Geek Girl: 10 Similar Coming-of-Age Shows Worth Watching

‘Geek Girl’ is a captivating British-Canadian ten-part series on Netflix, directed by Declan O’Dwyer and based on Holly Smale’s 2013 young adult novel. Starring Emily Carey, Emmanuel Imani, Sarah Parish, and Liam Woodrum, the show follows the journey of Harriet Manners, an awkward, neurodivergent teenager. Harriet’s life takes an unexpected turn when she is discovered by a modeling agent during a school trip. As a student at Hollybridge Secondary School, she grapples with bullying and social challenges, only to find herself suddenly thrust into the glamorous yet demanding world of fashion.

Her sudden rise to fame creates tension with her best friend Nat and rivalry with established model Poppy Hepple-Cartwright. With the support of her father, Richard, stepmother, Annabel, and geeky classmate Toby, Harriet endures high school and high fashion, embarking on a journey of self-discovery. If you’re drawn to stories about neurodivergent individuals navigating the trials of adolescence, social dynamics, and the clash between personal identity and public image, explore these 10 shows like ‘Geek Girl.’

10. Heartbreak High (2022-)

Heartbreak High,’ created by Hannah Carroll Chapman for Netflix, is a comedy-drama series that reboots the 1994 show originally aired on Network Ten. Similar to ‘Geek Girl,’ it explores the tumultuous world of adolescence, focusing on the students and teachers of Hartley High as they deal with racial tensions, high school romances, and various teen struggles. The ensemble cast, including Ayesha Madon, Thomas Weatherall, and Bryn Chapman Parish, brings to life the diverse challenges and dynamics of high school life. Both series look into the complexities of personal identity, social challenges, and the journey of self-discovery during the formative teenage years.

9. The Sex Lives of College Girls (2021-)

Created by Mindy Kaling and Justin Noble, ‘The Sex Lives of College Girls‘ is a comedy-drama series on HBO Max. It follows four college roommates—Kimberly, Bela, Leighton, and Whitney—circling the ups and downs of college life at Essex College. Starring Pauline Chalamet, Amrit Kaur, Reneé Rapp, and Alyah Chanelle Scott, the series explores themes of friendship, sexuality, and personal growth. Similar to ‘Geek Girl,’ it taps into the layers of self-discovery and social dynamics during formative years, as both sets of characters deal with new environments, relationships, and the challenges of balancing wants and needs.

8. iCarly (2021-2023)

The revival of ‘iCarly‘ came from Dan Schneider once again as an endearing blast from the past. Starring Miranda Cosgrove, Jerry Trainor, and Nathan Kress, who reprise their roles as Carly, Spencer, and Freddie, the show follows Carly Shay as she navigates adulthood and revives her popular web show, dealing with modern challenges and social media dynamics. Similar to ‘Geek Girl,’ ‘iCarly‘ explores the journey of self-discovery and the impact of newfound fame. Both series depict the struggles of balancing personal identity with public personas and the evolving relationships within their supportive yet complex social circles.

7. Emily in Paris (2020-)

In the romantic comedy-drama ‘Emily in Paris,’ created by Darren Star, Lily Collins stars as Emily Cooper, a young marketing executive from Chicago who unexpectedly finds herself  in the high-stakes world of Parisian fashion. As Emily adjusts to life in the bustling French city, she copes with cultural differences, workplace challenges, and romantic entanglements. With its vibrant setting and whimsical storyline, ‘Emily in Paris’ offers a delightful escape into the glamorous yet chaotic world of fashion and romance. Similarly, ‘Geek Girl’ follows a young protagonist’s journey in a new and unfamiliar environment, albeit in the realm of high school rather than haute couture. Both series explore themes of identity, ambition, and the pursuit of dreams amidst the backdrop of vibrant urban settings.

