It’s great to see youth gaining more recognition on TV. Not only does this shift offer entertainment for youth, but in some instances youth are able to relate to these characters on screen. Aside from this, these shows teach youth valuable life lessons with new, interesting and catchy storylines, some shows even showcase talented youth around the world.
Here’s our pick of TV shows youth should be watching.
Grownish: Yara Shahidi stars in the lead role as Zoey, alongside Francia Raisa, Emily Arlook, Luka Sabbat and others, "Grown-ish" is a spin-off from BET’s Black-ish. Zoey is a young, sweet, fun, pretty, quirky, a bit naive but most of all relatable and whose navigating through true-life teenage problems. There are two seasons thus far, the first shows Zoey enters campus as a freshman, trying to make new friends, it goes on to them indulging in drugs, alcohol, parties, missing lectures, being peer pressured, protesting for what they believe in, finding love, losing love, befriending gays, lesbians, asexuals and liberals and learning from mistakes all while trying to earn a degree. The show also has bold and unfiltered conversations. Each episode deals with a new issue in a tasteful and educational way.
When They See Us: This four part series on Netflix is based on a true story of five black teenagers from Harlem who were labeled the Central Park Five, who were convicted of a rape they did not commit. Starring Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise. The show begins in 1989, when the teenagers were first questioned about the incident, it then spans 25 years, highlighting their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement reached with the city of New York in 2014.
The Girl from St Agnes: This eight episode local show on Showmax revolves around the mysterious death of a pupil at a boarding school in the Midlands. The series picks up on lies, deceit, bullying and cover ups. The gripping murder mystery also sees an investigation into toxic masculinity, where it comes from and how it’s enforced. It’s about a history of violence that is taught within families and school environments. The show is real and deals with real life issues that happen in schools, but more so private schools. The show weave these issues into an entertaining storyline, making it not only accessible for a much wider audience, but also more digestible. It’s relevant. It’s topical. It’s gripping.
Little Big Shots: This show is a talent competition for kids. From tiny dancers and small singers to mini martial arts experts, they perform jaw-dropping talents and astounding feats. The show was previously hosted by Steve Harvey for three seasons, but Melissa McCarthy has taken over as host of the unscripted series for the upcoming fourth season. These kids defy the odds, reject stereotypes and conquer their dreams and watching it makes kids feel uplifted, motivated and ready to take on the world.
Stranger Things: Season one kicks of in Indiana 1983, where a young boy vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl. The second season, a year later, the community is still reeling from the horrors in season one. And in the third season, it’s 1985 and summer is heating up. School’s out, there’s a brand new mall in town, and the once kids are on the cusp of adulthood. Romance blossoms and complicates the group’s dynamic, and they’ll have to figure out how to grow up without growing apart. Meanwhile, danger looms. When the town’s threatened by enemies old and new. Now they’ll have to band together to survive, and remember that friendship is always stronger than fear. The show streams on Netfllix.