Top 10 TV Shows Like Riverdale and Pretty Little Liars

I am always looking for more TV shows like Riverdale and Pretty Little Liars once I finish a good binge session.

Both of these shows just suck me right in, and before I know I’ve watched the entire series in less than a few weeks!

Then, of course, I go through withdrawals!

I am always looking for more TV shows like Riverdale and Pretty Little Liars once I finish a good binge session. Check out my top 10 favorites!

Rather than start watching them all over again, I try to find some similar shows.

Read on to learn a bit about both shows, then see which other shows I recommend!

Related:80+ TV Shows Like the One You Just Finished Binging! (Plus Free PDF)

Riverdale vs Pretty Little Liars

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So, I watched all 7 seasons of Pretty Little Liars (and I highly recommend that if you haven’t seen the show, take a few rainy or snowy weekends to binge watch it) and I just finished the first two seasons of Riverdale (Season 3 premieres on October 10, 2018).

Something that has surprised me is not only how similar these 2 shows are, in some respects, but also how they are both similar to other shows as well.

Let me briefly explain what Riverdale is all about for those of you who haven’t seen it yet. (I won’t explain Pretty Little Liars (PLL) because it’s not on any longer and we have covered it quite a bit in the past).

  • Riverdale, which made its premiere on January 26, 2017, is a teen crime, drama, mystery television series that is based on the characters from Archie Comics.
  • So, the series begins with the strange death of Jason Blossom, a popular and wealthy high school student.
  • When Archie Andrews (KJ Apa), Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart), Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes) and “Jughead” Jones (Cole Sprouse) begin to investigate Jason’s mysterious death, they discover that the small town of Riverdale harbors some buried, deep, dark, evil and mysterious secrets.

Interested in learning about some of the similarities between Riverdale and PLL? Heads up: if you haven’t watched the complete PLL series or caught up on Riverdale, there are some spoilers below! 

  • Well, first of all, both series start with a deceased body- Jason (Riverdale) and Alison (PLL).
  • Next, both series have their own set of evil twins- Claudius & Clifford (Riverdale) and Alex & Spencer (PLL).
  • Third, both series features a sinister mental institution- Sisters of Quiet Mercy (Riverdale) and Radley (PLL).
  • Lastly, both series have at least one notable dad that won’t win a Father of the Year Award anytime soon- Hiram Lodge (Riverdale) and Peter Hastings (PLL).

FYI- In case you need to either start or catch up on Riverdale or Pretty Little Liars, Netflix has seasons 1 & 2 of Riverdale, as well as all 7 seasons of Pretty Little Liars.

So, let’s talk about some of the TV shows (and I included similar movies too) that are similar to Riverdale and Pretty Little Liars. (So, the similarities sections are based on my opinion from either watching the show or having extensive knowledge of the show. So, please don’t laugh and by all means, let me know your opinions as well).

TV Shows Like Riverdale and Pretty Little Liars

FYI, I’ve watched all of these shows straight through at least once, if not multiple times!

1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an action, drama, fantasy, supernatural television series that is based on the 1992 movie. The series aired for 7 seasons, from 1997-2003. Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) not only slays vampires, but also demons and other dark forces, with the help of her friends  Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Xander (Nicolas Brendon).

  • Riverdale Similarities– Riverdale and Buffy the Vampire Slayer both feature a close relationship among the main cast. Also, both series feature teen romances and a slew of pop culture references.
  • PLL Similarities– PLL and Buffy the Vampire Slayer both feature an amazing cast, daring plotlines and an amazing story. Both also prominently feature a gay teen character (Willow in Buffy & Emily in PLL).

2. Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl is a teen, drama, romance television series that is based on the book series by Cecily von Ziegesar. The series aired for 6 seasons, from 2007-2012. Gossip Girl focuses on a group of privileged high school students who are being watched by a ruthless, unknown blogger, who knows their deepest, darkest secrets.

The series stars Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Peen Badgley and Chace Crawford. Netflix has Seasons 1-6 of Gossip Girl.

  • Riverdale Similarities– Riverdale and Gossip Girl both have great one-liners- Riverdale’s Cheryl- “You’ve got the vocabulary of a baked potato.” Gossip Girl’s Blair- “We should send out change-of-address cards because I’m moving to cloud nine.” Also, both shows have a voice-over narrator- Jughead on Riverdale and “Gossip Girl” on Gossip Girl. Lastly, on Riverdale, Betty and Veronica’s friendship is based on status and the same could be said for Gossip Girl’s Serena and Blair.
  • PLL Similarities– PLL and Gossip Girl both feature intriguing story lines, strong female characters and a whole lot of backstabbing and tons of secrets. Also, both shows have an evil, yet anonymous texting teenage girl (“A” on PLL and “Gossip Girl” on Gossip Girl), who torments a group of high school students with their scandals and secrets.

