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11 shows Gen Z missed out on that millennials were obsessed with

11 shows Gen Z missed out on that millennials were obsessed with
  • Between the '90s and the 2010s, millennials loved shows like "Sister, Sister" and "Moesha."

  • Shows like "How I Met Your Mother" and "Gossip Girl" were so popular they got remakes and spinoffs.

  • Here are the shows that millennials loved growing up.

There is a constant argument on social media about which generation had the best TV shows.

For millennials, shows like "Sister, Sister" and "Gossip Girl" were key to their pre-teen and teenage years.

A millennial is defined as someone born between 1981 and 1996, according to the Pew Research Center, while members of Gen Z were born after 1997.

That range means that some millennials loved shows that came out in the mid-'90s, while others enjoyed shows that premiered in the 2010s. But what these shows all have in common is that they came out before Gen Z could appreciate them at the time of their release.

Now, Gen Z can watch most of these shows — and try to imagine life with a flip phone — by streaming them.

Keep scrolling to read the list of shows millennials were crazy about when they first aired.

"Sister, Sister"

sister sister
"Sister, Sister."ABC

Tia and Tamera Mowry are real-life twins who play Tia and Tamera Landry, twins separated at birth and adopted by different parents. After years apart, the teenage girls bump into each other while shopping at the mall. Once the families meet, Tamera's father allows Tia and her mother to move in with them so the girls can grow up together. Tia and Tamera navigate the challenges identical twins face of differentiating their personalities and identities.

The six-season series, which aired from 1994 to 1999, is coming up on its 30th anniversary this year.

"'Sister, Sister' stood out among other '90s shows with its underrepresented family dynamic, bringing important morals and strong family values to the forefront," wrote Rachel Salveta of Collider. "The show features strong female characters like Tia and Tamera, who promote natural beauty and intelligence, while dealing with relatable teenage issues. 'Sister, Sister 'showcases the innocence and wholesomeness of the '90s, tackling relatable themes such as peer pressure, family feuds, and struggles with identity, without being preachy."

Streaming is available on Hulu.

"Moesha"

moesha
"Moesha."UPN

"Moesha," which aired for six seasons from 1996 to 2001, is the story of Moesha Mitchell, portrayed by singer-songwriter Brandy Norwood as a teenager balancing school, friendship, and romantic relationships. She must also take up the task of adjusting to a new stepmother.

This show charting the ups and downs of teenage life was hilarious but didn't shy away from important topics, and was a precursor to other Black coming-of-age shows like "That's So Raven."

Moesha is available for streaming on Paramount+, Amazon Prime Video, and Pluto.

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer"

Buffy and Angel in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
Buffy and Angel in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."The WB

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" had its grip on millennials throughout its seven-season run from 1997 to 2003.

Sarah Michelle Gellar played Buffy Summers in the show, which was based on the 1992 movie starring Kristy Swanson. As a slayer, Buffy must seek out and destroy vampires, demons, and other forces of darkness. Every day is a constant battle since Sunnydale, her hometown, sits above a gateway to the realm of the demons, and she relies on the help of her friends, including Willow, Xander, and Cordelia, to fight them.

There have recently been reports of a reboot. Dolly Parton, an uncredited producer on the series and the 1992 movie, told Business Insider in January, "They're still working on that. They're thinking about bringing it back and revamping it."

To catch Buffy defeating the darkness, streaming is available on Hulu.

"Lizzie McGuire"

lizzie mcguire
"Lizzie McGuire"Disney Channel

Between 2001 and 2004, Hilary Duff starred in "Lizzie McGuire" as Lizzie McGuire, a 13-year-old girl going through the woes of middle school with her two best friends.

Duff's character navigates the typical mean girl battles, popularity contests, and hormonal crushes that every middle schooler must face. The show is upbeat and funny, with non-traditional confessionals in every episode from her animated alter ego, who always speaks her mind.

The show was such a success that Lizzie and her alter ego got a chapter-book series and a spin-off movie, "The Lizzie McGuire Movie."

"Since ''Lizzie McGuire'' made its debut in January 2001, it seems that many viewers have been smitten. The series has generated one of the biggest new Walt Disney Company brands in years -- one that has already spawned successful lines of Lizzie clothing and merchandise," wrote Laura M. Holson for The New York Times in 2002.

"Lizzie McGuire" is available for streaming on Disney+.

"One Tree Hill"

"One Tree Hill" skipped ahead four years at the beginning of season five.
"One Tree Hill" skipped ahead four years at the beginning of season five.Warner Bros. Television

"One Tree Hill," which originally aired between 2003 and 2012, is a nine-season series about half-brothers Lucas and Nathan Scott, sons of local basketball legend Dan Scott.

Both boys have a knack for their father's game, but only Nathan's skills came from their father's nurturing: Lucas was raised by his single mother, Karen Roe, who was Dan's high school sweetheart whom he left behind when he went to college on a basketball scholarship.

The fictional town of Tree Hill, North Carolina, proves to be big enough for both brothers despite their family drama and romantic relationship crossovers.

The series starred one of Disney's original '00s teen heartthrobs, Chad Michael Murray, as Lucas Scott, and James Lafferty as Nathan Scott. In addition, the show stars Sophia Bush, Bethany Joy Lenz, and Hilarie Burton.

"I don't know what it is about the insanity that went down on 'One Tree Hill' (we're talking dogs eating hearts meant for transplants, brothers killing brothers, and more stalkers, kidnapping and shootings that I could keep straight) that kept me begging for more," wrote Lauren Brown of Glamour in 2012.

"One Tree Hill" can be streamed on Hulu.

