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'It Was Full of White People Problems': Teens Review Classic Teen TV Shows

2017's kids rate "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Gilmore Girls," and other teen classics.

by Mitchell Sunderland
Apr 27 2017, 2:30pm

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Some teen issues are universal, but perhaps no representations are more ubiquitous than the teen dramas that cover high school problems like puberty and promposals gone wrong. Many classics aired on critically derided networks like the UPN, the N, and the WB, which catered to middle class American teens, yet since these networks have died, their cult classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Degrassi the Next Generation have lived on through streams and memes. They remain so dominant online, you wouldn't be crazy to think they're still on the air.

Since Netflix and other sites refuse to release data on who and where people watch their programs, it's impossible to know how many teens, if any, are catching up on the dramas of the 1990s and 2000s, or if only millennials drove Netflix to resurrect Gilmore Girls. (Entertainment Weekly publishes so many reunions of their casts, they might as well change its name to Nostalgia Weekly.) Teens could find solace in Buffy using monsters as a metaphor for puberty, or they could perceive Sunnydale High School being the literal Hellmouth as stupid.

To find out how contemporary teens view the classics, we asked two generation Z members to rate four of the biggest teen shows: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars, and Degrassi the Next Generation.

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Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls is one of the only shows I've hate watched. It was full of white people problems, and I disagreed with every decision Rory and Lorelai made. I watched every season because I wanted to see how it ended. The revival ended with Rory as a preggo, unemployed cheater, so that was great. Similar to Orange Is the New Black, I liked the supporting characters. Lane deserved more. Michel was super cute and called out Lorelei's ridiculousness. Luke should have just moved to the woods. Emily, Lorelai's grandmother, was my favorite. I loved when she went on emotional tirades. She just wanted to help Lorelai, but Lorelai is a b. RIP Richard Gilmore.

-Sara, 18

I have seen a couple episodes of Gilmore Girls, and I think it is a good show to watch when you want to watch something chill and easy to follow. The main character Rory has a unique relationship with her mom that makes the series interesting to watch. Rory's struggle to juggle school, family, and her social life is not far fetched, and it makes for an interesting story. They also drink a lot of coffee which is definitely relatable.

-Leena, 15

Photo via Flickr user Yellowblade67

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is probably the best teen show. I've watched every season on Netflix. I think I like the show so much because it has a good balance of comedy, drama, and action. The plot lines also held my interest. A lot of people say it redefined the fantasy genre, and I agree.

-Sara

I haven't seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I think it would be a dramatic story of someone capturing vampires. It sounds like it might be similar to Teen Wolf or The Vampire Diaries, which I have heard a lot about but have never watched. I'm usually not interested television shows about vampires because although they seem interesting, it also seems like the characters would be unrelatable and the plot would be over dramatic.

-Leena

I have never seen Veronica Mars. I thought it was Jessica Jones.

Degrassi the Next Generation

This show was crazy. I love Canadian TV. I have also seen Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High. Everyone was getting pregnant and doing drugs. I think the series is most well known for Drake getting shot, which made me cry. I also felt bad for laughing at the kid who shot him because he looked so greasy. For a while I kept saying, "New Year, New look, new Paige." Paige was interesting because she was a bully but also really caring. She also turned out to be bisexual. I can relate to her failing college. I hated Emma because I felt she was holding Manny back. It was sad when she met her brain-damaged father and struggled with anorexia. Emma is like a blonde Rory Gilmore.

-Sara

I have never seen Degrassi: the Next Generation, but I think I have seen some commercials for it. It looks like it's about a group of high schoolers struggling with relationships and the process of growing up as a whole.

-Leena

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Veronica Mars

I also have not seen Veronica Mars, but just from what the name tells me I imagine it is a show about a teenage girl and her journey as a high schooler.

-Leena

I have never seen Veronica Mars. I thought it was Jessica Jones. I think I would like it because I like Gossip Girl. I feel like it would be extremely unrealistic, like all TV.

-Sara