6. True Jackson, VP (2008-2011)

In the Nickelodeon comedy series ‘True Jackson, VP,’ created by Andy Gordon, Keke Palmer stars as True Jackson, a teenager who lands her dream job as the Vice President of a major fashion label’s youth division. As True maps the challenges of balancing her newfound career with high school life, she learns valuable lessons about friendship, responsibility, and staying true to herself. Set in the fast-paced world of fashion, the show offers a lighthearted yet insightful exploration of ambition and identity. Likewise, ‘Geek Girl’ charts the path of a teenage protagonist on a quest for self-discovery; both shows encapsulate the spirit of youth and the chase for aspirations, striking a chord with viewers through their authentic characters and quirky narratives.

5. As We See It (2022)

As We See It,’ a comedy-drama series created by Jason Katims, shares common ground with ‘Geek Girl’ through its portrayal of diverse characters trying to survive the battles of young adulthood. Featuring Rick Glassman, Albert Rutecki, and Sue Ann Pien, the show centers on roommates Jack, Harrison, and Violet, all in their 20s and on the autism spectrum, as they tackle the challenges of finding employment, forming friendships, and experiencing love. While ‘Geek Girl’ explores the journey of a neurodivergent teenager, both series highlight the universal themes of self-discovery, acceptance, and the pursuit of happiness.

4. Atypical (2017–2021)

Atypical‘ and ‘Geek Girl’ intersect in their exploration of identity amidst the complexities of adolescence. ‘Atypical,’ created by Robia Rashid, centers on Sam Gardner, a high school student on the autism spectrum, as he enlists for the trials of young adulthood. Both shows plunge into the challenges of self-discovery, relationships, and societal expectations, resonating with audiences through their authentic portrayal of characters striving to find their place in the world. Starring Keir Gilchrist, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Brigette Lundy-Paine, ‘Atypical’ offers a heartfelt exploration of neurodiversity and family dynamics.

3. Never Have I Ever (2020-2023)

‘Never Have I Ever’ mirrors ‘Geek Girl’ in its scope and depiction of unspoken struggles and teenage hardships. Both shows revolve around high school life, where the protagonist is having an identity crisis against the backdrop of societal expectations. Through authentic characters and engaging plotlines, both series offer insightful and often humorous portrayals of the teenage experience, resonating with viewers through their genuine depiction of the triumphs and tribulations of coming of age. Created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher, ‘Never Have I Ever’ follows Devi Vishwakumar, a first-generation Indian American teenager, as she sets out to climb the mountain of high school while also dealing with the problems of family dynamics and cultural identity. Starring Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Poorna Jagannathan, and Richa Moorjani, the show presents a heartfelt and comedic exploration of adolescence and the pursuit of self-discovery.

2. Sonny with a Chance (2009-2011)

In ‘Sonny with a Chance,’ the protagonist’s journey shares an unmissable resemblance with that of ‘Geek Girl’ as they both unfold around the unforeseen challenges of newfound fame. While ‘Geek Girl’ pinpoints a neurodivergent teenager thrust into the world of modeling, ‘Sonny with a Chance’ follows Sonny Munroe, a teenage girl who unexpectedly lands a role on a popular sketch comedy show. Both protagonists grapple with the pressures of fame, balancing their personal lives with the demands of their careers. Created by Steve Marmel and Michael Feldman, ‘Sonny with a Chance’ revolves around Sonny Munroe, a teenage girl who joins the cast of a popular sketch comedy show. Starring Demi Lovato, Sterling Knight, and Tiffany Thornton, the series provides a lighthearted and comedic exploration of self-discovery within the context of the entertainment industry.

1. We Are Lady Parts (2021-)

For fans of ‘Geek Girl,’ ‘We Are Lady Parts‘ offers a refreshing and dynamic tale that celebrates diversity and empowerment. Created by Nida Manzoor, the series follows an all-female Muslim punk band as they tread the music scene while dealing with love, friendship, and cultural expectations. With its vibrant characters and irreverent humor, ‘We Are Lady Parts‘ resonates with audiences through its unapologetic portrayal of individuality and creative expression. Starring Anjana Vasan, Sarah Kameela Impey, and Juliette Motamed, the show provides a captivating and empowering exploration of identity, making it a must-watch for anyone seeking something cut from the same cloth of ‘Geek Girl.’

Read More: What is The True Story Behind Geek Girl?