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Bored of everything on your streaming services? Here’s six of my all-time favorite binge-worthy shows that make me reminisce on my upbringing in the 2000s!

1. Gossip Girl (2003-2007)

This one is obvious. If you haven’t seen this show yet, it follows the lives of teenage socialites in New York City that are all children of either rich or famous parents. The details of their dramatic lives often get posted to a website called Gossip Girl, hence the name of the show. Gossip Girl is almost the prototype of many teen-targeted TV shows. There’s the pretty, rich, blonde girl that is the center of everyone’s attention, the cute boy everyone is in love with, and the lonely outsider who so desperately wants to fit in. I have watched this show multiple times all the way through because I simply cannot get enough of the designer outfits the girls are wearing, and I love how extravagant their lives are.

2. Greek (2007-2011)

I recently discovered this show last spring when I first moved onto campus. This is another one of those shows that I can recall seeing advertisements for when I was younger, but I was too young to watch. This show primarily follows the lives of Rusty and Casey Cartwright, brother and sister members of the Greek system at the fictitious Cyprus-Rhodes University. Casey is the popular junior who is in the top house on campus when her younger, dorky brother Rusty arrives as a freshman. It’s your typical feel-good TV show that leaves you invested in the lives of the characters and gives a stereotypical view of Greek life, which is always interesting to me.

3. The Simple Life (2003-2007)

This “reality” show follows the two girls everyone wanted to be in the early 2000s: Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. Paris and Nicole must trade in their socialite status, gold AMEX cards, trust funds, and diamond necklaces for a much simpler life. Each season, the girls go to a different place in the U.S. to live regular lives consisting of working real, everyday jobs and managing their own money. The show is incredibly entertaining, as you get to watch two of the most famous girls in the world (at the time) live like normal people. You get to see Juicy Couture sweatsuits in every color, the hairstyles that your older sister probably copied, along with every other 2000s trend that is slowly coming back.

4. The Hills (2006-2010)

Lauren Conrad gets to yet again be the star of the show. Before The Hills, there was Laguna Beach (which you should definitely watch too), which followed Orange County’s sweetheart, Lauren Conrad, through her years at Laguna Beach High School alongside her friends (notably Kristin Cavallari and Lo Bosworth). The Hills follows Lauren (better known as LC) among other young adults, like Heidi Montag and Brody Jenner, trying to make their way in Los Angeles, as Lauren works for Teen Vogue. It’s full of ridiculous drama that would only happen in this first-class world, but that is what makes it so entertaining! LC has always been one of those girls I wanted to be just like; I still read her books for fun because it brings me back to when my mom would let me watch with her.

5. One Tree Hill (2003-2012)

OTH is another one of my personal favorites. The soundtrack, the cast, the location, the outfits. It’s everything. If you haven’t seen it, it follows the lives of half brothers Nathan and Lucas Scott who are huge basketball stars at One Tree Hill High School, along with friends Peyton, Brooke, and Haley. All of their relationships become intertwined throughout the series, causing some serious drama. Queue “I Don’t Want to Be” by Gavin DeGraw!

6. The O.C. (2003-2007)

Saving my absolute favorite for last, The O.C. is set in beautiful Orange County California, following the life of a troubled young teen, Ryan Atwood, who gets taken in by his public defender. He goes from living in poverty, amongst drug addicts and alcoholics, to living in a mansion with some of the wealthiest people in the county. Through this transition, he gets into a close-knit circle with Seth, his “brother” that he now lives with, and the two most popular girls, Marissa Cooper and Summer Roberts. I like to think of it as the beachy, California version of Gossip Girl, even though it came before our beloved GG.

Check out Hulu for The O.C., One Tree Hill, and Greek. You can find The Hills and The Simple Life on Amazon Video, and Gossip Girl on HBO Max. Happy binge watching!

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Caroline Townsend

U Mass Amherst '23

Caroline is a junior at UMass Amherst studying Education, specifically Community Education and Social Change. She is from Truro, Cape Cod Massachusetts and a true beach bum. She lives for beach days, homemade ice cream, and her three dogs!
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