With hormones on overload and firsts aplenty, high school series tend to get all the love — and then often squander it as the characters awkwardly transition to the college years. But as HBO Max’s The Sex Lives of College Girls recently proved over the course of its excellent first season, when a show truly embraces its setting with humor and honesty, the college years can be the most wonderful years.
Below, TVLine has ranked 10 of the best dramas and comedies to take place within the world of higher education (to varying degrees). Note: Our list focuses on shows that began in college/university, and thus, series that eventually graduated from high school and went on to explore college/university, like Gilmore Girls and Beverly Hills, 90210, are not included.
Our picks include a variety of experiences, from that of Black students in Netflix’s Dear White People to that of frat/sorority life in ABC Family’s Greek to the ugly on-campus underbelly in MTV’s short-lived Sweet/Vicious. You’ll also find a cult fave from Judd Apatow, two popular spinoffs, a pop culture-heavy sitcom and a murderous drama among our selections. (OK, that last one might not be the most accurate depiction of college existence, we admit.)
Scroll down to review our list of the best college-set shows, then hit the comments with your faves!