The finale of Euphoria’s second season hit hard on Sunday night (February 27), with the teen drama’s punchy sophomore run ending in a blaze of tears, anger and bullets.
Luckily for us all, especially HBO, which now has another big hit on its hands, a third season of Euphoria, has already been confirmed. However, Zendaya, who is confirmed to take center stage for at least another season, is busy. In addition to her Spider-Man story commitments within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she is also booked to shoot the Dune sequel.
Unlike in the first movie, where her character Chani played a relatively minor role in the story, her character is expected to become a key part of the sequel, at least if the films stick to the book’s narrative. That means Zendaya will have a long shoot, likely on the other side of the world.
In addition to that project, she’s already signed up to work on Challengers, a new drama by Luca Guadagnino, the director behind A Bigger Splash and Call Me By Your Name. If Zendaya is occupied with these films over the next year or so, we’re probably going to have to wait a little longer for the next installation of Euphoria, maybe late 2023 at best.
That’s a long time. Too long, for some of us. So, while we wait for another hit of Euphoria, we thought we’d recommend some other highly strung, but highly addictive teen dramas. Some are old, some are new, some are funny, some are not - but all are well worth your time.
The most obvious ‘if you like that, you’ll probably like this’ recommendation is the British show, Skins. The series ended almost a decade ago, but it’s pretty likely a fair chunk of you, especially outside of the UK, have never seen the show.
First of all, we need to make something clear: we’re talking about the British Skins, and not the short-lived, much-derided, and, quite frankly, piss-poor American remake. Avoid it.
Skins follows the lives of a group of Bristol teenagers as they make their way through college.
Starring some recognizable actors when they were very young - Nicholas Hoult, Daniel Kaluuya, Dev Patel, and Kaya Scodelario - the show’s storylines made for compelling drama, exploring controversial topics like depression, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, sexual discovery, promiscuity, substance abuse, death, and bullying. British tabloids were horrified with the show’s explicit depiction of these issues, but audiences loved it, so much so it ran for six seasons, with the cast rebooting itself every two years.
Whether it feels as shocking after the exploits shown on screen in Euphoria is debatable, but its power as vibrant drama still remains.
Freaks and Geeks
Before both of them were Hollywood mainstays, producer Judd Apatow and director Paul Feig came together for this short-lived, but very, very funny comedy-drama.
Launching the careers of James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Busy Philipps and Linda Cardellini, Freaks and Geeks chronicles the lives of students at McKinley High.
Mostly we follow Cardellini's Lindsay Weir, a maths prodigy who decides to start hanging out with a group of burnouts, something her friends can’t understand. Along the way, Weir and her new gang go through all the usual ups and downs and chemical highs and hungover lows.
Though it was cancelled after one short season, the show has gained a cult following and continues to entertain.
Where to watch: Hulu
When Netflix first launched Sex Education in the very early days of 2019, early reactions were a little confused. It was a high school comedy-drama, in a very American-feeling high school with an almost exclusively British cast. Part bawdy comedy, part tender coming-of-age saga, it seemed like it might fall between two stools. It didn’t.
The show has grown to be one of Netflix’s most-loved shows and is now approaching its fourth season.
Sex Education primarily follows Otis Milburn, a bookish, quiet student at Moordale Secondary School. When we’re first introduced to Otis, he is ambivalent about sex, in part because his single mother Jean is a sex therapist and extremely open about it at home.
However, after a couple of chance encounters, he and fellow student Maeve discover there is money, and, more importantly, kudos, in using the expertise Otis has learned from his mother to pass on to the other students.
Asa Butterfield stars as Otis, with Gillian Anderson playing Jean and Emma Mackey portraying Maeve. Much like with Skins being rocket fuel under the careers of Hoult, Patel and Kaluuya, the likes of Ncuti Gatwa, Connor Swindells, Kedar Williams-Stirling, Mimi Keene and Aimee Lou Wood all look set for big futures off the back of the show's success.
Where to watch: Netflix (Worldwide)
Taika Waititi is one of the creators of this much-acclaimed teen comedy drama, which follows four Indigenous teenagers in rural Oklahoma.
After their best friend Daniel's death, the four friends are determined to live out his dream, leave home and move to California. In order to secure the money for their trip, they take to pulling off petty crimes around their neighborhood, with very, very funny consequences.
The show, which Hulu have already booked for a second run, features all Indigenous writers and directors, along with an almost entirely Indigenous North American cast and production team.
Friday Night Lights
One of Sam Levinson’s (Euphoria writer and creator) real knacks is for perfectly demonstrating the suffocating, goldfish bowl esque feeling of high school. Perhaps the only better example? Friday Night Lights.
The series, which ran for five seasons, followed the travails of a high school football team in the fictional town of Dillon, a small, close-knit community in rural West Texas. The team and its performances define the town and everything in it. Suffocating and intoxicating all at the same time.
An ensemble cast that included the likes of Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Minka Kelly, Adrianne Palicki, Taylor Kitsch, Jesse Plemons, Michael B. Jordan and Jurnee Smollett, the drama remains an essential watch, 11 years after it finished its run on TV.
My So-Called Life
Though it finished its very short run over 25 years ago, highly-strung teen drama My So-Called Life still retains a strong following today.
The show, which ran for just 19 episodes from the fall of 1994 to the early months of 1995, is perhaps best remembered for launching the careers of both Claire Danes and Jared Leto
The shows put us inside Liberty High School, a fictional school in suburban Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where we are guided through things by Danes’ Angela Chase. Chase is 15 and has decided that she wants everything to change, pulling away rather drastically from parents and her childhood friends in search of new experiences, in particular a crush on Leto's Jordan Catalano.
Narrated by Danes' character, it is histrionic at times, but full of intrigue and drama, something Euphoria had in spades.
Where to watch: Hulu
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Tom Goodwyn was formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor. He's now a freelancer writing about TV shows, documentaries and movies across streaming services, theaters and beyond. Based in East London, he loves nothing more than spending all day in a movie theater, well, he did before he had two small children…