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Is it just me or did the whole Teen Drama genre, whether it be show or movies, level up in the past few years? Shows like Sex Education and the new Mindy Kaling series “Never Have I Ever”. Please Netflix gods, never stop making these shows. Plus a mention for Spinning Out because we all know I love a good sports movie.

Then there are movies like The Half of It, Dumpling and To All the Boys. The limited series, Unbelievable which is heavy on the drama side of things, less on the teen, but worth a mention as it’s a gut-punch level of good.

While this isn’t a ‘what to watch’ list, The Great with Elle Fanning is A+ too. Not sure if it counts as a teen drama, per se, but I’m counting it. And it’s GOOD. What I’ve seen so far is witty and smart and challenging. I love that.

Anyway, the point of all this is to say, I can’t be the only one who thinks teen dramas have grown up a bit. Right? Not in the way that makes them irrelevant and ‘old’ to actual teens, but in the way the content, the quality of the scripting and focus on inclusion.

The Great on Hulu and Stan

Compare these new offerings to shows in ‘my day’…

Movies like American Pie, Road Trip or Tom Cats, and well, maybe you see my point. There was the ilk of The Princess Diary and every Mandy Moore/Amanda Bynes/Hilary Duff movie ever made. But the whole teen genre thing was a little lacking.

Stories about teenage girls were always about boys. Sometimes they’d be having an adventure, but usually, it was all moony love story level meh. These new shows are more like the cult movies I love like Empire Records, where the characters have story, depth, problems and heart. Or Whip It, that came out when I was in my twenties and was everything I’d hoped a teen drama would be. Or had hoped movies like this would be if I could have even imagined being that cool.

I mean, no one knew what to do with Katniss (Hunger Games) when she was like, hey guys, you seem great, but I’m a little busy saving our butts for you right now. Love that girl.

So, what say you? Do you feel that teen dramas have come a long way? Or was I just watching all the wrong ones back in my day?