I have a not-so-secret secret: I love teen TV. Always have. I love it so much I once wrote a post about it for Gawker, which was a glorious day. (It was Gawker.tv at the time, so it made a lot more sense that they’d let me do that.) It’s some of the most fun, drama-filled, soap-tastic stuff on the airwaves. And you know what else?
It’s definitely helped make me a better YA writer.
Sure, a lot of it is trashy, and massively unrealistic, but even while the storylines read faker than blond Lindsay Lohan, a lot of the smaller stuff that gets through is what really matters. And yeah, maybe at times it can be a bit ridiculous, but if you pull out one storyline – just one subplot – you might be able to take something tiny in the grand scheme of a primetime drama and make it the center of your characters’ world.
To that end, here are a few shows, past and present, that I recommend watching for YA inspiration: