years, such as first loves, cheating and questions of identity. It cleverly uses the supernatural as a metaphor for the growing pains of adolescence and takes the pretty, cheer-leading, first-to-be-killed-off-in-every-horror-film valley girl, and turns her into a badass superhero.

Similarity Match: 75%
Both shows share the themes of self-discovery, romantic drama and dealing with being an outsider. What’s different is that the ‘vampires and demons’ in ‘Awkward’ are chubby cheerleaders and a dishy jock who keeps giving mixed messages.


If You Like ‘Awkward’, You Will Like…

Had your fix of relate-able high school dramas? Want something a little more fantastical and super dramatic? Check out ‘The O.C.’ and ‘Gossip Girl’ for teenage privilege, wealth and drama worlds apart from the average teen experience.

‘The O.C.’ (Fox, 2003)

‘The O.C.’ is about a group of Californian teenagers dealing with the difficulties of being rich, beautiful and living by the beach. The definitive teenage drama of the early Noughties captures the lives of comic book-loving Seth, bad-boy Ryan, dysfunctional Marissa, and Valley Girl Summer.

Despite the appearance of bliss, Ryan and Seth struggle with their outsider statuses throughout the show, not feeling apart of the world around them. The gang also goes through a whole host of teenage dramas like parental divorce, love triangles and alcoholism, to name a few.

While not really depicting most people’s typical high school experiences, ‘The O.C.’ is definitely a show about teenagers trying to survive their teenage years, as Jenna is in ‘Awkward’.

‘Gossip Girl’ (The CW, 2007)

‘Gossip Girl’ is a teenage drama series following the lives of students at an exclusive prep school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Mystery blogger ‘Gossip Girl’ stirs up the drama, gossiping about the lives of Blair, Serena, Chuck, Nate, Dan and Jenny on ‘her’ online blog. Not as addictively daring and meaty as the best-selling book series on which it is based, though ‘Gossip Girl’ the show has its share of melodramatic magnetism.

The lives of Jenna and the well-off teenagers in ‘Gossip Girl’ couldn’t be more different but both are fun, addictive teenage shows.


Enjoy the Awkward Charms of These Teenage Favourites

Each of these shows brilliantly deals with the difficulties of the teenage years and High School. Not only are these shows super relate-able for many people but they also deal with adolescent issues in a heartfelt and hilarious way.

Are we missing out on any other amazing high school shows dealing with fitting in and getting through High School?

Be sure to share them with us in the comments below!

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