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7 Shows Like Gossip Girl That Aren't Gossip Girl That You Should Watch if You Like Gossip Girl

Trade the Upper East Side for these similarly soapy teen dramas

kaitlin-photo1.jpg
Kaitlin Thomas

This weekend marks 13 years since Gossip Girl first debuted on The CW. The teen series premiered Sept. 19, 2007, and while we didn't know it then, the show, which followed the lives of students attending a prestigious Upper East Side high school -- and the ruthless blogger who documents their every move -- would eventually become a cultural juggernaut. The series ran for six seasons and launched the careers of Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, and Chace Crawford while also cementing a legacy that continues to live on in a number of teen shows -- including an upcoming sequel series set to air on HBO Max.

If you don't want to revisit Gossip Girl while waiting for the new series but still want to experience the highs and lows of the teen soap, which was a satire as much as it was a glorification of wealth and extravagance, you should check out the shows in the list below, several of which feature a division of the haves and have-nots and continue to explore wealth and all that comes with it. Others are just really good teen dramas. If you like Gossip Girl, these are the shows you should watch next.

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Elite


Watch it on: Netflix

Elite

Manuel Fernandez-Valdes

Elite is one of the few teen-centric dramas of the last five years that could rival Gossip Girl for soap, but that's not the only connection the two shows have. The division along class lines that formed the backdrop of The CW drama is also explored in the Spanish series, which is set at an exclusive private school and follows the lives of several students, including those who attend the school on scholarship, much like Dan did on Gossip Girl. Making effective use of flash-forwards, the show reveals how the teens' ambitions and desires eventually lead to the murder of one student and the disappearance of another, making the show a compelling entry into the teen drama genre while also adding a mystery twist to it. And while the mystery is the backbone of the series, it allows the show to explore more familiar issues of coming of age, like how far one might go to fit in, struggling with being gay in a conservative household, or the pitfalls that come with living in the age of social media. 



The O.C.


Watch it on: HBO Max

The O.C.

WB/Everett Collection

Created by Gossip Girl creator and executive producer Josh Schwartz and set against the sunny skies and fancy pool houses of the wealthy elite of Newport, California, The O.C. is the show that paved the way for Gossip Girl to be a success. Best known for its rapid ascent in the pop culture history books -- and introducing a lot of people to the musical stylings of Death Cab for Cutie -- the series stars Ben McKenzie as Ryan Atwood, a troubled teen from a broken home who is taken in by his public defender Sandy Cohen (Peter Gallagher) and his wealthy wife Kirsten (Kelly Rowan). It's a fish-out-of-water story that explores class and materialism through Ryan's experiences as an outsider and the lives of the entire Cohen family, who are less shallow and self-centered than their close-minded neighbors. But it's also just full of drama. While the series' decline in the third season initially rivaled its incredibly fast rise, the series, which also launched the careers of Adam Brody, Mischa Barton, and Rachel Bilson, leveled out in the fourth and final season, allowing it to go out on a high note and remind everyone why it is one of the best teen shows ever made.



The Bold Type


Watch it on: Hulu

Katie Stevens, Aisha Dee, and Meghann Fahy, The Bold Type

Philippe Bosse, Freeform

If your favorite aspect of Gossip Girl was the incredible fashion donned by Serena and Blair, you might want to check out Freeform's millennial dramedy The Bold Type, which stars Katie Stevens, Aisha Dee, and Meghann Fahy as three twentysomething women working at a fictional fashion magazine known as Scarlet. The show is inspired by the life and career of former Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles and explores many of the challenges young women face as they attempt to carve out careers, whether it's in journalism, social media, or fashion, but it also doesn't shy away from difficult topics or relationship drama. However, the best part of the series has to be the strong friendships between the trio -- and, of course, Scarlet's fashion closet, which houses any number of incredible outfits and is where the friends spend a great deal of time dealing with the problems life has thrown their way. 



Blood & Water


Watch it on: Netflix

Blood & Water

Blood & Water

Like Gossip Girl, this South African teen drama is also set at a prep school and follows a group of scheming teens. At the center of the narrative lies a complex mystery that propels much of the action forward, though it doesn't have anything to do with an anonymous person revealing the secrets of wealthy teens. The series stars Ama Qamata as Puleng Khumalo, a 16-year-old who transfers to the elite academy because she believes a student there may actually be her long-lost sister. Blood & Water is juicy, but it's never over the top, and it's grounded by standout performances from both Qamata and Khosi Ngema, who plays Puleng's suspected sister, Fikile Bhele.



Outer Banks


Watch it on: Netflix

Outer Banks

Netflix

If Dan's relationship with Serena (or Blair!) is what you loved most about Gossip Girl, you should consider checking out Netflix's Outer Banks, which, in addition to telling a story about the haves versus the have-nots, also features a major storyline involving a working class teen (Chase Stokes) falling for a rich girl (Madelyn Cline) and all the drama that entrails. But there's also so, so much more to the show. Set on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the teen series follows the Pogues, a group of teens who live and work on the island, as they look for the long lost treasure of an ancient shipwreck after a hurricane wipes out power. Along the way, they find themselves in increasingly dangerous waters, with a growing list of enemies, and the teens often make decisions without giving much thought to the consequences of their actions. But that's also why Outer Banks feels so authentic; teens are selfish and impulsive by nature, and they're driven by hormones. We can't exactly call this a good show, but it's addictive as hell.



One Tree Hill


Watch it on: Hulu

One Tree Hill

One Tree Hillis another show whose success paved the way for Gossip Girl. Running for nine seasons across The WB and The CW, the show starts out as a teen soap with much of the same relationship and family drama that made Gossip Girl so engrossing. But because of its longevity, and because the show skips the college years, which tend to drag most high school shows down, it is also one of the few series to successfully bridge the gap between teen and adult. Set in a small town in North Carolina, the series tells the story of two half-brothers -- Chad Michael Murray's Lucas and James Lafferty's Nathan -- who were born only months apart but are from completely different worlds. Because their father (Paul Johansson) deserted Lucas's mom (Moira Kelly), who was his high school girlfriend, and got another woman (Barbara Alyn Woods) pregnant while in college, Lucas and Nathan grow up in the same town but with different lifestyles and life experiences. The show begins when Lucas joins the high school basketball team, of which Nathan is the star player, and while we could say a lot more, we honestly don't know how to explain the places this show goes without spoiling some of the wildest TV you'll ever see.



Pretty Little Liars


Watch it on: HBO Max

Pretty Little Liars

The identity of Gossip Girl, the anonymous blogger voiced by Kristen Bell who documented every move the teens made on the show, remained a mystery for the entire run of the series. The teens at the heart of the ABC Family-turned-Freeform drama Pretty Little Liarsface a similar situation, with a mystery person known only as A threatening to expose all of their secrets following the disappearance of one of their own. The show, which starred Troian BellisarioAshley BensonLucy Hale, and Shay Mitchell, managed to keep the ruse running for several years, including multiple fakeouts as to who A really was, and while we can't say it was always successful at conjuring up believable or thrilling new developments to the central mystery, the first few seasons are definitely worth checking out.

Gossip Girl is available to stream on Netflix.