A high schooler’s guide to generational TV: Teen reviews her top shows

I love binging TV. I love having TV on in the background. I love talking about TV. I love watching TV with friends. I love watching TV with my family. I love … I think what I’m trying to say is, I really love TV. 

 Growing up with Gen X parents, I associate much of my early childhood with 90s sitcoms. As I grew older, millennial and Gen Z shows kept (and continue to keep) me busy and entertained. 

I hope you find this list helpful and binge for hours and hours to come. Enjoy!


Gilmore Girls 

 Gilmore Girls is easily the best show of all time to binge. From subtle comedy, millenial pop culture references, and flawed main characters, the show is a nice relief from the drama and tension of other shows. Gilmore Girls follows the mother-daughter duo of a young, coffee-addicted Lorelai and her prodigy teen daughter Rory. Lorelai gives birth to Rory at 16 and the two share an unbreakable bond. The show begins with Rory in high school, fighting teenage battles, while her mother fights society.

Seems like your basic coming of age show, right? Well, no. As she grows up, Rory goes from a perfect, thoughtful daughter to having no regard for anyone but herself. She makes extremely terrible decisions about boys, destroys multiple relationships, and shows no remorse. Terrible for her, but so very interesting for the viewer. 

Because of Rory’s character, I truly found comfort in Lorelai. She works hard toward her dream of owning an inn, strengthens her relationships, and is always there for her daughter. Plus, she has so many references and punchlines in every episode that it’s impossible to appreciate them all in one watch. I could watch this show over and over again without ever becoming bored. 

Although Gilmore Girls is regarded as a fall binge show that should only be watched with a cup of coffee in hand, let’s be real. It’s the perfect binge show for any time of year. But I agree, coffee is a requirement. 


The OC 

As Seth Cohen puts it, it’s Christmukkah season! Which means it’s the perfect time to start binging the OC. One of the most underappreciated shows of its time, the OC is the funniest show you’ve never even heard of. 

The OC highlights the unexpected sibling duo of Ryan Atwood, who grew up in the struggling neighborhood of Chino, and the rich Seth Cohen of Newport Beach. Seth Cohen is the most hilarious and well written character in the world, having the most iconic lines, such as “Dude you’re a Cohen now. Welcome to a life of insecurity and paralyzing self doubt.” 

The show holds a special place in my heart, having lived in Orange County and in my opinion, the show does a good job covering the cities and disparities in the lives of people throughout the county. However, I did find slight issue with the fact that it was filmed in Los Angeles County and not actually the OC. Why would you name a show The OC and not pay the extra money to actually film it in the OC? Regardless, the show’s content and humor make up for the setting discrepancy. 

The OC also does a phenomenal job encapsulating the essence of the 2000s through music and fashion. In particular the female leads, Summer and Marissa, define the spirit of the fashion trends.

The show was mildly popular when it was aired, but if I’m being honest, it never really got the credit or hype that it deserved. That’s got to change. For Seth Cohen! 



Seinfeld is my comfort show. Have a bad day and need a laugh? Turn on Seinfeld. Have some friends over? Turn on Seinfeld. 

Seinfeld is the show I grew up with. My Gen X parents were obsessed with the show and it was always playing in the background in my house. It’s the perfect sitcom and features some of the best screen writing to exist. 

Seinfeld follows four single friends, Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer, as they navigate through their hilariously unconventional lives in New York City. Each show begins with a stand up sketch from Jerry, making you hysterically laugh right from the start. The show then moves to highlight the lives of the four friends and their obsolete cluelessness. 

The actors for George, Kramer, and Elaine do their roles to perfection, with flawless execution and perfectly placed lines. Their enthusiasm and passion for the roles were very clear to see. 

The only criticism I have is Jerry Seinfeld for himself. He is a great comedian, don’t get me wrong, but he’s a terrible actor. In almost every single episode, you can see him forcing back a laugh. The first time he broke character, I looked the other way. Second time, I was mildly irritated. But after that? I think someone had to step in and say something about it. 

However, I will say, his poor acting is easy to overlook since the rest of the show is perfect. It truly fits the 90s sitcom vibe, especially with the addition of the laugh track. 

In my opinion, there is never a wrong time to watch Seinfeld. Like never. 


Outer Banks 

Starting the Outer Banks series, I didn’t really know what to expect. My friends had been pushing me to watch the series since the release of season 1, but I held back. I can’t take another sappy teen beach show. But, this show defied my expectations in every way imaginable. And no it was not another sappy teen beach show. 

Outer Banks follows a group of friends who live on the less wealthy side of the island and refer to themselves as “Pogues.” The main character, John B, lost his father at sea and, with the help of his friends, will do anything to find out what happened to him. The Pogues often fight the rival “Kooks” who are extremely wealthy and try to assert dominance over the island. Oh and did I mention that John B’s father was tied to a search for 400 million dollars of gold? 

The show evolves into a massive, and dangerous, treasure hunt that forces the friends to choose loyalty between their biological families and their found family as Pogues. The acting in this show was phenomenal and the screen writing was even better. I never saw any of the (many) plot twists coming. 

My criticism for the show comes from the fact that throughout the show the Pogues are said to be 16, while not one of them appears to be under 22. Oh wait, that’s because they aren’t.

I also wasn’t a fan of how they chose to end Season 2- a major let down after the magic of Season 1. Let’s just say, I’m looking forward to watching them clean up the show with Season 3, which is expected to come out in 2023!