13 Reasons Why is the teen drama du jour, and a pretty impressive one at that. The series tackles serious issues like sexual assault, bullying, and suicide, and does so through the eyes of teenagers who feel, well, real. Of course, with as many accolades as 13 Reasons Why has received since it dropped on Netflix on March 30, the series would not exist without the teen shows that came before it. One specific series comes to mind: My So-Called Life, one of the very first shows to analyze the internal life of a teenage girl.
13 Reasons Why shares many traits with My So-Called Life, including the narration of a young female protagonist, and the perspective of the young men who adore her, often from afar. Both shows display a gritty realism that feels worlds away from the soapier fare of Gossip Girl. However, while one could thread a needle from one series to the other in terms of tone and content, there are two things that are definitely alike. Did you notice them as you were watching the series? You won't be able to miss the shows' shared DNA upon a second re-watch.