Shows Like "13 Reasons Why" That Start Important Conversations

The edgy Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, which revolves around teen bullying, rape, and a subsequent suicide, has created a lot of buzz for the way it addresses complicated issues. However, it's gotten lots of parents and kids talking, which is always a good thing. For families looking to continue the conversation, Common Sense has lots of recommendations for shows that tackle big questions. The shows on this list aren't for every family, and some are more mature than others, but they all thoughtfully address issues such as mental health, sexual assault, racism, immigration, drug use, and other tough topics.

Browse Shows Like "13 Reasons Why" That Start Important Conversations

 
Andi Mack TV Poster Image
Heartwarming, diverse coming-of-age story best for tweens.
Network: Disney Channel
(2017)
(2017)
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Immigration Nation TV Poster Image
Damning documentary series puts ICE under the microscope.
Network: Netflix
(2020)
(2020)
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One Day at a Time TV Poster Image
Worthy update of classic sitcom has heart.
Network: Netflix
(2016)
(2017)
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The Secret Life of Lele Pons TV Poster Image
Powerful portrait of mental illness and social media fame.
Network: YouTube
(2020)
(2020)
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Degrassi: Next Class TV Poster Image
An edgier Degrassi for the digital age still has heart.
Network: Netflix
(2016)
(2016)
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It Gets Better TV Poster Image
Honest accounts of LGBTQ life inspire hope for teens.
Network: Logo, MTV
(2012)
(2012)
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Little Voice TV Poster Image
Substance abuse, language, in sweet fable about stardom.
Network: Apple TV+
(2020)
(2020)
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Living Undocumented TV Poster Image
Heartrending true stories in infuriating ICE docuseries.
Network: Netflix
(2019)
(2019)
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Party of Five TV Poster Image
Worthy Latinx reboot of '90s classic has drinking, sex.
Network: Freeform
(2020)
(2020)
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Degrassi TV Poster Image
Superb, socially conscious drama deals with tough issues.
Network: TeenNick
(2005)
(2001)
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Everything's Gonna Be Okay TV Poster Image
Family love and acceptance, lots of romance in sweet series.
Network: Freeform
(2020)
(2020)
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The Fosters TV Poster Image
Heartwarming drama about foster teens and their two moms.
Network: Freeform
(2013)
(2013)
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Freaks and Geeks TV Poster Image
Stellar teen dramedy explores angst, experimentation.
Network: Syndicated
(2011)
(1999)
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Friday Night Lights TV Poster Image
Poignant football drama scores; OK for teens.
Network: Freeform, NBC
(2006)
(2006)
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My So-Called Life TV Poster Image
Mature teen angst at its best.
Network: TeenNick
(2005)
(1994)
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Recovery Road TV Poster Image
Teen-in-rehab drama has realistic plot, great characters.
Network: Freeform
(2016)
(2016)
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David Makes Man TV Poster Image
Lyrical drama has mature content, great beauty.
Network: OWN
(2019)
(2019)
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East Los High TV Poster Image
Edgy Latino teen soap raises timely issues in sensitive way.
Network: Hulu
(2013)
(2013)
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I Love You, Now Die TV Poster Image
Challenging, unbiased docu about disturbing bullying case.
Network: HBO
(2020)
(2019)
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Little Fires Everywhere TV Poster Image
Race and class issues erupt in thoughtful, mature drama.
Network: Hulu
(2020)
(2020)
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Looking for Alaska TV Poster Image
Popular YA book yields excellent series for mature teens.
Network: Hulu
(2019)
(2019)
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My Mad Fat Diary TV Poster Image
Edgy but heartfelt British coming-of-age tale wows.
Network: Hulu
(2016)
(2015)
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Mrs. America TV Poster Image
Great cast, smart pacing make this historical series swing.
Network: Hulu
(2020)
(2020)
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Please Like Me TV Poster Image
Aussie show tackles tough issues with humor.
Network: Pivot
(2015)
(2014)
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Survive TV Poster Image
Suicide haunts compelling, cliffhanger-heavy survival show.
Network: Quibi
(2020)
(2020)
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Unorthodox TV Poster Image
Intense story of a Hasidic woman's journey has some sex.
Network: Netflix
(2020)
(2020)
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Crazyhead TV Poster Image
Comedy-horror series mixes mental health and the paranormal.
Network: Netflix
(2017)
(2016)
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Feel Good TV Poster Image
Funny, edgy, heartfelt romcom addresses addiction, love.
Network: Netflix
(2020)
(2020)
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I Know This Much Is True TV Poster Image
Downbeat, lovely book-based drama deals with mental illness.
Network: HBO
(2020)
(2020)
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I May Destroy You TV Poster Image
Mature content in powerful portrait of rape's aftermath.
Network: HBO
(2020)
(2020)
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Sex Education TV Poster Image
Quirky comedy has terrific premise, tons of mature content.
Network: Netflix
(2019)
(2019)
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Sweet/Vicious TV Poster Image
Edgy series tackles sexual assault with comedy, violence.
Network: MTV
(2016)
(2016)
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Unbelievable TV Poster Image
Powerful, sympathetic drama shows a victim's side.
Network: Netflix
(2019)
(2019)
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Can You Hear Me? TV Poster Image
Heartfelt female friendship drama has drugs, sex, language.
Network: Netflix
(2020)
(2018)
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Lovecraft Country TV Poster Image
Mature horror series has both mythical and human monsters.
Network: HBO Max
(2020)
(2020)
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Man Like Mobeen TV Poster Image
Edgy Brit comedy highlights racial prejudice; cursing, drugs
Network: Netflix
(2020)
(2018)
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Euphoria TV Poster Image
Wall-to-wall sexual violence, drugs, language in dark drama.
Network: HBO
(2019)
(2019)
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