3. Scream

Scream is an anthology, drama, horror, mystery television series that is based on the horror film series. The series has aired for 2 seasons so far, premiering in 2015. Scream follows a group of teenagers who are being targeted by a masked serial killer. Netflix features Seasons 1 & 2 of Scream.

  • Riverdale Similarities– Riverdale and Scream both feature high school drama, intrigue and a small town murder. Also, both series showcase the deep, dark secrets of a small town, which come to light after a murder occurs.
  • PLL Similarities– PLL and Scream both feature plotlines that involve teen drama, horror and mystery, along with an unknown killer.

4. Teen Wolf

Teen Wolf is a teen, drama, horror, romance, supernatural television series that is based on the 1985 movie. The series aired for 6 seasons, from 2011-2017. Teen Wolf focuses on Scott McCall (Tyler Posey), a werewolf and his best friend Stiles Stilinski (Dylan O’Brien), a human, as the pair often find themselves in the middle of drama and the center of trouble.

  • Riverdale Similarities– Teen Wolf’s Scott can be compared to Riverdale’s Jughead, in some ways. For instance, they are both social outcasts and they both reside with their mothers, having an estranged relationship with their fathers.
  • PLL Similarities– PLL and Teen Wolf both features the same “darkness” qualities and also have daring and intriguing plotlines.

5. The Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries is a drama, fantasy, horror, supernatural television series that is based on the book series by L.J. Smith. The series aired for 8 seasons, from 2009-2017. The Vampire Diaries focuses on Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), a young teen girl who falls in love with vampire brothers- Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) and Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder), as they unearth the dangers, disasters, horrors and secrets of their small town. Netflix has Seasons 1-8 of The Vampire Diaries.

  • Riverdale Similarities- Riverdale and The Vampire Diaries both feature a mystery vibe to them, they features lots of teen romance and they both have an epic soundtrack.
  • PLL Similarities- PLL and The Vampire Diaries both feature cattiness, drama, hookups and juiciness among the main characters.

6. Veronica Mars

Veronica Mars is a teen, comedy, drama, mystery television series that aired for 3 seasons, from 2004-2007. The series focuses on Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell), a high school student with exceptional detective skills, as she solves some of her small town’s most challenging mysteries.

  • Riverdale Similarities– Riverdale and Veronica Mars are both set in a small town and features teen detectives who try to solve grown-up mysteries.
  • PLL Similarities- PLL and Veronica Mars both feature a shady, mysterious character- Alison in PLL and Lilly in Veronica Mars.

PS- if anyone knows where to stream this for free, let me know! I own the DVDs, but would love to be able to watch it on my iPad. Right now, you can buy it on Amazon.

Movies Like Riverdale

7. Love, Simon

Love, Simon is a 2018 teen, comedy, drama, romance movie that is based on the 2015 novel- Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.

Riverdale Similarities- The movie’s main character- Simon Spier (Nick Robinson) is a lot like Riverdale’s Kevin- they are both gay high school students who are sometimes left out and misunderstood, but both have high hopes for the future.

8. The Edge of Seventeen

The Edge of Seventeen is a 2016 coming-of-age, comedy, drama movie starring Hailee Steinfeld.

Riverdale Similarities– The movie and the TV series both feature normal high school stuff with similar storylines, including first love, friendship, infatuation and parental conflict.

Movies Like Pretty Little Liars

9. Easy A

Easy A is a 2010 teen comedy, drama, romance movie starring Emma Stone. The movie starts out with a lie that quickly spins out of control, until it ends up ruining at least one life!

PLL Similarities– Both the movie and the TV series showcase how lies can easily spin out of control and also how teen gossip spreads like wildfire throughout high school hallways.

10. Mean Girls

Mean Girls is a 2004 teen comedy movie that is partially based on the 2002 book- Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman.

PLL Similarities– The movie and the TV show feature insane drama and high school cliques. Also, Mean Girls’ Regina (Rachel McAdams) is a lot like PLL’s Alison, in that they are both the most popular girl in their high school and also the Queen Bee of their high school clique.

Every one of these TV shows like Riverdale and Pretty Little Liars is worth watching a few times! In fact, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and PLL are both kind of like my “comfort food” of television Whenever I can’t find something else to watch or just want something familiar, I go to them!

What are your favorite TV shows like Riverdale and Pretty Little Liars? Share below!

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