Friday, September 6, 2013

Since everyone loves Veronica Mars, we decided to peek into the depths of Netflix and see if they had anything else in the same vein. You know, other great shows or movies that would appeal to a YA audience. We found some real gems!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Twilight is all well and good, but Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the original teenage vampire story. She doesn't just hang with vampires, though -- she SLAYS them. (Well, most of them.)

Seriously, this show has everything. Action, romance, humor, magic... And Giles! We mustn't forget the brilliant, bumbling librarian whose job is to train Buffy in the art of fighting monsters, keeping our world safe and preventing the Hellmouth from opening.

This, of course, is all set against the backdrop of the "normal" high school experience. So if you're looking for paranormal romance with a literally kick-ass heroine, Buffy's your gal.

(You might recognize David Boreanaz from Bones, or Alyson Hannigan from How I Met Your Mother.)

Dawson's Creek

If you're into the contemporary scene, check out Dawson's Creek. It's the classic boy-doesn't-realize-the-girl-next-door-is-in-love-with-him-because-he's-hot-for-the-new-girl story. With a side of Pacey Whittaker, aka the most lovable loser ever!

As they they traverse the treacherous waters of high school, these four friends banter back and forth with the wit and vocabulary of a John Green novel. There are also a ton of great adult characters -- especially Dawson's grossly in-love parents and Jen Lindley's severe-but-sweet grandmother.

Confession: The college years are not as good, so we give you permission to stop at the end of Season 4.

(You might recognize Joshua Jackson from Fringe, James Van Der Beek from a myriad of guest roles, or Katie Holmes from being married to Tom Cruise.)

Friday Night Lights

This show might be the best ever. (And trust us, it makes no difference if you like football or not.) There are no "good guys" or "bad guys" -- just real people trying to live their lives, reach their goals, and find their loves.

The show centers around Coach and Mrs. Coach, whose strong marriage is a great model of what we'd like to see more of, both in fiction and real life. The teenage characters are who propel the conflict, though. Like the smart, rebellious daughter. Her shy, scrawny boyfriend who gets propelled into the spotlight when the star quarterback suffers a debilitating accident. The alcoholic bad boy and the picture-perfect cheerleader he can't have. The mouthy, arrogant running back who's just trying to make a name for himself so that he can go pro and take care of his family. (Can you that tell we love these characters?)

We dare you to watch a few episodes of this show and not start rooting for the Dillon Panthers. Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose.

(You might recognize Gaius Charles from Grey's Anatomy, Taylor Kitsch from John Carter or Battleship, Kyle Chandler from Argo or Super 8, or Connie Britton from being awesome.)


If you don't have the time or emotional energy to invest in a television show, but you still want some good YA laughs, Clueless is the movie for you. Though it might seem like shallow fluff at first -- full of goofy fashion and scheming romance -- it's actually a very clever and hilarious retelling of Emma by Jane Austen. And by the end, you'll probably find yourself using hip 90s slang like "rolling with the homies" or "what-ever," complete with hand motions.

(You might recognize Donald Faison from Scrubs, or Paul Rudd from Perks of Being a Wallflower or lots of Judd Apatow movies.)


The last suggestion on our (surprisingly long, sorry!) list is more New Adult than Young Adult, but definitely worth trying. It's the story of a girl who follows her crush to New York City for college -- only to find out that he's not the type of person she thought he was. Not even close.

The adventures that ensue are so true-to-life. Roommate conflicts, parental pressure, confusion over what to major in... And of course, romantic entanglements. ;)

But at the end of the day, Felicity is really about a girl trying to find herself -- to make herself. And that's something that we can all understand, whether we're YA, NA, or plain old A.

(You might recognize Scott Foley from Grey's Anatomy or Scandal, or Keri Russell from the recently released Austenland, based on Shannon Hale's novel.)

Have you guys watched any of these? Do you like them? Or do you have other TV/movie recommendations for fans of YA?


The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

So pleased to see Clueless on here-it's one of my favorite movies! Also glad FNL is on here. I don't like high school football but it's not a requirement to love this show-all you need is an appreciation of good acting and writing.

Suzanne said...

I know nothing about football, I'm not American and don't understand the football culture at all, and yet I started watching Friday Night Lights and couldn't stop. Not only that, but I actually started following the rules of the game and got super tense during the show rooting for the Panthers. Brilliant writing, outstanding acting - without a doubt one of the best series I have ever watched!

Erica said...

YAY for Buffy - I have to say, as for the rest of these, I have yet to watch them.

Sandie @TeenLitRocks said...

We often say in our marriage: "What Would Coach and Tami do?" Despite my job, I never watched Buffy, so I feel like it's a huge hole in my pop culture knowledge!

Emma said...

This is such an excellent post. In fact, I kind of want to hug its appropriateness. I absolutely adore Buffy, and I've been thinking about rewatching Dawson's Creek. I've been meaning to get to Felicity, too. Thanks for the reminder that my favourite TV tends to play out like my favourite YA. It's cool to see the similarities!

Ingrid Palmer said...

Kristan, I love this post so much! I watched every one of these shows--with the exception of FNL (and I plan to remedy that shortly). Thanks for a great trip down memory lane!

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Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.



on the shelf

The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
Froi of the Exiles
Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
Finnikin of the Rock
Guitar Notes
The Dead-Tossed Waves
The Crown of Embers
New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
The Fault in Our Stars

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