These 2000s TV Shows Were Better Than Pretty Little Liars

Photo: Everett Collection.
With Pretty Little Liars officially set to end in 2017, you're probably asking yourself one question: What the hell am I going to watch now?

PLL fans have dedicated years of their lives to a show that's filled with drama, sex, murder, and really chic outfits. But here's the thing — it certainly isn't the first cult-status teen drama to mix these elements. (And, of course, it won't be the last.)

In fact, the early-2000s were filled with TV series that are just as sexy, dark, and mysterious. They may even be better. Don't get us wrong, PLL is super fun to watch. But what about a show that's more than the sum of its shock-value twists and turns? What about a plot that makes sense? What about a show that takes risks?

Well, we've got you covered. We rounded up 10 of our favorite TV shows that premiered sometime between 1999 and 2009. And we promise, these shows are as good as — if not better than — Pretty Little Liars. So get ready to binge-watch and let "A" rest easy.
1 of 10
Veronica Mars (2004-2007)
Like the Liars, Veronica Mars is a teenager who's trying to solve a murder. Unlike the Liars, Veronica Mars actually has detective chops and really does work as a PI with her father. The show is smart and funny. Plus, it's filled with mystery and shady characters. The only troubling moment: a Paris Hilton cameo. But, alas! It was the early-aughts, after all.
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2 of 10
Gossip Girl (2007-2012)
Do you enjoy secrets and backstabbing? Do you watch Pretty Little Liars because you're intrigued by their anonymous tormenter? Let me ask you one more question: Have you given Gossip Girl a try? Gossip Girl is the OG anonymous texting teen from hell. And if you think Alison DiLaurentis is a bitch, try Blair Waldorf — who literally once said, "Haven't you heard? I'm the crazy bitch around here," while destroying her arch-nemesis.
3 of 10
Roswell (1999-2002)
If you're watching Pretty Little Liars for the mystery and secrecy, maybe you should give Roswell a try. The show only lived for three seasons (on UPN and Syfy), but it garnered a big fan base. The series follows Liz Parker, a teenage waitress who gets shot and killed, then brought back to life by a cute guy named Max Evans. Turns out Max is an alien, and things in Roswell are a lot more complicated than Liz first thought.
4 of 10
Smallville (2001-2011)
Long before Marvel and DC blockbusters ruled movie theaters, there was Smallville. The show follows young Clark Kent (a.k.a. Superman) as he learns about his powers, tries to befriend a young Lex Luthor, and deals with teen angst. Because that's just how we like our Clark Kent — sweet and brooding with a side of superpowers.
5 of 10
One Tree Hill (2003-2012)
Things that are great about One Tree Hill: its epic theme song, a brotherly feud, Peyton's "People Always Leave" art, this ridiculous cast photo, and your old Chad Michael Murray crush. If none of this has convinced you to watch One Tree Hill, you should still give the first episode a try.
6 of 10
Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)
Do we even need to convince you to watch this one? Come on, it's Gilmore Girls. It may not be mysterious or dark, but it's definitely better than PLL. Isn't it refreshing to see teen girls who aren't being stalked? Isn't it nice to see parents who aren't terrible? Yes, yes it is.
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7 of 10
Degrassi (2001-2015)
In what world is Degrassi not recommended as great early-aughts viewing? Not this one. If you like crazy story lines filled with drama, look no further. Degrassi literally billed itself as "so intense," thanks to episodes that covered everything from date rape to school shootings to teen pregnancy. The best part? Watching your faves grow up from middle school to college.
8 of 10
The O.C. (2003-2007)
California, here we come. The O.C. was one of the best teen shows of the early-2000s. It has everything: sex, drugs, drama, fights at bonfires, witty pop culture references, and flared jeans. And as if that weren't enough, it's also the show that brought us Seth Cohen. Watch it, and fall in love.
9 of 10
Greek (2007-2011)
Looking for something a little more upbeat? Maybe you're tired of high schoolers and would love a dose of college? Then Greek is the show for you. In those early days of ABC Family (long before PLL and Freeform), Greek established itself as a fan favorite. Watch, laugh, and relive the emo music.
10 of 10
The Vampire Diaries (2009-present)
The Vampire Diaries premiered just one year ahead of Pretty Little Liars (and is only now approaching its final season). But in the early days, when the Salvatore brothers first came into Elena's life, the show was brilliant. It's sexy, it's dangerous, and everyone is a witch or a vampire or a werewolf. Basically, it's like Twilight — but good.
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