10. The Degrassi Series
When it ran: 1983 – Present
Starring: Various Canadian Actors….none of which you would probably know! Kevin Smith and Alanis Morissette did both make appearances!
The Plot: We began at Degrassi Junior High, where we followed a group of real-life teens through their everyday teenage problems. After the Junior High was burn down, following a dance, we moved onto High School. Degrassi tackled serious issues, such as a teenager’s decision to pursue an abortion, divorce, homosexuality and AIDS. Several Canadian-episodes were censored in the US, these episodes followed the character Erica to an abortion clinic. Degrassi: The Next Generation still airs with new episodes and truly has spanned to a new generation of viewers. It airs in the US on The N Network. The Series recently celebrated its 25th Anniversary.
9. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
When it ran: 1997 – 2003
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan and David Borneauz
The Plot: The series follows Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) as she is the current, in a long line of young female vampire slayers. Slayers are chosen by fate to battle against vampires, demons and other forces of darkness. Like previous Slayers, Buffy is aided by a Watcher, who guides and trains her. Unlike her predecessors, Buffy surrounds herself with a circle of loyal friends who become known as the “Scooby Gang”. Buffy also generated a spin-off “Angel” starring David Boreanaz.
8. Dawson’s Creek
When it ran: 1998 – 2003
Starring: James Van Deer Beek, Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson, Michelle Williams
The Plot: We follow the stories of Dawson Leery, Joey Potter, Pacey Witter and Jen Lindley as they discover themselves and grow-up with each other. Tormented by her relationship with Dawson, Joey’s constant them was always Dawson or Pacey? The Creek was great until they graduated from high school…then like most high school-based shows it did stall a little. These 4 actors have all gone on to have strong careers…apparently they didn’t want for their lives to be over….Now you can’t stop singing it!
7. That 70′s Show
When it ran: 1998 – 2006
Starring: Topher Grace, Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Laura Prepon, Wilmer Valderrama and Danny Masterson
The Plot: : A group of friends muddle through life growing-up during the 70s. Oh and they live in Wisconsin! That 70s show with a GREAT ensemble cast made us laugh at loud every week! From their fabulous bell bottoms to their infamous show-ending “circle” That 70s show launched its cast into the limelight. Topher Grace, Ashton Kutcher, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis, Wilmer Valderrama and Danny Masterson all became fixtures in today’s PopCulture because of the success of That 70s Show!!
6. Saved by the Bell
When it ran: 1989 – 1993
Starring: Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez, Dusin Diamond, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Lark Voorhies, Elizabeth Berkley, Dennis Haskins
The Plot: Trouble maker Zack Morris made every day comedic at the fictional Bayside High. Set in California, Morris was aided by his buds Screech, Kelly, Jessie, Lisa, and “frenemy” AC Slater in stirring up trouble for Mr. Belding (Dennis Haskins) in Bayside’s hallowed halls. Saved by the Bell went on to college (Saved by the Bell: College Years) and back to Bayside (Saved by the Bell: The New Class), but fans and ratings proved that nothing would ever top the original! We wouldn’t be doing Saved by the Bell justice if we failed to mention the theme song. How many of you know all the words? One of the BEST TV theme songs!
5. Beverly Hills, 90210 (The Original)
When it ran: 1990 – 2000
Starring: Jason Priestly, Shannon Doherty, Luke Perry, Jennie Garth, Ian Zering, Tori Spelling, Brian Austin Green, Gabrielle Carteris
The Plot: If you were in high school in the early 90′s you wanted your zip code to be 90210! When the series first started we meet Brandon and Brenda Walsh who have relocated from Minnesota to the Sunny-life of Beverly Hills! The series followed The Walsh kids and their close group of friends’ experience all that high school has to offer! You could always count on your 90210 hour to be filled with lots of drama! 90210 did tackle some serious issues along the way and always kept teen themes in the forefront of each episode. In the later years the show become a revolving door for the actors and they did replace some characters but NOTHING will ever take the place of the original, Brandon, Brenda, Donna, Kelly, Steve, Andrea, Dylan and David!
4. My So-Called Life
When it ran: 1994 – 1995
Starring: Claire Danes, A.J. Langer, Wilson Cruz and Devon Gummersall
The Plot: A cult-classic that for some reason was canned after only ONE season, My So-Called Life was a GREAT teen drama. Dealing with common issues of the mid-nineties like AIDS and Gay-rights, “Life” also dealt with sex, alcohol and parental relationships. The show portrayed the teen years as difficult, fun and sometimes filled with irrelevant experiences! Great show….not really sure why it was canceled after one season?!
3. The Wonder Years
When it ran: 1998 – 1993
Starring: Fred Savage, Jason Hervey, Danica McKellar, Dan Lauria, Alley Mills, Josh Saviano
The Plot: Ahhhh…Winnie Cooper? Do we need to say anything else? Set in the late 1960s, The Wonder Years, tackled the social and political issues of its time, all through the eyes of Kevin Arnold. He also deals with the typical family drama of any American teenager! We are granted the wisdom of being older and wiser as the series was narrated by the “Adult” Kevin (Voice provided by Daniel Stern). The Wonder Years was won 22 awards, was nominated for an additional 54 and created the comedy-drama that we know today! Again…like many other shows on the list a GREAT theme song!
2. Freaks and Geeks
When it ran: 1999 – 2000
Starring: Linda Cardellini, Jason Segel, Seth Rogan, James Franco
The Plot: Long before Pineapple Express, James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel were stirring up laughs. Freaks and Geeks, offered a new twist on the regular adolescent woes, sex, drugs, alcohol, and acceptance. Focusing on two main groups of students, the “freaks” led by Linda Cardenllini and the geeks, led by John Francis Daley, the show was a big hit among fans and critics. After it was cancelled after only 12 episodes, although 18 were filmed, a huge cult following formed!
1. Friday Night Lights
When it ran: 2006 – Present
Starring: Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Zach Gifford, Mika Kelly, Taylor Kitsch, Gaius Charles, Scott Porter, Adrianne Palicki, Jesse Plemons, Aimee Teegarden
The Plot: Do you love football? Then you SHOULD be watching and loving Friday Night Lights. Based loosely on the Book Friday Night Lights, this fantastic ensemble cast brings to life the town of Dillon, Texas. A small West-Texas town obsessed with one thing and one thing only: Dillon Panther Football. Lead by Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) we have seen the Dylan Panthers be devastated with the loss of their star-quarterback, Jason Street, pick up the pieces with Matt Saracen, run the ball with the phenom Brian “Smash” Williams and drink and party with Tim Riggins!! While these characters are fantastic don’t forget the ladies of Dillon, Tami Taylor hot wife of Coach Taylor, the vixen Tyra Collette, the cheerleader Lyla Garrity and the All-American girl, Julie Taylor. In our opinion here at Sugarslam, there is no better High School show! Remember, Clear Eyes, Full Hearts Can’t Lose!