"Zoey 101"

zoey 101 nicole
Alexa Nikolas on "Zoey 101."Nickelodeon

"Zoey 101" is the story of Zoey Brooks, played by Jamie Lynn Spears, who moves to a new boarding school in Malibu. The Pacific Coast Academy was originally a boys-only school, but now it's accepting girls, and Zoey is there to make her mark. Her little brother Dustin already attended PCA, and with the addition of girls, romance begins to bud across campus. The show provides a unique look into boarding school life and the fun that teenagers can get into.

The show, which came out in 2005 and ended in 2008, "is remembered fondly by a certain slice of Nickelodeon-raised late millennials," Adrian Horton wrote for The Guardian when a reunion movie, "Zoey 102," was released in 2023.

If you like to watch this five-season sitcom now, you can find it on Netflix and Paramount+.

"How I Met Your Mother"

how i met your mother
"How I Met Your Mother."CBS

"How I Met Your Mother" depicts a group of friends figuring out life through their 20s and early 30s.

In the show, a father is telling his children how he met their mother, but the story starts well before his first encounter with her. Instead, he shares stories about his many adventures with his best friends leading up to meeting his wife.

"The fact that 'How I Met Your Mother' hasn't introduced the mother of Ted Mosby's kids after six and a half seasons is a good indication that the show is not, in fact, about the way Ted met their mother," said Linda Holmes of NPR in 2011.

Although the show aired from 2005 to 2014, a spinoff with a Gen-Z twist, "How I Met Your Father," starring Hilary Duff, recently aired. But after two seasons the series was canceled.

The original show is available for streaming on Hulu.

"Gossip Girl"

Gossip Girl
"Gossip Girl."CW

"Gossip Girl here, your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan's elite," rang out on TV screens from 2007 to 2012.

In the show, Gossip Girl, an anonymous blogger, documents the lives of high schoolers at an exclusive prep school in the Upper East Side — this gossip blog is basically TMZ for teens and relies on text-messaged tips on scandals and romantic failures. Gossip Girl's identity is a mystery for almost all of the seasons.

"Yes, it's built entirely on snobbery and materialism, but you just can't hate Gossip Girl," wrote Laura Barnett of The Guardian.

Starring Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Chace Crawford, Taylor Momsen, Ed Westwick, Kelly Rutherford, and Matthew Settle, the show embodied the classic 2000 idea of "the It Girl" or "Queen Bee" with Lively and Meester battling it out for the throne.

Although members of Gen-Z may have missed the show's original airing, they got a "Gossip Girl" of their own with a recent reboot from HBO. But it was short-lived, airing from 2021 to 2023.

To start Streaming "Gossip Girl," visit Max.

"Glee"

Glee
Main cast of "Glee"20th Television

It's the show that launched a thousand songs.

"Glee's" popularity followed the success of the Disney Channel's Original 2006 movie "High School Musical."

At the start of six seasons from 2009 to 2015, a music teacher, Will Schuester, with dreams of reliving his glory days, restarts McKinley High School's glee club, the New Directions. Mr. Schuester helps the students navigate the challenges of high school and their personal lives while teaching them how to become better performers. The New Directions constantly battle against the cheerleading coach, Sue Sylvester, who attempts to sabotage the group time and time again.

"The underlying premise of a high school show like 'Glee' is that cycles repeat. Much as you think your story is unique, after you pass there will be a whole new set of stories just like it," wrote James Poniewozik for Time in 2015.

Over the last 10 years, three members of the main "Glee" cast have died, including Cory Monteith, who died during the show's air time, and Naya Rivera and Mark Salling. The remaining main cast included Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Diana Agron, Jane Lynch, Jayma Mays, Kevin McHale, Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley and many more. The hit show also had numerous celebrity cameos including Britney Spears, Gwyneth Paltrow, Idina Menzel, Kate Hudson, and Nene Leakes.

"Glee" is available for streaming on Disney+ and Hulu.

"Switched at Birth"

switched at birth
Bay Kennish and Daphne Vasquez on "Switched at Birth."Adam Rose/Freeform

"Switched at Birth," which aired on ABC Family — later Freeform — between 2011 and 2017, is the dramatic tale of Bay Kennish and Daphne Vasquez discovering they were switched at birth 16 years after it happened. The Kennish family grew up in wealth in Mission Hills, while the Vasquez family struggled more in East Riverside.

The switch is discovered after a blood test reveals Bay has a different blood type than the rest of her family. When they meet Daphne, they learn she is deaf. The show features many actors who are either hard of hearing or deaf in real life, and American Sign Language or ASL is frequently used in the show by hearing and non-hearing cast members.

"The variety of perspectives is one of the show's best qualities: It doesn't tell viewers what to think, but rather showcases an array of ideas," wrote Bethonie Butler for The Washington Post in 2017.

According to ABC Family, the show made the network's No. 1 series debut of all time in June 2011 with over 3 million viewers, Variety reported in 2011.

"Switched at Birth" is available for viewing on Freeform, ABC, and Hulu.

"Veronica Mars"

veronica mars
"Veronica Mars" The CW

Veronica Mars, played by Kristen Bell, was a popular girl with cool friends and an athlete boyfriend. After multiple personal and family traumas, she became an outcast. Now, she helps her father, a PI, investigate the lives of the elite in their town of Neptune, California.

Sarah Hughes wrote for The Guardian in 2013 that the end of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" in 2004 left "fans of witty teen shows with strong female characters" looking for their next TV fix.

"Veronica Mars," which originally aired from 2004 to 2007, was just that. It was dark, everyone had a secret, and Mars was the epitome of millennial snark and sarcasm. Season four was added in 2019.

"Underneath the lies and subterfuge was a world that felt real," Hughes wrote, adding: "But at its best Veronica Mars was entirely addictive."

Streaming is available on Hulu.

Read the original article on Business Insider