A particular category of film and television that seems to be thriving this year? Content about teens! Join Wonderwall.com as we take a look at 20 teen-focused television shows and movies from 2020 that you can stream… starting with the latest project created by Mindy Kaling, "Never Have I Ever." Canadian breakout star Maitreyi Ramakrishnan stars as Devi, a California teen who, with the help of her two best friends, Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez) and Eleanor (Ramona Wong), tries to regain a sense of normalcy in high school after the tragic death of her father. From struggling to address her suppressed grief in therapy to butting heads with her overbearing mother on a near-daily basis to trying to get the hottest guy in school (Darren Barnet) to notice her, Devi's sophomore year is far from simple. "Never Have I Ever" marks the latest collaborative effort between Mindy and screenwriter-producer Lang Fisher, who previously worked together on "The Mindy Project." The first season is available to stream on Netflix. Keep reading for more…
Given the incredible success of the first installment, it's no surprise that we received a second film less than two years later! In "To All the Boys I've Loved Before: P.S. I Still Love You," Lana Condor reprises her role as endearing and hopeless romantic Lara Jean. Finally in a steady relationship with high school heartthrob Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo), LJ feels like everything is falling into place — but when John Ambrose McClaren (Jordan Fisher), her former crush from Model UN, re-enters her life, old feelings begin to resurface. Coupled with a surprising and shady revelation about Peter and his ex-girlfriend Gen (Emilija Baranac), LJ seems ready as ever to move onto someone new… but letting go of Peter proves to be far easier said than done. It's a must watch for fans of the first film in the franchise, and Jordan Fisher's charming portrayal of John will have you questioning your allegiance to Peter. Watch it on Netflix.
Set in the same world as the 2018 film "Love, Simon," "Love, Victor" follows Victor Salazar (Michael Cimino) as he acclimates to a new high school and town after his family moves from Texas to Atlanta. Victor, who desperately wants to be his authentic self, sees the move as an opportunity to finally begin to live his truth — to be open about his sexuality — but he instead remains quiet in an effort to better fit in. The coming-of-age series, which is available to stream on Hulu, revolves around Victor's struggle for self-acceptance.
"The Half of It" stars Leah Lewis as Ellie Chiu, a bookish, introverted teen who agrees to help Paul Munsky (Daniel Diemer), a kind but inarticulate jock, impress longtime crush Aster Flores (Alexxis Lemire) by writing her eloquent love letters. All seems well until we realize that Paul isn't the only one who has a crush on Aster… Ellie does too! What results is a messy, complicated love triangle that appears destined for heartbreak. "The Half of It" is a standout film in 2020 because of its inclusivity. Not only does the coming-of-age drama star an Asian American woman, but the lead character is also a queer woman of color. It's available to stream on Netflix.
Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Sally Rooney, "Normal People" chronicles the relationship between Marianne Sheridan (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell Waldron (Paul Mescal) from their last days in high school through their college years. Praised for its writing, acting and exploration of mature topics, the series has been met with critical acclaim and award nominations including four Emmy nods (for writing, directing and casting plus acting for Paul). Vulnerable, nuanced and beautifully conveyed, "Normal People" does its source material incredible justice. The series is available to stream on Hulu.
Based on the comic book by Charles Forsman of the same name, "I Am Not Okay with This" stars Sophia Lillis as Sid Novak, a teen who inexplicably possesses telekinetic powers. Sid tries to navigate high school, her home life and her personal life to the best of her ability — all while coming to terms with her newly discovered talent. The first season of the coming-of-age comedy, which is available to stream on Netflix, has been praised for its honest and awkward depiction of adolescence.
Another teen romantic comedy sequel is "The Kissing Booth 2," which chronicles Elle Evans' (Joey King) senior year of high school as she and college beau Noah Flynn (Jacob Elordi) navigate a long-distance relationship. With Noah studying in Boston and Elle on the cusp of finishing her senior year, the future looks bright for the young couple — but as Noah continues to develop new relationships and Elle befriends Marco (Taylor Zakhar Perez), the charming new kid in school, their once solid relationship starts to come undone. As Elle and Noah begin to drift, she inevitably grows closer to Marco, who agrees to be her dance partner for an upcoming contest. Can Elle salvage her relationship with Noah? Or is Marco just the guy she's been looking for? Just like the first installment, "The Kissing Booth 2" — which is available to stream on Netflix — offers up some over-saturated, summery fun. Also, the dance sequences are even more mesmerizing this time around.
Millennials were delighted to hear that this popular '90s book series was getting the Hollywood treatment! Netflix's "The Baby-Sitter's Club" stars newcomers Sophia Grace, Momona Tamada, Shay Rudolph and Malia Baker as four friends who decide to open a babysitting business in their hometown of Stoneybrook, Connecticut. Regarded by critics as adorable, sincere and incredibly charming, the coming-of-age show has been praised for its earnest depiction of a multicultural group of middle schoolers. Bringing in a contemporary feel while still maintaining the nostalgia of its source material, the series is enjoyable for viewers of all ages.
