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11 Shows Like Euphoria to Watch While You Wait for Season 3

Bust out the glitter

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Allison Picurro
Sydney Sweeney, Euphoria

Sydney Sweeney, Euphoria

Eddy Chen/HBO

Zendaya spoke, and we have no choice but to listen: It's going to be a while before Euphoria Season 3 gets released. Season 2 of the HBO high school series ended with a (literal) bang that involved arrests, physical fighting, and an expensive, elaborately staged school play that you can't spend more than a minute considering the financial logistics of at risk of your brain exploding. It also just won a bunch of Emmys. Euphoria is one of a kind, but if you're looking for other shows about the ups and downs of teenhood, there are plenty that have come before and after to hold you over while you wait.

The shows on our list all capture the most important moments of those cursed adolescent years, and will either leave you horrified about what kids today are getting up to or remind you, for better or worse, of your own youth.


Heartbreak High

Chloe Hayden, James Majoos, and Ayesha Madon, Heartbreak High

Chloe Hayden, James Majoos, and Ayesha Madon, Heartbreak High

Lisa Tomasetti/Netflix

Think of Heartbreak High as Euphoria meets Sex Education meets Mean Girls, but with Australian accents. This series follows a teen girl, Amerie (Ayesha Madon), who becomes a social pariah after she creates a mural that exposes the secret hookups of everyone at her school. She's also just had a falling out with her best friend for reasons she can't figure out yet. Luckily, she befriends two fellow misfits, Darren (James Majoos) and Quinni (Chloe Hayden), as she navigates a difficult period in her life. It's sure to remind you of how it felt to watch Rue (Zendaya) and Jules (Hunter Schafer) grow closer as both of their lives spiraled out of control, and everything from their glittery makeup to the ever-present sex scenes make this series a good, dramatic companion piece to Euphoria but with more humor and heartfelt moments.



Industry

Marisa Abela and Myha'la Herrold, Industry

Marisa Abela and Myha'la Herrold, Industry

Nick Strasburg/HBO

Industry can best be described as the exact midpoint between "Succession for Instagram influencers" and "Euphoria for business majors." The stylish, energetic finance world series follows a group of young graduates trying to secure their dream jobs at a prestigious London investment bank, but you don't actually have to care about or understand financial jargon to get sucked in by the story. Industry has everything you like about Euphoria — debauchery, drug scenes, messy characters, an oh-so-cool soundtrack — but it swaps the high school location for a bustling office, losing none of the addictive drama in the process.



Gossip Girl

Blake Lively and Leighton Meester, Gossip Girl

Blake Lively and Leighton Meester, Gossip Girl

The CW

The things that seemed scandalous on Gossip Girl back in 2007, like all the PG-13 "sex scenes" that prompted ads claiming the series was "every parent's nightmare," are nothing compared to what currently happens on a show like Euphoria, but it's important to acknowledge the elders that paved the way. Gossip Girl revolves around a group of very privileged, very fashionable students who go to an elite Upper East Side high school and have their every dramatic move watched and reported on by an omniscient blogger. This is an instrumental entry in the "teens behaving badly" genre, and much like Euphoria, it made stars out of its young cast, which includes Blake Lively, Penn Badgley, and Leighton Meester. Its influence is so great that it inspired a 2021 revival, which is, uh, not as good.



Grand Army

Naiya Ortiz, Brittany Adebumola, Odley Jean, and Crystal Sha're Nelson, Grand Army

Naiya Ortiz, Brittany Adebumola, Odley Jean, and Crystal Sha're Nelson, Grand Army

Jasper Savage/Netflix

Netflix's high school series Grand Army is probably the show on the list that's most like Euphoria, jumping feet first into the lives of teenagers at a school in Brooklyn, New York. Grand Army wastes no time letting you know what kind of show it is; the opening scene that takes place in a girls' bathroom is raw. It's one of the few coming-of-age shows that can match Euphoria's tone and subject matter. Sexuality, violence, rape culture, bullying, racism, and more get covered with no filters, and if that wasn't enough, the whole series is set before a backdrop of a terrorist attack on New York City. It's an intense watch and for anyone looking for a teen show that leaves the sugarcoating behind. 



Freaks and Geeks

Freaks and Geeks

Freaks and Geeks

Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Freaks and Geeks is one of those beloved TV relics with the kind of fan base that only things that were canceled in their prime get. The good news is that it's also very deserving of all the praise, using its sole season to tell the stories of a group of weirdo kids navigating high school in the '80s. In so many ways, it's the quintessential teen show, funny and heartfelt and appropriately awkward, and it's safe to say that we probably wouldn't have Euphoria without it. While Freaks and Geeks doesn't skew as dark, there are shades of Linda Cardellini's Lindsey Weir in Rue as she finds herself leaning into her rebellious inclinations the longer she spends more time with her new friends — the titular "freaks," played by Seth Rogen, Busy Philipps, James Franco, and Jason Segel. It's one of those shows that, even with the many "disco sucks" references, manages to still feel relevant today, a truly rare feat.

