ByAllanah Faherty, writer at
Senior staff writer | Twitter: @allanahfaherty | Email: [email protected]
Allanah Faherty

By now you've probably gasped and cried your way through the entirety of Netflix's new original series 13 Reasons Why. The show took viewers through the emotional series of events that lead 16-year-old Hannah Baker to take her own life over the course of 13 pre-recorded tapes.

The series was dark, serious and a totally refreshing change from the usual young adult far. 13 Reasons Why made no attempt to shy away from the fact that it was a show revolving around the suicide of a young woman, and as a result it came off as important viewing. Showing how small actions affect others, how miscommunications can be devastating and how a little understanding can go an awfully long way for someone who's hurting, 13 Reasons Why might just be one of the best Netflix original series to date.

But now that you've finished watching Season 1, and you've got all of the series' unanswered questions rattling around your brain, take a look at five other shows that have similar vibes to , that might just keep you busy until we hear if there will be a second season (come on, there has to be, right?!).

1. Veronica Mars

How many seasons? 3 and a movie

While the photo above might make it seem like Veronica Mars is a show more about Tyler and his stalking of Hannah, fear not because Veronica Mars is much more than just a stalker chick with a camera, she's a bad ass private investigator.

The show focusses on high school student Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell), whose life forever changes following the murder of her best friend, Lilly Kane. After Veronica's father, the local town sheriff, accuses Lilly's father — a software billionaire — of being involved in the murder, he loses his job and Veronica is abandoned by many of her popular friends. The show follows Veronica as she makes new friends and solves a series of stand-alone cases, as well as slowly working out who murdered her best friend.

Also revolving around the death of a friend, it's not hard to see the parallels between Veronica Mars and 13 Reasons Why. Much like the Netflix series, Veronica Mars also went some dark places, dealing with rape, murder, bullying, drug use and more across its three seasons. The noir style of the series sets it apart from your run-of-the-mill-teen drama, giving the show the gritty feel of a classic detective story.

2. My So-Called Life

The cast of My So-Called Life [Credit: ABC Production]
The cast of My So-Called Life [Credit: ABC Production]

How many seasons? 1

Set closer to the time their moms would have been in school than when Hannah and Clay were, My So-Called Life is one of the most accurate coming-of-age stories to have ever graced our screens. Like many series true to real life (see also: number 4 of this list), sadly the series only lasted one season, but that singular seasons packs one hell of a punch over its 19 episodes.

The series follows teenage protagonist Angela Chase (a young Claire Danes), a student at Liberty High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 15-year-old Angela is just discovering her identity, and leaving her old childhood friends behind for a new ones, Rayanne (A.J. Langer) and Rickie (Wilson Cruz). Throughout the first seasons My So-Called Life dealt with issues including abuse, homophobia, alcoholism, homelessness and violence, many of the same issues to later be tackled in 13 Reasons Why.

Much like 13 Reasons Why, the show is narrated by its main character (though in this series, Angela is still very much alive) and contains a cast of vastly different characters — including the teens' parents — each dealing with their own lot in life. And while the show sadly ended after one season, stars Claire Danes and Jared Leto have since gone onto become mega celebs. Set in an era where cassette tapes still reigned supreme, My So-Called Life might be the 90s themed answer to your next binge watch.

See also:

3. Friday Night Lights

The cast of Friday Night Lights [Credit: NBC]
The cast of Friday Night Lights [Credit: NBC]

How many seasons? 5

Don't be fooled by the intense amounts of football in Friday Night Lights, the beloved sport of Dillon, Texas merely acts as the thread that holds the patchwork of characters together in this amazing series.

Based on the 1990 book and 2004 film of the same name, Friday Night Lights centers on Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler), the coach of the Dillon Panthers football team, and Jason Street (Scott Porter), the star quarterback of the team who is paralyzed in the very first game of the season. Despite this, coach Taylor is pressured to keep the team's winning streak or face being run out of this close knit, football mad town. Meanwhile, Street and his teammates deal with the resulting fall out from his career ending injury.

Though it ran for five seasons, Friday Night Lights didn't really gain the following it was due until after the series concluded, though it was a firm favorite of the critics. It covered many of the same topics as 13 Reasons Why, and received nominations for a number of awards. With 76 episodes, Friday Night Lights will keep you busy for at least a few nights, and leave you with the best mantra from a show ever: Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can't lose.

4. Freaks and Geeks

The cast of Freaks and Geeks [Credit: NBC]
The cast of Freaks and Geeks [Credit: NBC]

How many seasons? 1

While it doesn't necessarily have the dark story of a student committing suicide at the core of the show, Judd Apatow's beloved Freaks and Geeks does offer an accurate glimpse into the average high schooler's life.

Despite being cancelled after just one season, airing 18 years ago and being set in the early 80s, Freaks and Geeks has stayed just as relevant as ever due to the fact that it tackled the timeless issues that plague every teenager. The series followed the Weir siblings, Lindsay (Linda Cardellini) and Sam (John Francis Daley) as they navigated their way through the treacherous journey of high school.

Though Freaks and Geeks was a comedy, it also covered deep issues including many of the same ones tackled by 13 Reasons Why; bullying, drugs, peer pressure and unhappy home lives, as well as many more. And if all of that isn't enough to convince you, the series was responsible for launching many careers meaning the cast is also full of recognizable faces.

5. Skins

[Credit: E4]
[Credit: E4]

How many seasons? 7

This UK series might seems like a massive exaggeration of life for the average teenager, but behind the wild parties and ridiculous shenanigans of Skins is a series that dealt with the life issues of teenagers in a very raw and unapologetic way.

Skins followed a group of teens from Bristol, with each episode picking one character to focus on in depth. While each character may come across a certain way in other episodes, by the time it reaches their focus episode other sides are revealed, showing the complexity of being a teen. Over the course of the series the show covered issues such as mental health, bullying, death and dysfunctional families, much the same as 13 Reasons Why.

Skins took the unique approach of having different generations of characters, with the majority of characters being replaced every two seasons, reflecting the cycle of the British sixth form, which runs for two years before students leave for university. While it was strange to have to say farewell and then get to know so many new characters, it really sets Skins apart from other teen dramas and allowed for a wide range of storylines to be explored.

13 Reasons Why Season 1 is available to stream on Netflix now


Which series are you going to watch next?


Latest from our Creators