12 shows to watch if you love 'One Tree Hill'

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12 shows to watch if you love 'One Tree Hill'
  • "One Tree Hill" premiered 17 years ago today.
  • In honor of the iconic show, Insider put together a list of the 12 series fans should watch.
  • It features everything from small-town dramas to physchological teen thrillers.

"Friday Night Lights" delivers small-town sports drama and nostalgic vibes.

"Friday Night Lights" delivers small-town sports drama and nostalgic vibes.
"Friday Night Lights." Van Redin/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

If "One Tree Hill" drew you in with its small-town high school sports drama in the early seasons, you must watch "Friday Night Lights." The drama aired on NBC for five seasons starting in 2006 and followed Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) and his team of East Dillon Lions as they all navigated their way through the highs and lows of the high school football season.

"Friday Night Lights" has all of the elements that make "One Tree Hill" lovable — the intense stakes of sports games, relationships worth rooting for, and drama that seems so out of this world, it could only happen on TV.

Unlike "One Tree Hill," "Friday Night Lights" never loses its small-town charm, a rare feat that helps it stand out among similar shows. It's still beloved today thanks to the many characters worth rooting for (hi Tim Riggins/Taylor Kitsch), one epic rally cry, and the #MarriageGoals set by Coach Taylor and his wife, Tami (Connie Britton).

"Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose," is a cultural catchphrase for a reason.

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"All American" combines sports with social justice issues for a new twist on the high school drama.

"All American" combines sports with social justice issues for a new twist on the high school drama.
"All American." Bill Inoshita /The CW

The CW's "All American" sticks with the sports theme of successful teen dramas like "One Tree Hill" that have come before it.

But if you like your teen angst with a side of social justice set in a bigger city, "All American" is for you. Showrunner Nkechi Okoro Carroll does not shy away from addressing the racism her characters face — both institutional and overt.

Since it premiered in 2018, the show has been a leader when it comes to portraying mental health issues and how diseases like addiction can affect your life.

Daniel Ezra also puts on a powerful performance as Spencer James. Plus, he does an impeccable American accent.

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"Beverly Hills, 90210" is the OG for a reason.

"Beverly Hills, 90210" is the OG for a reason.
"Beverly Hills, 90210" cast. Mikel Roberts/Getty images

Speaking of Beverly Hills, we can't leave the original teen drama off of our list of shows similar to "One Tree Hill" — "Beverly Hills, 90210."

The teen soap ran on Fox from 1990 to 2000. While it didn't feature sports too prominently, it did focus on the parental drama as much as the teen troubles. Mel and Jackie's divorce could go toe-to-toe with Karen, Dan, and Deb's history on "One Tree Hill."

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"The O.C." changed the teen drama genre forever.

"The O.C." changed the teen drama genre forever.
"The O.C." on Fox. Fox

Fox's mega-hit drama "The O.C." premiered in the summer of 2003 about a month before "One Tree Hill" made its debut on The WB.

There's no doubt "One Tree Hill" fans will find something to like in the slightly more gaudy world of "The O.C."

"One Tree Hill" actress Hilarie Burton even said "The O.C." forced their show to become sexier.

"All of a sudden everyone was getting notes from the networks like, 'Sex this up.' I was horrified," the actress told Us Weekly in 2018.

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So much drama went down in "Gossip Girl."

So much drama went down in "Gossip Girl."
Leighton Meester and Blake Lively in "Gossip Girl." The CW

In 2007, a few years after "One Tree Hill" began its run, a little show called "Gossip Girl" made its way onto a new network called The CW.

"Gossip Girl" follows wealthy Upper East Side high school students as they try to solve their problems under the watchful eye of a gossip blogger.

Just like later seasons of "One Tree Hill," the issues may not always be relatable, but the champagne problems are certainly juicy.

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"Cruel Summer" is a teen drama meets thriller.

"Cruel Summer" is a teen drama meets thriller.
"Cruel Summer" has parents that make us cringe, just like "One Tree Hill." Freeform/Bill Matlock

A new psychological thriller like Freeform's "Cruel Summer" (2021) might not seem like an obvious choice for "One Tree Hill" fans.

