We all think “my teenager doesn’t stream that,” but don’t be fooled by their account profiles — your teenager is a cyber-sleuth capable of watching the shows they want to. How do I know? Bribery!
It’s amazing what you can learn in exchange for a bag full of chocolate, so having asked my daughter and her friends to spill the beans, these are the 10 shows teenagers stream and why.
1. Friends (HBO Max)
Six out of the six teens asked watched Friends. When asked why the answer was unanimous, the characters are relatable. The attraction seems to be that the show revolves around a group of friends tackling everyday issues, and seeing the comedy in it.
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2. Chicago P.D. (Peacock TV)
Two out of the six teens asked watched Chicago P.D. religiously and they seemed to be applying some serious peer pressure to get others in the group to watch.
Both were big fans of Criminal Minds but grew bored of the show, shifting their attention to Chicago P.D. because “situations are left without a resolution” and “because it’s based on real-life events.” Having never watched the show, I don’t know if the statements are accurate, but these teens believe it and use them as selling points for the show.
3. Insatiable (Netflix)
All six teens watch and love this show. The reason? It takes a good look at bullying. Having watched the show myself and having gone through a similar story in my youth, even I found it relatable as did the teens.
What was surprising is that Insatiable is more than just bullying, but a story about how being confident in yourself is key. It’s a great message each teen took from the show, which is impressive.
4. RuPaul’s Drag Race (Hulu)
This was a unanimous pick amongst the six teens and is my daughter’s favorite show. The three aspects of the show each teen really got amped up about were lip-syncing, design challenges, and the snatch game.
As they argued about which was best, they agreed on one thing: the message. RuPaul’s Drag Race shows everyone that they should be the person that makes them happy.
5. Shadowhunters (Hulu)
In season 1, no teen liked it. In season 2, three of the teens liked it. My question was why? In a typical teenage response, shrugs, mumbles, and uncertainty. The only answer I understood was “diversity.”
Apparently, the second season has a more diverse set of characters, ranging in their personality, ethnicity, and sexuality. Apparently, Shadowhunters is a fantasy show that deals with identity with care. From the trailer, I wouldn’t have guessed.
6. Teen Wolf (Prime Video)
Two teens keep watching this show. Both couldn’t stop talking about the wider range of creatures and their mythology, from hellhounds to Wendigos and beyond.
This variety was the reason both teens loved new characters popping up. They’d always get a proper storyline to explore their mythology. After talking about it for 10 minutes, it became clear both teens were simply missing Grimm.
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7. Stranger Things (Netflix)
This one is baffling. All six teens said Stranger Things was something they watched, but none had watched all seasons currently available.
The reason: the show is for grown-ups, not teens. The six teens then schooled me on why: throwing up nostalgia, rose-tinted glasses, and ’80s music.
I had never thought of Stranger Things as a show not for teens, yet its retro style made it hard for these teens to relate to. Ironically, they wanted to keep it on this list.
8. Once Upon a Time (Disney Plus)
This was a love-it-or-hate-it show for the six teens. Opinions changed as the show was discussed. The point of debate was whether fairy tales were lame. It seemed never-ending, but they did agree one thing about the show; it was creative.
9. Z Nation (Netflix)
These six teens love zombies and because of that, we limited this list to just one zombie show. If we hadn’t, it would have just been The Walking Dead, iZombie, and about five others.
What was most refreshing was their honesty as to why they liked the show. It wasn’t relatability or character development, but the shocks, blood, and deaths.
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10. Sex Education (Netflix)
Only one teen admitted to watching this show but it was clear, all six teens had seen episodes. The one teen brave enough to speak said they watched because it showed a black family with a gay son.
It was a mic drop moment, hearing that this show helped them understand homosexuality. As a Sex Education fan myself, it was only entertainment until now. This one teen makes me realize it could actually be much more for some.