19 Shows to Tide You Over Until ‘Euphoria’ Returns

It may be a while before class is back in session at East Highland High.

TK
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She's a fashion tour de force, an Emmy winner, and a Disney Channel darling turned capital-M Movie Star—and Zendaya just getting started. In honor of The Challengers—the first feature film where the actress is billed in the leading role—Marie Claire is dedicating a week of content to all things Zendaya.

When the second season of Euphoria ended in February 2022, with cliffhangers looming over many of the characters’ storylines, viewers hoped that HBO and showrunner Sam Levinson would pick up the pace with season 3—after leaving a two-and-a-half-year gap between the first two seasons—and tie up those loose ends as soon as possible. Alas, that doesn’t seem to be the case, and in fact, the timeline keeps slowing down: Throughout 2023, HBO execs speculated that the new episodes wouldn’t come out until 2025 at the earliest, as writing had been delayed first by Levinson’s focus on The Idol and then by the writers' strikes. Then, in March 2024, further disaster struck as HBO confirmed that the third season had been delayed yet again, without offering a new tentative release date.

That’s especially bad news for diehard Zendaya fans, who were eager to see her reprise her Emmy-winning role. Her character Rue closed out season 2 on a hopeful note, revealing that she’d been able to stay sober for the remainder of the school year, but viewers still haven’t seen a resolution between Rue and Laurie, the very scary drug dealer who gave the teen a suitcase filled with $10,000 worth of drugs and then, when Rue wasn’t able to return them or pay her back, attempted to kidnap her.

Rue’s storyline has been one of the most heart-wrenching arcs on all of Euphoria—it’s nearly impossible not to root for her, even as she makes some extremely questionable choices. So much of that comes down to Zendaya, who plays Rue with incredible nuance, perfectly capturing a young woman who’s wrestling with addiction and grief on top of all of the usual day-to-day drama for a high schooler; someone who has so much potential but constantly finds herself in horrific situations.

To tide you over until Euphoria’s indefinite return, here are 19 other shows that are equally loaded with drama, romance, scandals, and general shenanigans.

‘Gossip Girl’

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It may not be quite as gritty as Euphoria, but Gossip Girl should still sufficiently fill the “teenagers getting up to no good”-shaped hole in your heart. Its sprawling cast of private school kids are similarly connected by a tangly web of relationships, and the show also made waves in the early aughts for its depictions of teens experimenting with their sexuality and substances.

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‘Skins’

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This U.K. series has more than a few parallels to Euphoria: It follows the lives of sixth form students (basically, high school juniors and seniors) who are facing very real issues. The first season alone delves into the teens’ sex lives, drug overdoses, eating disorders, love triangles, and absent parents—to name just a few of the intense topics covered on the show. Though the cast was swapped out every two seasons, the original roster is especially star-studded; look out for Nicholas Hoult, Dev Patel, and Daniel Kaluuya in some of their earliest onscreen roles.

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‘Trinkets’

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This Netflix series is based on a novel by Kirsten Smith and centers around three teenage girls who meet in a Shoplifters Anonymous meeting and form a secret friendship—so as not to completely uproot their existing places in the high school hierarchy. Trinkets lasted only two seasons, but that was plenty of time to dive into the issues that Elodie, Moe, and Tabitha were dealing with, both in and out of school.

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‘The O.C.’

the oc shows like euphoria

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A classic mid-aughts teen drama, The O.C. became something of a pop culture phenomenon and has remained a beloved rewatch for many, thanks to its portrayal of a group of teenagers navigating nonstop drama of the romantic, familial, and personal identity varieties.

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‘Elite’

elite shows like euphoria

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Elite, a Spanish Netflix original, follows a handful of working-class scholarship students and their wealthy classmates at a fancy high school. Though it sometimes borders on soap opera levels of dramatics, the thriller series has been lauded for depicting a diverse range of sexual identities and encounters, and for its dual-timeline structure, which gives viewers glimpses of future murders and other dramatic events in flashes forward throughout each season.

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‘One of Us Is Lying’

one of us is lying shows like euphoria

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Another suspense-filled thriller show, One of Us Is Lying is based on the book of the same name by Karen McManus. It revolves around the mysterious death of a high school student named Simon who dies while in detention with four classmates, each of whom were at risk of having their secrets revealed by Simon's online gossip group and therefore had a motive to kill him. Simon’s killer is finally revealed at the end of season 1, just in time for the students to get caught up in another murder that haunts them through season 2.

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‘Never Have I Ever’

never have i ever shows like euphoria

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Much lighter than Euphoria, the Mindy Kaling-created Never Have I Ever leans much more toward smart comedy than gritty drama on the “high school show” spectrum. Its four seasons follow Devi Vishwakumar in her final three years of high school, as she grapples with the death of her father, her academic ambitions, and her romantic fantasies—and, hilariously, it’s all narrated by John McEnroe, an icon for emotional teens everywhere.

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‘Laguna Beach’

laguna beach shows like euphoria

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While airing between 2004 and 2006, this MTV reality show earned countless complaints from media advocacy groups about its portrayal of teens using profanity and talking about sex (so, acting like teenagers). Obviously, between that and its use of Hilary Duff’s “Come Clean” as its theme song, Laguna Beach deserves a permanent spot in the teen show hall of fame.

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‘Friday Night Lights’

friday night lights shows like euphoria

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Even if you’re not a football fan, you’ll still find yourself sucked into the small-town drama of Dillon, Texas, where a broad cast of high school football players and their friends and family members grapple with their relationships to each other, as well as issues like racism, teen pregnancy, and addiction.

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‘Baby’

baby shows like euphoria

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If you’re ever astounded at some of the very grown-up situations that the Euphoria teens find themselves in, just wait until you watch Baby. This Italian Netflix series kicks off with one of its main characters, Chiara, a student at an elite Roman high school, being drawn into a secret underage prostitution ring.

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‘Sex Education’

sex education shows like euphoria

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In a refreshingly blunt portrayal of teenage sexuality, this British comedy series depicts a range of high school-aged characters all learning to come to terms with their sexual identities and desires—helped along by the sex therapy clinic that main character Otis, the son of a sex therapist (played by none other than Gillian Anderson), sets up at school.

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‘Pretty Little Liars’

pretty little liars shows like euphoria

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There’s perhaps no better way to distract yourself from wondering just what’s going to happen to Rue, Maddy, Cassie, and the rest of the Euphoria gang when season 3 finally arrives than by focusing instead on figuring out who “A” is. It's the perfect time to dive into this soapy, thriller-y teen drama’s seven seasons and get to the bottom of the mystery once and for all.

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‘Everything Sucks!’

everything sucks shows like euphoria

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Before she was Cassie on Euphoria, Sydney Sweeney was Emaline on Everything Sucks!, a short-lived dramedy set in Boring, Oregon (a real place!), circa 1996. The show centers on the misfits of the high school A/V and drama clubs, who join forces to make a movie, while grappling with mental health issues and their assorted sexual awakenings along the way.

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‘Riverdale’

riverdale shows like euphoria

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Riverdale started off like a standard teen drama, but quickly took a turn for the weird and only continued to get more bizarre as its seven seasons went on. By its series finale in 2023, various members of the Riverdale gang had been sent to an alternate dimension, time traveled, faced down an immortal sorcerer, and developed magical powers that were used to resurrect their fallen friends (just a few of the show’s most bonkers plot points). Hey, who ever said high school drama had to make sense?

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‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager’

the secret life of the american teenager shows like euphoria

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This might as well be the subtitle of Euphoria. If it’s adolescent drama you’re after, look no further than this Freeform classic staring Shailene Woodley, which started in 2008 with a teen pregnancy and progressed throughout its five seasons to include struggles with addiction, religious identity, grief, and plenty of love triangles.

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‘Tiny Pretty Things’

tiny pretty things shows like euphoria

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Tiny Pretty Things kicks off with a murder, and the plot thickens from there. It’s set at a ballet school in Chicago, and the students split their time between competing with each other for roles, plotting out their next hookups, and, at one point, taking down an underage sex trafficking ring—all while trying to unravel the truth behind their classmate’s murder. It only lasted one season before being quietly canceled by Netflix, but it’s still worth a watch, even if only to see all of the actors do their own (very impressive) dancing in the ballet scenes.

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‘The Idol’

the idol shows like euphoria

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You might as well spend your time waiting for the next season of Euphoria watching the show partially responsible for its delay. Euphoria creator Sam Levinson took some time after season 2 to churn out The Idol, which stars Lily-Rose Depp as Jocelyn, a pop star who enters into a messy relationship with nightclub owner and cult leader Tedros (played by Abel Tesfaye, a.k.a. The Weeknd) as she works her way back up to the title of the “sexiest pop star in the U.S.” The show was widely criticized for the sleaziness of Tesfaye’s character and its all-around toxic content, and it lasted only one short season before being canceled. But if you’re curious about all the controversy—and want to hear Depp belt out a few so-bad-they’re-almost-perfect pop songs—it’s a relatively quick watch, with only five one-hour episodes. And, because of Levinson's involvement, the show echoes the same stylized cinematogprahy that defines Euphoria.

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‘My So-Called Life’

my so-called life shows like euphoria

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One of the first “real,” gritty teen shows, My So-Called Life is another one-season wonder that has since become something of a cult classic. Unlike other ‘90s teen shows, with their “very special episodes,” this one addressed issues of abuse, addiction, violence, and more, without wrapping them up in neat little bows at the end of each episode. And it stars a young Claire Danes as our perfectly angsty heroine, opposite Jared Leto as her brooding, floppy-haired love interest. Icons in the making!

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‘Heartbreak High’

heartbreak high shows like euphoria

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It’s a great time to dive into Heartbreak High, a reboot of an Australian show from the ‘90s, as its second season hit Netflix this spring. The new version, which is also set in Australia, centers around the tangled web of hookups that connect a group of high-schoolers—physically represented in a diagram dubbed the “incest map” that’s graffitied on a wall at their school when the show begins. In addition to following their many sexcapades (and the ensuing fallout), the series also explores racism and the fragility of adolescent friendships, among the many other issues plaguing its young characters.

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Andrea Park

Andrea Park is a Chicago-based writer and reporter with a near-encyclopedic knowledge of the extended Kardashian-Jenner kingdom, early 2000s rom-coms and celebrity book club selections. She graduated from the Columbia School of Journalism in 2017 and has also written for W, Brides, Glamour, Women's Health, People and more.