A week of cryptic Facebook statuses and BuzzFeed articles are sure to follow any Game of Thrones episode. Live-tweeting Scandal is just shy of becoming modern ritual. But spend the evening binge-watching seasons of Greek alone on your Netflix queue, and you may as well purge your web history and pretend it was your little sister. You didn’t mean it. You didn’t know.
There are certain TV shows considered acceptable — even encouraged — platforms for open discussion. None of these fall on that list.
After sadly accepting the reality that our high school was void of crazy attractive classmates, hot English teachers, and Project X level parties, most of us were content to accept what would be years of basement parties and water bottles of alcohol to come. Dramatic tween programming had lost its shiny skinny-jeaned luster. Bored and disillusioned we moved on. Some of us switched to Twin Peaks and Freaks and Geeks, while others found HBO, Starz, or AMC if you were hip. But there are those of us who only pretended, those who waited for the cloak of night and the cover of shame, because we know that there are some “bad” shows that are too good to give up on.
The Vampire Diaries (The CW)
The late 2000’s was a period marked by High School Musicals, pre-twerk Miley, and the return of a post-breakdown Britney Spears. It also marked the rise of Twilight-fueled vampire mania. With franchises, spoofs, and the final season of True Blood behind us, TVD remains the last lingering remnant of Hot Topic fangirl age. Teenage vampires continue to be more attractive than anyone we’ll ever know, and they take five far-fetched seasons to graduate from high school. No one is complaining.
Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family)
So you’ve missed a few episodes and you don’t understand anything that’s going on. Welcome to the (18 and under) club. At this point, there are so many PLL twists and turns it would seem foolish not to suspect the show runners of trolling us. Four years and more than a few impossibly trendy outfits later, we still have no idea know who’s dead, who’s double-crossing, and certainly not who’s A
Teen Wolf (MTV)
Much in the spirit of PLL, the narrative of Teen Wolf is a long and complicated, particularly annoying one. No one actually understands what anything means or what’s going on, but the cast is so insanely attractive, none of us seem to hold anything against them.
Supernatural (The CW)
Supernatural’s naturally included on this list simply by virtue, since it airs on the CW. The same network that previously hooked us on Dawson’s Creek, brings us two brothers who hunt demons across the country in a beat up ‘62 Impala. It’s a perfectly respectable show for the older crowd, but awkward sexual tension and an imaginative Tumblr fan base would have you convinced otherwise — there’s a reason the show’s going on 10 seasons.
Gossip Girl (ABC Family)
By no stretch of the imagination was Gossip Girl ever meant to speak to teenagers on a relateable or emotional level. The drama was endless, the relationships beyond dysfunctional, and even the “normal” characters never had issues getting carded. Despite officially being older than these fictional Upper Eastsiders, we’re still content to get lost in the designer drama while throwing back Solo cups of boxed wine.
Wait until your roommates are passed out and the lights are low and watch these shows with us — or don’t. We swear we can keep a secret.