But we've been put through some psychological torture of our own in Tree Hill — like when Nanny Carrie (Torrey DeVitto) kidnapped Nathan and Haley's son or when the dog ate Dan Scott's (Paul Johansson) heart.

"Cruel Summer" portrays both psychological issues and teenage life more authentically than its predecessor. Hold on, it's a fun ride.

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"On My Block" strives to give an authentic look into teenage life.

"On My Block" strives to give an authentic look into teenage life.
"On My Block." Netflix

Since we're discussing authentically representing the teenage experience, look no further than Netflix's "On My Block."

First premiering in 2018, "On My Block" aims to show the struggles of public high schools in California, like the pressure to join and stay in a gang. It also has plenty of swoon-worthy relationships and can celebrate light-hearted moments, too.

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"The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers" will make you nostalgic for the '90s.

"The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers" will make you nostalgic for the '90s.
"Mighty Ducks: Game Changers." Disney Plus

If you still watch "One Tree Hill" in 2021, you're here for the nostalgia. So, look no further than Disney Plus's new original series "Mighty Ducks: Game Changers."

The target audience might be slightly younger than it is for a teen drama, but Emilio Estevez and Lauren Graham are the perfect pair to pay tribute to Estevez's classic "Mighty Ducks" movie trilogy.

Plus, the kids who revive everyone's favorite hockey team are worth rooting for.

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"Riverdale" is "One Tree Hill" in comic-book form.

"Riverdale" is "One Tree Hill" in comic-book form.
Camila Mendes and KJ Apa on season five of "Riverdale." The CW

Put the characters of "One Tree Hill" in a slightly surreal setting out of a comic book and you have one of The CW's ongoing hits — "Riverdale."

Time has not changed the network's depiction of teenagers as sex-obsessed. Plus, Betty (Lili Reinhart), Veronica (Camila Mendes), and Archie (KJ Apa) slightly mirror Peyton (Burton), Brooke (Sophia Bush), and Lucas (Chad Michael Murray) in the classic "best friends lust after the same guy" trope. Riverdale just adds a bit more mystery to it all.

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"Euphoria" is a wild ride.

"Euphoria" is a wild ride.
Zendaya as Rue in "Euphoria." HBO

HBO's "Euphoria" takes a look at the dark side of being a teenager, focusing on Rue Bennett's (Zendaya) struggle returning to East Highland high school after a stint in rehab.

"One Tree Hill" would never dare, but it walked so "Euphoria" could run. The controversial drama premiered its first season in 2019 to critical acclaim and gives its audience an in-depth look at the issues teenagers might face today that are still taboo to talk about.

Plus, there's even some football thrown into the mix.

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"Parenthood" takes a more in-depth look at family.

"Parenthood" takes a more in-depth look at family.
"Parenthood." NBC

We admit that "Parenthood" might seem like an unconventional choice for fans of "One Tree Hill," but NBC's hit family drama (which ended its six-season run in 2014) overlaps with "OTH" in some important ways.

On "Parenthood," we meet Sarah Braverman (Graham), a single mom struggling to raise two kids. She has more support, but she's not unlike Karen Roe (Moira Kelly) on "One Tree Hill."

And while the Bravermans may like each other more, fans of the Scott brothers on "One Tree Hill" will enjoy the sibling dynamics. After all, "OTH" is the story of two brothers learning how to get along.

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"Dawson's Creek" and "One Tree Hill" have something very important in common.

"Dawson's Creek" and "One Tree Hill" have something very important in common.
Katie Holmes and Joshua Jackson in "Dawson's Creek." The WB

We can't leave "Dawson's Creek" off this list. The teen drama — which launched Katie Holmes and Joshua Jackson into the Hollywood spotlight and aired from 1998 to 2003 — shares DNA with "One Tree Hill." Aside from launching on the WB, both were filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Dawson Leery (James Van Der Beek) is as pretentious about film as Lucas is about novels. Plus, we meet best friends who eventually get caught in a love triangle, messed up parents, and an unlikely hero who emerges from the lead character's shadow to make something of himself and win fans' hearts (Lafferty as Nathan in "OTH" and Jackson as Pacey in "Dawson's Creek").

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