While we’re never short of a new show to binge, sometimes we just want to kick it old school and reminisce with the series we used to love. The kind that forced us to scoff dinner, get third degree burns down our throats from the too hot shepherd’s pie just so we could sit in front of the TV and catch our fave show.
Fortunately you can still feel the warm embrace of shows from the 90s and noughties thanks to Netflix’s epic old school offering. From American teen soaps to homegrown Aussie dramas, here are the best nostalgia-inducing shows on Netflix.
Puberty Blues hit free-to-air TV back years back and honestly, we don’t think it got the love it deserved. Based on author Kathy Lette’s book of the same name, this coming of age drama takes place in the late 70s in the seaside town of Cronulla, Sydney. It follows best mates Debbie and Sue, as they encounter first love, heartbreak, highschool and the highs and lows of puberty. And yes it will give you ALL the feels.
The Secret Life Of Us
Running from 2001 until 2006, The Secret Life Of Us set the bar for Aussie dramas and we’re not sure we’ve fallen quite as much in love with a series since. Set in Melbourne, the show follows a group of friends in their mid 20s and 30s who all live in a block of flats in St Kilda. Working, playing and partying hard together, the friends experience love, heartbreak, career triumphs and of course, drama. It featured an all-star cast including Claudia Karven, Deborah Mailman, Joel Edgerton and Samuel Johnson.
While this beauty just scored a brand new reboot of the same name, nothing (in our opinion) beats the OG. Voiced by Kristen Bell, Gossip Girl follows the lives of New York’s most privileged and genetically blessed teens. Whilst they have a perfectly polished veneer, underneath they’re dealing with broken families, indelifity, mental health and heartbreak. Attempting to party away their problems, no secrets stay buried for long with the mysterious Gossip Girl constantly spilling the tea via text blasts.
I mean, does this even need an intro? If you need a refresher on the wholesome series that made us all wish we lived with our besties in New York, the show goes like this: six friends from different walks of life live in neighbouring apartments in Manhattan. Together they find themselves in side-splittingly funny scenarios whilst navigating their 20s, falling in (and out) of love and just generally growing up. Honestly, a viewing of Friends feels like a warm hug.
Gilmore Girls, which ran from 2000 until 2007, proved so popular creator Amy Sherman-Palladino even created a limited series in 2016 to give fans a glimpse at what happened to their favourite mother-daughter duo. The OG series takes place in the close-knit town of Stars Hollow and follows “30-something” single mum Lorelei and her teenage daughter Rory. Whilst Lorelei is quick-witted, free-spirited and often butts heads with her rich, straight-laced parents, Rory is a quiet, brainiac—but despite their differences the duo are the best of friends.
Running for five glorious seasons this show will get you right in the feels. Starring Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson and Michelle Williams, Dawson’s Creek takes place in the late 90s and yes you’re going to want their entire wardrobe. Centered around childhood best friends Dawson (James Van Der Beek) and Joey (Holmes), the series follows the duo as they go through the different stages of adolescence together. The constant ‘will they, won’t they’ fall in love will keep you binge watching into the wee hours.
Round The Twist
If you went to school in the 90s chances were you watched Round The Twist if it was raining outside and the playground was off limits. Set in a remote lighthouse on the Australian coast, the series follows Tony Twist and his three children who reside there. While it’s beautiful from the outside, the family soon realise the lighthouse is haunted by a number of ghosts. Ready for the good news? There’s four glorious seasons to binge.
Premiering in 2010, Offspring only just makes it into the nostalgic category but we have to include it because it’s so bloody good. The romantic/comedy/drama is set in Melbourne and follows newly divorced obstetrician Nina Proudman (Asher Keddie) as she juggles work in a large hospital, new loves and the unusual life choices of her quirky family. It’s a total must-see.
A crash course on the turbulence of being a teen is always on the schedule for the students at Hartley High School in this 1990s series set in Sydney. If we had to draw a modern comparison, we’d call Heartbreak High a less intense Euphoria. It also boasts a cast of epic Aussie talent like Callan Mulvey (Avengers: End Game), Jeremy Lindsay Taylor (Underbelly), Simon Baker (The Mentalist, The Devil Wears Prada) and Rose Byrne (Iam Mother), and that’s only the beginning.
Time to rewind to the mid 90s Australia where Spellbinder reigned supreme as one of the best shows around. For those who are unfamiliar, it centered around a science-loving teen who lands in a parallel world where magic is king. But to get home, he must team up with new friends and escape the evil powers that be.
Kath And Kim
When you’re after a LOL-worthy binge it doesn’t get any better than Kath and Kim. If you haven’t blessed your viewing schedule with this series, it follows Kath as she prepares to wed fine-meat purveyor Kel. But everything is thrown into disarray when her daughter Kim moves back home after becoming disillusioned with her two-month marriage to Brett.
More of a true crime buff? Check out the best crime shows on Netflix here.
Image Credit: Netflix