Led by breakout star Chase Stokes, "Outer Banks" follows teenager John B and his three best friends — Kiara (Madison Bailey), JJ (Rudy Pankow) and Pope (Jonathan Daviss) — as they attempt to track down a sought-after treasure that's mysteriously linked to the disappearance of John's father. Filled with twisted revelations and constant adventure, the summery teen drama makes for an addictive addition to your watchlist — consider yourself warned. The first season is available to stream on Netflix.
While "All the Bright Places" might seem like your typical teen romantic drama, that's far from the case. Elle Fanning stars as Violet Markey, a teen who struggles to regain her footing after tragically losing her older sister in a car accident. While begrudgingly going through the motions of high school, she befriends social outcast Theodore Finch (Justice Smith), with whom she partners on an assignment. Their friendship soon blossoms into a romance, and through relying on one another, they're temporarily able to quell their fears of the unknown and the pain of their pasts. "All the Bright Places" depicts mental illness among teens in a way that feels raw and humanistic, which distinguishes it as a standout among projects that have tried to tackle the delicate subject matter. It's currently available to stream on Netflix.
"Cursed," which stars former "13 Reasons Why" actress Katherine Langford, reimagines the Arthurian legend of Nimue, a heroine who's destined to become the Lady of the Lake and protect her people from extinction. The Netflix fantasy series, which debuted on the streaming platform in July 2020, has received praise for its strong performances and well-crafted storylines.
Created by "Skate Kitchen" filmmaker Crystal Moselle, "Betty" chronicles a group of teenage girls who attempt to make their mark in the male-dominated realm of skateboarding in New York City. Led by Dede Lovelace, Moonbear, Nina Moran, Ajani Russell and Rachelle Vinberg, "Betty" has received critical acclaim for capturing the spirit of skate culture. The teen comedy series, which was renewed for a second season in June 2020, is available to watch on HBO.
"Control Z" is a Mexican teen drama that revolves around a group of teens whose lives are turned upside down when a hacker begins revealing their deepest secrets to the entire school. Desperate to put a stop to the leak before her own information is disclosed, social outcast and hacker Sofía Herrera (Ana Valeria Becerril) works to uncover the identity of the person behind the cyber attacks. The Netflix series, which was renewed for a second season in May 2020, also co-stars Michael Ronda, Yankel Stevan and Zion Moreno.
The movie "Onward," which features lead characters voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, follows teenage brothers Ian and Barley as they set off on a magical journey in an effort to spend one last day with their late father. Heartwarming, affecting and visually stunning, the Disney-Pixar effort received praise for its poignant and original premise. With earnings of $110.4 million worldwide, "Onward" — which is available to stream on Disney+ — is the seventh highest grossing film of 2020.
"Locke & Key," which is based on the comic book series of the same name by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez, revolves around siblings Tyler, Kinsey and Bode, who move into Keyhouse, a magical, realm-bending home after their father is murdered. After discovering a mystifying set of keys that unlocks several doors throughout the house, they soon realize that they aren't the only ones aware of the keys' powers. Led by Connor Jessup, Emilia Jones and Jackson Robert Scott, the supernatural teen drama received praise for its depiction of loss and grief and its ability to capture the spooky tone of its source material. The series, which was renewed for a second season in March 2020, can be streamed on Netflix.
What happens when you run into someone at a party who you believe is your sister who was abducted at birth? Netflix's "Blood & Water" explores the complexities of this twisted dilemma. Starring Ama Qamata, the South African teen drama revolves around Puleng Khumalo, a teen who investigates the disappearance of her sister in conjunction with a human trafficking network. As she digs deeper into the mystery, she comes to realize that her sibling's alarming disappearance isn't the only thing her family has kept hidden. "Blood & Water" was renewed for a second season in June 2020.
"Ashley Garcia: Genius in Love" starring Paulina Chávez revolves around an aspiring rocket scientist and robotics engineer who moves in with her uncle (Jencarlos Canela), a high school football coach, after receiving the chance to work at NASA. The Netflix teen comedy series, which was co-created by Mario Lopez, hit the streaming platform in February 2020.
Alba Baptista stars as Ava Silva on Netflix's "Warrior Nun," a fantasy-drama series about a young girl who, after waking up in a morgue, realizes she suddenly has superpowers. Now a member of the Earth-based demon-fighting collective Order of the Cruciform, Ava finds herself torn between good and evil as forces on both sides fight to recruit her as one of their own. The series marks Portuguese-Brazilian actress Alba's English-language debut.
"Love 101" is a Turkish drama that revolves around a group of misfit students who, after finding out that their favorite teacher and confidant Burcu (Pinar Deniz) plans to leave Istanbul, do everything in their power to convince her to stay. Their chosen course of action? To help Burcu find love! As the teens band together to assist Burcu's love life, they learn more about themselves in the process. All eight episodes of the first season, which hit Netflix in April 2020, are available to watch on the streaming platform.
"Utopia Falls" revolves around a group of teens who, upon being picked to compete in a performing arts competition, come across an ancient hidden archive of cultural relics that leaves them contemplating life as they know it. The Canadian sci-fi series features an ensemble cast that includes Robyn Alomar (pictured), Ariel Julien, Robbie Graham-Kuntz and Phillip Lewitski. "Utopia Falls" is available to watch on Hulu.