2017 is shaping up to be a way better year than 2016 so far, with one notable exception -- All three of our favorite teen shows are ending!
"Teen Wolf," "The Vampire Diaries" and "Pretty Little Liars" are three of the most iconic young adult dramas to hit TV in recent years, and in this age of social media and fan blogging, they're also among the most talked-about shows across the world. We'll have to bid them all adieu in a few months, after spending the better part of a decade obsessing over the twists and turns to hit Mystic Falls, Beacon Hills and Rosewood.
Each show had strengths and weaknesses, from visual effects to continuity -- so, given that it's award season, we figured we'd hand out some of our own to these shows that are about to say sayonara.
Best romances: 'Pretty Little Liars'
No one does romance quite like "Pretty Little Liars." The show churned out some of the best ships on TV, with die-hard shippers willing to go to bat for their favorite couples. "Teen Wolf" was always more concerned with fighting the good fight than paying off romantic storylines, and "The Vampire Diaries" felt like the shipping version of musical chairs after a while. "Pretty Little Liars" established their ships early on and stuck to them for the most part, which we truly respect and appreciate.
Best villains: 'The Vampire Diaries'
While not all of "The Vampire Diaries" villains were A++ material, there have been some fantastic ones over the years. Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and his violent band of Original siblings were so great they got a spinoff, we'll never get over how fantastically evil Kai (Chris Wood) was, and the current siren storyline of Season 8 is blowing us away too. While "Teen Wolf's" villains tend to end up rather simplistically evil, and "Pretty Little Liars" has too many A storylines to even keep track of, "The Vampire Diaries" always knew how to reach a happy medium with their baddies.
Best continuity: "Teen Wolf"
"Teen Wolf" has the least amount of seasons under its belt, which is perhaps why they've managed to retain the original DNA of their show more easily than "Vampire Diaries" or "Pretty Little Liars." Six years later, these kids are still in high school, warding off evil monsters and solving mysteries. They never felt the need to age the characters up or do a major time skip, whereas both other teen dramas left the "teen" part in the dust in order to make their characters feel more grown up. "Teen Wolf" never lost track of its mythology, and will go out the same way it went in -- which means we never fell out of love with it.
Best fans: 'Pretty Little Liars'
While the fanbases for "Vampire Diaries" and "Teen Wolf" shrank over the years as supernatural shows lost popularity, the "Pretty Little Liars" fandom was a freight train that could not be stopped. During any given episode, you can see at least three or four "PLL" related phrases trending on Twitter and Facebook. Stay strong and act normal, Liars!
Best action sequences: "Teen Wolf"
Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) may have performed a thousand unnecessary backflips over the course of six seasons, but we loved every one of them. "Teen Wolf" established early on that battling supernatural monsters would include actual battles, and they committed to some pretty crazy stunts and fight sequences. "The Vampire Diaries" and "Pretty Little Liars" typically stick to fighting off their villains in more of a battle of wits fashion, which is just way less fun to watch.
Best effects: 'The Vampire Diaries'
The silly prosthetics on "Teen Wolf" and laughable green-screens of "Pretty Little Liars" make this one an easy "TVD" win. The various vamp faces, healing abilities and spells that are everyday occurrences in Mystic Falls meant effects team for "The Vampire Diaries" had a pretty huge job making the show believable. Even eight years in, they're still coming up with ways to make the magic look real.
Best recovery after losing a lead: 'Teen Wolf'
Each of these show lost a major character over the course of their series, with Elena (Nina Dobrev) exiting "The Vampire Diaries," Allison (Crystal Reed) dying on "Teen Wolf," and Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) taking a short sabbatical from "Pretty Little Liars" to launch a spinoff. "Teen Wolf" arguably made the best recovery, paying tribute to Allison while still allowing the rest of the characters to move on and explore new storylines.
Best chance at a revival: 'Pretty Little Liars'
In this day and age, you only have to be off the air for a a few years before your fans are clamoring for a revival or a reunion movie. Unlike their immortal TV counterparts, the cast of "The Vampire Diaries" will likely age out of the possibility of a 10-year-reunion (it's hard to pull off 17 when you're over 30), and "Teen Wolf" was technically already a reboot... When push comes to shove, "Pretty Little Liars" has got the best shot at returning, even if it takes a while to get the band back together. We'd love to check in with the Liars 10 years down the road.
Ultimately, we're glad these shows are on their way out, so they can all leave on a high note and take up residence on our Netflix queue for many, many re-watches to come. It's time for a new generation of teen dramas to take center stage, and we've got some promising new prospects in "Riverdale," "Sweet/Vicious" and "Shadowhunters." Hopefully the new kids on the block can learn from the failures and triumphs of shows past to give us a brand new TV obsession for many years to come.