15 TV Shows like Euphoria
When he isn't helping you watch TV abroad, David enjoys watching comedy and documentaries. He's a big fan of The Detectorists and Blue Planet. He also loves watching English football, for his sins he supports Arsenal.
Euphoria has taken the TV world by storm, thanks to its unerring gritty portrayal of life in a US High School.
The first two series have blown audiences away with everything from fighting, relationships, drugs, and school plays given the ‘Euphoria’ treatment.
But the breakout star of Euphoria, Zendaya, has suggested that fans might be waiting a while for the next series to hit their screens, posting on Instagram back in February that she had finished on Euphoria “for a while”.
Who knows how long that will be? So, if you are craving a Euphoria fix, what other shows can you watch to fill the void until it returns? Here is a rundown of our top 15 recommendations:
OK, so Gossip Girl has a slightly older age range of characters and is not quite as gritty and realistic as Euphoria is, but it still covers lots of the same issues and has characters with many of the same traits.
It follows a group of privileged adolescents living in New York and living a life of excess and privilege but still having to deal with all the challenges of modern life. It is voiced from the point of view of an anonymous blogger, a clever tool to make a standard TV show appear to younger audiences.
The original six-season run ran between 2007 and 2012 and made household names of the likes of Blake Lively, Ed Westwick, and Leighton Meester. It has now been relaunched as a sequel series with an all-new cast meaning there is even more gossip to catch up on!
This show only ran for one series, but it deals with teenagers coming to terms with their sexualities in Orange Country, California, in a gritty and realistic way that echoes Euphoria in many ways.
Genera+ion follows teenage twins Naomi, who is careless, and Nathan, who is neurotic and coming to terms with his bisexuality.
We meet their friends who are insecure, bigoted, and some of whom are also gay and follow the challenges they face at school and with their families while dealing with life, love, and the meaning of family in the 21st century.
It is a powerful show, with no shortage of light moments, and while it only lasted one series, it is a show that Euphoria fans will enjoy.
Freaks and Geeks
A classic teen comedy-drama made more than 20 years ago and set in the 1980s but even though it only ran for a single season. Freaks and Geeks still bear repeated viewings today.
It is set in a suburban high school, and as the name suggests, it follows the lives of two groups of kids; the freaks and the geeks, as well as their families and various other kids at the school.
It has become a cult classic thanks to the team behind it; Judd Apatow and Paul Feig, while it also helped launch the careers of James Franco, Seth Rogen, and Jason Segal.
Skins is a British series that launched the careers of numerous big-name actors while delivering gritty realism about teenage lives that few shows had come close to until Euphoria.
The show follows a group of teenagers in Bristol as they engage in sex, drugs, rock n’ roll and all the debauchery that comes with teenage life. It has graphic imagery and a fair amount of tragedy and drama alongside dry humour and some extremely notable characters.
Some faces you may recognise include Nicholas Hoult (About a Boy), Hannah Murray (Game of Thrones), Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire), and Aimee-Ffion Edwards (Detectorists).
This British drama series follows Otis Milburn, played brilliantly by Asa Butterfield, who takes a leaf from his Mums book and starts a sex therapy clinic with his friend Maeve (Emma Mackey). Things get tricky when he starts to have feelings for her.
The show also follows his gay best friend, Eric Effiong, played by Ncuti Gatwa in his breakout role, who is also the son of strict Nigerian immigrant parents. Other characters include the archetypal school bully who turns out to be gay and a clique of girls known as the Untouchables.
The supporting cast includes Gillian Anderson (X-Files), Jason Isaacs (Event Horizon), and Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso). They all contribute to this powerful drama that highlights the important yet challenging role sex plays in the lives of young teenagers.
We Are Who We Are
This teenage drama has many of the hallmarks that have made Euphoria so popular. It follows two confused teenagers trying to work out who they are and making all the mistakes teenagers make.
The quirk of this show is that the teens in question are stuck in the oppressive environment of a US Army base in Italy.
Cue a ton of family strife, plenty of narcotics, and some terrific performances from Jack Dylan Grazer and Jordan Kristine Seamón in the lead roles and some terrific support from the likes of Chloë Sevigny and Alice Braga.
This Spanish language series is the tale of three working-class girls who are enrolled in an uber-posh private school.
Needless to say, much of the series focuses on the culture clash between these three regular girls and their far wealthier peers. That would have been enough for most shows, but Élite throws a classic murder mystery into the mix too.
