Top 10 Best Shows You Watched After School in the 2000s
VOICE OVER: Kirsten Ria Squibb
WRITTEN BY: Sammie Purcell
These are 2000s shows we all watched after school. For this list, we'll be looking at our favorite after-school gems we would race home to catch. Our countdown includes "One Tree Hill," "Veronica Mars," "Everybody Hates Chris," and more!
Top 10 Best Shows You Watched After School in the 2000s
Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Shows You Watched After School in the 2000s.
For this list, we’ll be looking at our favorite after-school gems we would race home to catch.
If we missed any of your beloved post-homework shows, let us know in the comments below.
#10: “Lizzie McGuire” (2001-04)
She may be an outfit repeater, but she’ll always be a gem in our book. “Lizzie McGuire” is a quintessential teen show for 2000s kids, starring Hilary Duff as its titular character and offering up Lizzie’s takes on the trials and tribulations of being a teen. Lizzie was a relatable role model – she could be as awkward as they come – but she also allowed a generation of kids to live out their dreams. From meeting (and kissing!!!) Aaron Carter, to going on an actual Roman holiday in the show’s movie spin-off, Lizzie did it all. We loved tuning in each week to see what she would get up to next.
#9: “Everybody Hates Chris” (2005-09)
Chris may think that everyone hates him, but personally? We loved catching up with him and his family every episode! “Everybody Hates Chris” was a popular 2000s sitcom based on the early teenage years of comedian Chris Rock. Starring Tyler James Williams as Chris, the show offered up a pretty nuanced take on what it was like to grow up as a Black kid attending a largely white school in New York. Over the course of four seasons, we fell in love with Chris and his family, and they always kept us cracking up.
#8: “That ‘70s Show” (1998-2006)
Let’s all settle in, take a seat in the circle, and relaaaaax. If you came home after school and were lucky enough to catch “That ‘70s Show” on TV, you knew you were in for a good time. Eric, Donna, Hyde, Kelso, and Jackie were a bit of a ragtag crew. But while they had their differences, they kept together, kept it cool, and most importantly – kept it funny. In addition to the young cast, the adults on the show quickly endeared themselves to us – seriously, we couldn’t imagine Point Place, Wisconsin without Kitty and Red Forman. Settling in for an episode of “That ‘70s Show” truly felt like settling in for a night with your friends and family.
#7: “Degrassi: The Next Generation” (2001-15)
Sure, there had been teen shows before “Degrassi.” But no one really franchised teen entertainment until it came along. And the Canadian dynasty’s fourth series, “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” is one of every 2000s kid’s favorites. The thing that made “Degrassi” great was its ability to delve into extremely serious topics with nuance and care. Even though some of the situations the characters found themselves in were dramaticized for television’s sake, they always felt like real teens. Watching “Degrassi: The Next Generation” didn’t feel so much like watching a television show, but just like hanging out with your friends.
#6: “Veronica Mars” (2004-07)
Who could forget when Kristen Bell came into our living rooms and wormed her way into our hearts forever? “Veronica Mars” was a delightful show that expertly nailed the vibe of the noir genre while still maintaining a teen mentality. The titular character was a regular teenager by day and private eye by night, spending her free time delving into mysteries with more smarts than the town police. Watching Veronica uncover truths and figure out complex cases was often the highlight of our week. And of course, we loved the romance aspect as well.
#5: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997-2003)
High school is hard enough without having to fight scary monsters, but Buffy Summers made all of that and more look easy. Joss Whedon’s supernatural television hit is one of the most beloved shows of all time – and we’re no exception to that rule. Sarah Michelle Gellar gave a stellar performance as Buffy, bringing relatability and strength to an unusually complex female character – for the time, at least. Watching Buffy and her friends battle demons and vampires every week – not to mention falling in love along the way – gave us a great reprieve from the humdrum of our everyday lives.
#4: “The Simple Life” (2003-07)
Speaking of strong female protagonists, we have to give it up for the original girl bosses of the 2000s. It’s such a simple premise – take two, wealthy young women and make them actually, you know, work. But what Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie gave us was so much more than that. The two took on jobs on farms, in restaurants, and at camp, and always made us laugh no matter where they were - whether intentionally or not. Both girls were experts at keeping us on our toes and helping us unwind after a long day at school.
#3: “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” (1996-2003)
We all know and love the Netflix show “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.” But true 1990s and 2000s kids remember the OG sitcom, “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.” Starring Melissa Joan Hart as our favorite magical teen, the show was kooky, heartwarming, and offered us a barrel of laughs each episode. Sabrina and her centuries-old aunts, Hilda and Zelda, became some of our favorite sitcom characters. But the true MVP of the series? There’s no choice but Salem. The sassy black cat was full of one-liners and hijinks, and gave the show the extra note of zaniness it needed to set it apart.
#2: “One Tree Hill” (2003-12)
A lot of teen shows from the 2000s featured actors who definitely were NOT really 16 years old. While the WB series “One Tree Hill” might have been the worst perpetrator of that offense, it didn’t stop us from falling in love. “One Tree Hill” gave teenagers of the 2000s their very own soap opera – and we really mean that. From romance, to secrets, to murder, this basketball-centered show featured drama on and off the court. After a long day in class, there was nothing better than coming home and immersing yourself in the goings ons of the Tree Hill kids.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
“Hannah Montana” (2006-11)
She Gave Us the Best of Both Worlds
“The Suite Life of Zack & Cody” (2005-08)
Time to Check Out of School & Check In to the Tipton
“The Secret Life of the American Teenager” (2008-13)
A Secret Life Much More Dramatic Than Our Own
No One Did Small Town Drama Better
“Dawson’s Creek” (1998-2003)
We Loved Checking in with Capeside Every Week
#1: “The O.C.” (2003-07)
Welcome to the O.C. … well, you know how it ends. “The O.C.” is one of the greatest teen shows to ever hit the screen – and one you definitely couldn’t miss if you wanted to join in the conversation at school the next day. One of the major draws of “The O.C.'' was definitely its penchant for drama, but we also couldn’t get enough of the great relationships on the show. Whether you were a fan of Summer and Seth, or the more tragic story of Marissa and Ryan, “The O.C.” had a little something for everyone. And you better believe, EVERYONE was watching.