Only in its first season now, and just recently renewed for a second, MTV’s Awkward. is one of the most unexpectedly honest series about high school we’ve seen in years. Sure, we all like to gape at the impossibly glamorous teen dramas dreamt up by Josh Schwartz, of The O.C. and Gossip Girl fame. But in real life, high school is raw and uncomfortable and histrionically mundane, and it takes an exceptionally perceptive program to get at the mood of those terrible and wonderful years. In celebration of Awkward., we’ve rounded up the TV shows we think best capture the high school experience.
One of the most believable portrayals of what’s inside a high schooler’s head, Daria understands the out-of-body experience of walking down a high school hallway. On the cusp of self-discovery but stuck in the equally foreign domains of school and her parents’ home, Daria feels like an extra in her own life story. She doesn’t care about what her mindless classmates are obsessed with this week, nor is she entirely sure what it is that she does care about. She’s figuring it out — and there’s nothing more awkward than that.