Netflix’s ‘Zero Chill‘ is an empathetic coming-of-age drama created by Kirstie Falkous and John Regier. It follows two 15-year-old twins, both blessed with oodles of talent, as they both work towards achieving their individual sporting dreams. Protagonist Kayla Macbentley is a highly accomplished figure skater. Her dreams and ambitions are frustratingly put aside, when her parents decide to drop everything and move to England from Canada, to support her brother Mac’s ice-hockey scholarship.
The 10-episode season follows the trials and tribulations of teenage angst and hopes while navigating the tricky space of enmeshed family structures. It deals with the resentment often experienced by young children whose parents move cities or countries for a particular reason, leaving the child with the hard task of putting their life back together again. There is also the rivalry, tension, and jealousy that siblings often experience when they feel that their parents pick favorites. If you liked this series, you are sure to enjoy our curated list of similar TV shows. You can watch most of these shows like ‘Zero Chill’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
6. Degrassi: Next Class (2016-17)
The sequel to ‘Degrassi: Next Generation’ and the final chapter in the Degrassi franchise, ‘Degrassi: Next Class’ is a Canadian teenage drama. Starring Amanda Arcuri, Amir Bageria, Soma Bhatia, the show follows a group of students from Degrassi Community School in Toronto as they deal with familiar and complicated teenage problems of race, sex, religion, and social media. ‘Degrassi: Next Class’ is thoughtfully written and crafted. The journey to adulthood is fraught with tensions and obstacles, which are empathetically portrayed in the final installment of the franchise on Netflix.
5. Spinning Out (2020)
Kaya Scodelario (‘Skins’, ‘Maze Runner’ franchise) stars as Kat Baker, a figure skater who suffers a crippling injury, in Netflix’s ‘Spinning Out‘. A coming-of-age family drama created by Samantha Stratton (a former competitive ice-skater herself), ‘Spinning Out’ details the emotional turmoil and psychological scars that Olympics aspiring athletes face in an uber-competitive world. Kat suffers a brutal and scarring skull injury while figure-skating, which is coupled with generational poverty, an abusive bi-polar mother, and a history of mental illness in the family. The show details her struggles and her ability to redeem herself with the only chance she gets, all while battling her inner demons and her mother.
4. Trinkets (2019-2020)
Based on Kirsten Smith’s novel of the same name, ‘Trinkets‘ is a teenage drama about three friends united in their love for shoplifting. The show centers itself around how friends (who meet at Shoplifters Anonymous), coming from the most disparate backgrounds, can help each other and heal together. They’re careful to keep their friendship at school a secret, while coming alive outside, especially in department stores. It is a sensitive portrayal of addiction, especially amongst younger women, who reclaim agency in a harsh world through these possessions.
3. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018-2020)
Kiernan Shipka (notably of ‘Mad Men’ fame) stars as Sabrina Spellman, a half-witch, who lives with her two witch aunts – Hilda and Zelda Spellman. ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina‘ is a supernatural horror series – a slightly darker take on the Archie comic books series ‘Sabrina: The Teenage Witch’, but is based in the same universe as the comics. With elements of regular teen problems and issues at her high-school with the other “mortals,” the magical world of Sabrina has a serious undertone with the forces of evil that confront the young witch in her battle against supernatural darkness (with a legacy of wickedness in her own family).
2. The Society (2019)
‘The Society‘ is a mature teenage drama with an exciting premise based in West Ham, Connecticut. Young adults, who are shipped out of town by their parents for a week, suddenly return to find everyone gone, and all possible exits and routes out of town completely blocked. It develops into a fascinating insight into power, greed, and human behavior when all communication and transport lines are taken away. The teenagers suddenly find themselves in a world where they make the hierarchy, decide the rules, and survive with meager resources. ‘The Society‘ is well-written and packs great performances from its understated ensemble cast.
1. Euphoria (2019-)
HBO’s ‘Euphoria‘ follows troubled and depressed teen Rue, recently out of rehab after a life-threatening episode with drugs goes south. She is the eldest of two sisters, brought up by a single mother. An introvert, she keeps her distance from other high-schoolers, who are fraught with complicated tensions in their lives. A lot of this has to do with the pressures of modern tweendom, including sex, social media, body image issues, internet anonymity, and bullying. Along the way, she meets Jules, a transgender girl who changes her life and brings her out of her reverie. ‘Euphoria’ is well-written, dealing with the reality of growing up and truly coming of age in the modern day.
Read More: Is Zero Chill Based on a True Story?