8 Realistic Teen-centric Shows That Tackled Real Life Teen Problems

By Desiree Pore

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Living in a world where our every move is being judged not just physically, but also through social media is a pretty hard thing to do, especially for teens. Growing up for teens can be very confusing and scary, especially for those who don’t have a solid family background to support them.

With all the trouble teens get into these days, we only have, yes, TV to save us. These TV shows portrays real life teen problems that help tesens get through that awkward stage in life and makes us think that maybe, the kids will be alright after all.


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British show Skins was the og show about teens back when it premiered in 2007. The show, which launched the career of actors Nicholas Hoult, Dev Patel, Hannah Murray, and Joe Dempsie to name a few, shows teens dealing with problems such as depression, eating disorder, bullying, and sexuality. What made the show well-loved was its unabashed take on how teens were dealing with certain aspects of their lives. Even after the show ended, Skins is still a natural, refreshing take about teens today.



If you want to feel a little Asian flavor to your screens, then Hormones is just what you needed. The show is set at the fictional Nadao Bangkok College wherein students deal with relationships, bullying, gang violence and sexuality of Thai teenagers. One of the more controversial moments of the show was when a student visited an abortion clinic after losing her virginity. Through it thought-provoking storylines, it shed light as to what Asian kids deal with at school.


My Mad Fat Diary

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Set during the mid-90s, My Mad Fat Diary tells the story and struggles of Rae Earl, a 16 year old, overweight girl who just left a psychiatric hospital because of problems with her mental health and body image. Rae tries to live a “normal” life and reconnects with her friend Chloe (unaware of her troubles and whereabouts) and her friends Finn, Archie, Izzy and Chop.

Rae’s counselor encourages her to write down her innermost thoughts and sentiments; through her diary, she’s able to be honest to herself and to escape all troubles that are facing her. With a good soundtrack accompanying the show, My Mad Fat Diary is a show that people with insecurities can relate to all too well.



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Skam (or Shame) is a popular Norwegian show and is dubbed as the ‘renaissance’ of Skins. As was Skins, Skam had different main characters for each season and tackled several issues including sexual abuse, homosexuality and religion. The show also works in real time, with events happening on the show going up simultaneously online. What makes the show relatable and authentic, is its use of actors with little to no acting experience, and hiring actors close to the characters’ age.


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The character of Daria Morgendorffer first appeared as a recurring character in Beavis and Butt-Head, another MTV show. The animated show focuses on Daria, our favorite smart, misanthropic feminist as she observes the world around her. Daria was, at a time, the voice of the teen angst generation. For five seasons, we watched Daria being treated as an outcast, hangout with her friend Jane Lane, and deal with her parents; just like a regular teenager.


Freaks and Geeks

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If you want to see what James Franco and Seth Rogen looked like back in the day, then you might want to add this to your binge list. Freaks and Geeks is a show that tells the story of, well, freaks and geeks both navigating the high school life; more specifically, the story of Lindsey and Sam Weir. Lindsey, who was once a ‘mathlete’, starts to hang out with the freaks which are led by Franco’s character, meanwhile, freshman and one of the school’s geeks Sam struggles to confront his and his friends’ bully Allan.


Some Girls

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School work, boyfriends, and periods; these are the main problems of girls today. From peer pressures, awkward relationships to career talks, Some Girls proved to be too real and relatable to its target audience. The show also boasts of its diverse cast with different personalities that all make up a typical female millennial today.


My So-Called Life

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My So-Called Life’s Angela Chase is like your typical 15 year old girl searching for her own identity. Through narrations, Angela’s inner thoughts and sentiments can be heard by the audience. The show tackled many social issues during the 90s, some of which are homophobia, child abuse, school violence, alcoholism, and drug use. Though the show only lasted for one season, its impact and storylines are still very relevant today.


Any of these you could relate to? Tell us in the comments below!

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