Five essential coming-of-age series to binge this weekend on Netflix
(Credit: Netflix/Best of Netflix)


Five essential coming-of-age series to binge this weekend on Netflix

Coming-of-age shows have always held a special place in our hearts. It does not matter if we have already grown up or we commit to it along with our favourite fictional heroes and friends. These stories resonate regardless of our ages. And, of course, Netflix is home to quite a few of these stories.

Whether you’re a young adult navigating the complexities of adolescence or an adult reminiscing about the bittersweet memories of youth, there are a few stories—be it Harry Potter or Buffy the Vampire Slayer—that will endear no matter what.

In case you weren’t sure, a coming-of-age story follows the transformative journey of a young protagonist as they navigate the challenges of adolescence, discover their true self, and learn valuable life lessons. It portrays the protagonist’s growth, both emotionally and mentally, as they grapple with identity, love, loss, and self-discovery, ultimately culminating in their transition from innocence to maturity, and finding their place in the world.

We have curated a list of five essential Bildungsroman stories to include in our ongoing ‘essential binges’ series. You can dive into these whenever you feel nostalgic or just want to figure out what the young ‘uns are up to these days.

Five essential series to binge on Netflix this weekend:

Never Have I Ever

Created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher, Never Have I Ever follows the life of Devi Vishwakumar, a first-generation Indian American teenager, as she deals with the challenges of high school while coping with the recent loss of her father. 

The series blends comedy, drama, and teeny-bopper romance. Devi’s relatable struggles with identity, family, and love make this series a heartfelt and endearing watch. With its flawed but fun characters, Never Have I Ever also offers a glimpse into the Indian Gen Z experience of growing up in America.


Based on Alice Oseman’s beloved webcomic, Heartstopper is a heartwarming LGBTQ+ coming-of-age series that will leave you with a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. The story revolves around Charlie and Nick, two boys attending the same all-boys grammar school, whose lives intertwine as they navigate the charming innocence of first love and self-acceptance.

Heartstopper is all about queer joy and a must-watch for all who want to unwind to stories that do nothing but boost your serotonin.

Sex Education

Created by Laurie Nunn, Sex Education is a brilliantly written series that effortlessly weaves humour and drama while tackling the awkwardness and complexities of teenage sexuality. Asa Butterfield plays Otis Milburn, a socially awkward teenager and the son of a sex therapist, who teams up with Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey), a rebel with a sharp mind, to start a secret sex therapy clinic at school.

The series artfully addresses issues like consent, sexual identity, and body positivity. With a diverse and talented ensemble cast, Sex Education will leave you both amused and enlightened.

Derry Girls

Set in the politically charged backdrop of 1990s Northern Ireland, Derry Girls follows the lives of a group of teenagers—Quinn, Orla, Clare, Michelle and her English cousin James—as they navigate the challenges of adolescence amidst the Troubles. This coming-of-age comedy, created by Lisa McGee, skillfully combines humour, nostalgia, and political commentary. The quirky characters and their antics make for an entertaining watch.

Derry Girls offers a fresh perspective on the coming-of-age genre because it does not shy away from depicting the realities of the era.

Stranger Things

With a thrilling blend of supernatural elements, 1980s nostalgia, and heartfelt friendships, Stranger Things has become a cultural phenomenon. Set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, the series revolves around a group of kids who encounter extraordinary occurrences, government conspiracies, and a mysterious girl with psychokinetic abilities.

Stranger Things captures the essence of adolescence while also doffing its hat to the very real cultural transgressions of the decade which led to the Satanic Panic. This series is a wonderfully made nostalgia ride that lags in the middle but makes up for it in season four several times over.