There are issues aplenty touched upon too, including religious issues and homophobia. They are handled in a very different way to Euphoria, but are nonetheless very entertaining and informative.
My Mad Fat Diary
My Mad Fat Diary follows Rae (Sharon Rooney), a young girl returning to her life after a four-month stay in a psychiatric hospital. Understandably, this proves a challenge, as she lies about where she has been and struggles to reconnect with her friends, including her best friend, played by Jodie Comer.
It also quickly becomes clear that her mental health problems are far from resolved either. Then there is her body image issues, with Rae struggling with being overweight.
It’s not gritty like Euphoria, but My Mad Fat Diary does touch on issues in similar, chaotic ways, and delivers great drama and comedy in equal measure.
Never Have I Ever
Never Have I Ever tells the story of the challenges facing a 15-year-old Indian-American High School student played by Maitreyi Ramakrishnan.
Devi Vishwakumar loses the use of her legs following the trauma of the death of her father. This impacts her freshman year, which is not helped by her feelings for two different boys.
Meanwhile, a new girl, Aneesha (Megan Suri) arrives and quickly becomes her rival. With narration from John McEnroe (weirdly) and a strong cast, this show highlights the challenges of race in modern America through the eyes of a teenager like few others (bar Euphoria) have managed to do.
Heartstopper tells the story of Charlie Spring, a gay schoolboy who falls in love with his classmate Nick Nelson. It also follows the lives of their classmates Tao, Elle, Tara, and Darcy as they deal with all the challenges that modern school life has to throw at them.
The show is based on the graphic novels written by 27-year-old author Alice Oseman who is currently selling more than £1 million of books a month.
The Netflix series of the same name has taken these coming-of-age tales to a whole new audience and have been loved by critics and viewers alike. This isn’t the gritty realism of Euphoria, but it deals with all the same issues in a different but equally relatable way.
The End of the F***ing World
Not gritty realism as such, but plenty of dark drama in this story of James, played by Alex Lawther, who thinks he might be a psychopath.
He likes to kill animals in his spare time, so his fears look legit, not least when he finally decides to upgrade to humans.
Alyssa (Jessica Barden) is his intended target, but after running away together, he never quite gets around to doing the grisly deed.
Instead, the pair end up in a variety of chaotic scenarios and develop a complex relationship, not a million miles away from Rue and Jules’ in Euphoria.
There are laughs and tears in this gripping drama packed with crime and intrigue.
Back to high school dramas with Grand Army, which, like Euphoria, is also based in New York.
This time we are in Brooklyn, but the issues the cast of this gritty drama are dealing with are not too far removed from the cast of Euphoria.
Grand Army gives you sex, rape, racism, bullying, violence, drugs, and much more. Like Euphoria, it handles these issues head on and in sometimes graphic and disturbing detail.
If that wasn’t enough, Grand Army is set against the backdrop of a major terrorist incident. Compelling stuff!
Investment banks might seem a world away from high schools, but as Industry shows, the lifestyle has an awful lot of striking parallels.
This show follows the lives of a group of graduates desperately trying to get their dream banking job and the huge paycheck that comes with it.
As the Wolf of Wall Street showed us, the banking lifestyle is anything but clean-cut, and Industry is packed with drink and drug-crazed debauchery and messed-up characters.
This show might be set in an office, but it is every bit as gritty and troubling as Euphoria, and just as addictive too.
My So-Called Life
This series was made back in the 1990s and stars Claire Danes in her Romeo + Juliet era teenage angst mode.
This is a long way from Shakespeare though, and was the first teen high school show to move away from the Saved by the Bell ethos. Cue difficult relationships, alcoholism, homelessness, and a world of other issues which are not as graphic as Euphoria but no less powerful.
Jared Leto puts in an impressive performance as the heartthrob, and the supporting cast is terrific too. How this only ran for one series is a mystery!
One of Us is Lying
A High School murder mystery packed with stereotypical high school characters that are not quite what they seem. That’s what One of Us is Lying offers.
The premise is that five kids enter detention, but only four leave alive. But which of them is the killer? The jock, the geek, the princess, or the criminal.
The four characters work together and against each other at different points, and the mystery unravels with more twists and turns than an Alpine mountain road.
This is a crime drama rather than a show looking at issues, but they are still there under the surface and play a role in the solving of the mystery that will have all viewers on the edge of their seats.