10 Throwback Shows You Have to Catch Up On

"There's nothing good to watch!" said no one, after reading this.
by Dyan Zarzuela   |  May 19, 2016
Image: The CW
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  1. Gossip Girl

If you were too young to watch Gossip Girl when it first came out in 2007 (can you believe it was nine years ago?!), here's your chance to catch up on the outrageous adventures of Serena, Blair, and the rest of the Upper East Siders. Even after all these years, no one can do fashion, rule the school, or give us bestie goals quite like B & S (sorry not sorry, Chanel and Chanels). And who can forget the boys? We used to spend lunch breaks discussing who we'd rather be stuck on an island with: Chuck, Dan, or Nate? Back then, the world stopped whenever a new episode aired, but now you can binge-watch to your heart's desire!

  1. The O.C.

Californiaaa, Californiaaa, here we coooooome... The O.C. was as bright and sun-soaked as its storylines were dark and twisty. The OTP of Ryan and Marissa was the perfect storm of drama, romance, and life-or-death situations. In contrast was the too adorable Seth and Summer, a ship that took forever to really set sail, but when it finally did, we were rewarded with the cutest, most swoon-worthy moments. The show premiered 13 years ago (!!!), but to this day, Seth Cohen is the bar by which we compare our imaginary geeky boyfriends to.

  1. One Tree Hill

On the opposite coast of The O.C. was the fictional town of Tree Hill, home to half-brothers Lucas and Nathan, who are basketball rivals turned bros for life. One Tree Hill is one of the few shows that did justice and gave depth to the usual archetypes: Lucas and Nathan as the jocks, Peyton as the emo artist, Brooke as the queen bee, and Haley as the girl next door. "People always leave," as Peyton brokenly said—no one does pain better than this girl—but you can count on the Tree Hill gang to be there the minute you hit play. 

  1. Dawson's Creek

Before The O.C. and One Tree Hill, before our very own Tabing Ilog, before Dawson's crying face meme, there was Dawson's Creek. The show followed the small-town adventures of best friends/love triangle Dawson, Joey, and Pacey. We were with them from high school to college to a five-year flash forward finale that still ranks as one of the best and most divisive endings (depending on whether you were Team Pacey or Team Dawson) in TV history. 

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  1. Veronica Mars

If you like iZombie, you MUST watch its older sister Veronica Mars, the progressive, super quotable show about a teen detective, which was created by the same brains who came up with iZombie. The sheriff's daughter who used to roll with the "09er" (read: cool) crowd, Veronica became the town pariah after a series of unfortunate events. She makes lemonade out of lemons by forging her own path and working for the private investigation agency run by her ousted dad, which eventually leads to the very same people who shunned her knocking on her door to ask for help. The show ended in 2007, but there was constant clamor for more that resulted in a much-awaited, Kickstarter-funded movie in 2014.

  1. My So-Called Life

A baby-faced, pre-MET Cinderella Claire Danes broke out with this short-lived but well-loved show about 15-year-old Angela Chase. As the main narrator of the show, Angela gave us gems like, "Sometimes, someone says something really small and it just fits into this empty place in your heart." And: "My parents keep asking how school was. It's like saying, 'How was that drive-by shooting?' You don't care how it was—you're lucky to get out alive." Teenage angst at its best. The show was also not afraid to deal with sensitive topics, such as censorship, homophobia, and alcohol and drug abuse, which back in 1994 were much more controversial.

  1. Smallville

Before he took flight as Superman, Clark Kent was just a regular (...ish) boy living in the quaint town of Smallville. ("No tights, no flights" was the famous rule on set.) For 10 seasons, we followed Clark, his best friend Chloe Sullivan, his frenemy Lex Luthor, and the girl next door/love of Clark's life Lana Lang. Now how cool would it be to have one (or more!) of the cast members guest star on Supergirl?  

  1. Felicity

We first met Felicity at her high school graduation, where her crush Ben wrote a sweet message on her yearbook, saying he wishes they knew each other better. In an instant, Felicity decided to ditch her original college plans and follow Ben to New York—not very empowering but aren’t you already hooked? The good thing is that Felicity's NY adventure quickly turned into something bigger than Ben, although boys still played a big part in it!

  1. Gilmore Girls

We can't tell you how excited we are for the Netflix revival of the best mother-daughter show of all time. Gilmore Girls was known for its eccentric and lovable characters, all-too-real family drama, and lightning-quick, caffeine-fueled banter. ("Coffeecoffeecoffee!") When it ended its seven-season run in 2007, we were left wondering about Rory’s journalistic career, her mom Lorelai's future plans, and of course, who they'd end up with! The four-part Netflix special ought to give us some answers when it premieres this year.

  1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Welcome to Sunnydale, where high school is quite literally hell. Protecting the town from supernatural forces is Buffy Summers, the reluctant vampire slayer, and her friends a.k.a. the Scooby Gang a.k.a. the Scoobies. What sets the 1997 show apart from other teen supernatural shows, both past and current, is the sense of humor and irreverence by which the Scoobies defeat forces of evil. Buffy the Vampire Slayer embraces the campiness of the genre wholeheartedly, and is the first to laugh at its own bizarreness. They don't make shows like this anymore!

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About the author
Dyan Zarzuela
Council of Cool 9, Managing Editor, Columnist
Stalks celebrities, watches TV, marathons movies, curls up with books, and flails at concerts for a living. Also: semi-hardcore Whovian.