More recommendations:



Skins (UK)

Skins

Skins

Channel 4

Often imitated (thus the importance of the UK distinction – I cannot in good faith recommend the American remake), never duplicated, Skins is a must-watch for any Euphoria fan. The 2007 British teen drama was doing the whole "doesn't shy away from tough subject matter" thing years before it became cool to do so, dealing with a whole range of issues that includes mental illness, sexuality, eating disorders, and substance abuse. Because of the show's structure — each episode typically centers around one character — you get to know the teens at its center well, from Nicholas Hoult's manipulative popular boy Tony to Dev Patel's goofy Anwar to Kaya Scodelario's mysterious Effy. Much like how we root for Rue and Jules as they make countless questionable decisions, it's difficult not to love the kids of Skins too. 



We Are Who We Are

Jordan Kristine Seamón and Jack Dylan Grazer, We Are Who We Are

Jordan Kristine Seamón and Jack Dylan Grazer, We Are Who We Are

HBO

HBO loves a teen show. Luca Guadagnino's We Are Who We Are, which is set on an American army base in Italy and centers around two high schoolers trying to carve out their own identities while stuck in such an inherently oppressive environment, definitely came up in Euphoria's image. Both shows feature kids who love abusing substances and yelling at their parents, but We Are Who We Are is its own animal, a quieter, artsier reflection on what it means to be a kid growing up in a version of America that's not really America at all. 



Élite

Élite

Élite

Netflix

Élite, the Spanish-language series about three working-class friends who enroll in a luxe private school, is the ideal mix of unhinged camp and actual high-stakes drama. The show centers around the inevitable culture clash between the new kids and their exorbitantly wealthy classmates, but there's also a murder mystery woven through the fabric of the show. Euphoria takes itself, and the issues it explores, incredibly seriously, and while Élite deals with its share of socially relevant topics like homophobia and religion, it leans much more into its chaotic roots. Sometimes the show you're looking for is one that doesn't take itself too seriously.



My Mad Fat Diary

My Mad Fat Diary

My Mad Fat Diary

E4

Few shows have ever made me feel the full spectrum of human emotion in the way My Mad Fat Diary did. When we meet Rae (Sharon Rooney) at the beginning of the series, she's returning to everyday life after a four-month stay in a psychiatric hospital. She has trouble reconnecting to her friends and grapples so deeply with the reality of her situation that she even lies to her popular best friend (played by a pre-Killing Eve Jodie Comer) about where she was, claiming that she'd instead taken a trip to France. Even after receiving treatment, her mental health proves to be an ongoing obstacle, as does her body image. There's so much of Rue in Rae, and the show similarly has a lot to say about being a young woman just trying to make your way through a weird, scary world. It's something special. 



Sex Education

Asa Butterfield and Ncuti Gatwa, Sex Education

Asa Butterfield and Ncuti Gatwa, Sex Education

Netflix

If your favorite thing about Euphoria is its colorful cast of characters and all of their giant personalities, Sex Education should be your next watch. Asa Butterfield stars as Otis, an awkward teenager who takes a page out of his sex therapist mother's (played by Gillian Anderson) book by setting up a sex advice clinic at his school despite having little to no experience firsthand (and for much of the first season, literally firsthand). This show could easily slide into "issue of the week" territory, but it manages to avoid that by taking time to flesh out all the members of its ensemble. There are so many characters to love on this show, like Otis' best friend Eric (Ncuti Gatwa), who is openly gay but struggles with his religious family's perception of him, and Maeve (Emma Mackey), the "bad girl" in school who becomes Otis' business partner. Like Euphoria, it breaks away from the traditional trappings of your average high school show while still allowing the teens at its center to come of age. 



The End of the F***ing World

Alex Lawther and Jessica Barden, The End of the F***ing World

Alex Lawther and Jessica Barden, The End of the F***ing World

Netflix

James (Alex Lawther) is a troubled kid who has the distinct feeling he might be a psychopath. He spends his spare time killing animals, but when that's not enough to make him feel something, he decides to graduate to killing humans. Enter Alyssa (Jessica Barden), an angry, brash girl who James decides would be the perfect victim. They don't ever really get there, though, after running away from home to embark on a road trip together and subsequently becoming involved in a number of situations that spiral wildly out of their control. There's a lot happening in this British dramedy series, but the burgeoning, reluctant connection James and Alyssa find in each other grounds the show time and time again. If the best thing about Euphoria is the complex relationship between Rue and Jules, two lonely outsiders who find themselves drawn to each other, The End of the F***ing World gives its own version of that, except with a touch more crime.