Entering the world of Boy Swallows Universe is like stepping into a whirlwind of genres, emotions, and uniquely Australian storytelling. If you’ve found yourself captivated by the madness of this tale and are on the hunt for shows that echo its excitement, crime, and teenage drama, you’re in for a treat. Our list is a mixed bag of TV gems—crime thrillers, teen dramas, and captivating Australian series—all carefully chosen to deliver that same adrenaline rush and narrative complexity (maybe not so much) that made Boy Swallows Universe a standout. I’m no expert in “Boy TV,” but I’ve tried my best to come up with shows that each promise a unique flavor while stirring the same sense of anticipation and thrill that probably got your blood pumping while watching Boy Swallows Universe. Let’s quickly dive into this list of young adult shows you’d enjoy if you liked Boy Swallows Universe.
1. Derry Girls
I thought Boy Swallows Universe was one of the better-done comedies on teen television. It’s sarcastic, dark, and yet very on the nose, which makes for fantastic giggles. I suppose it’s mostly in the dialogue and its delivery too. The Australian slang simply makes it all much funnier, and so the first show that came to mind for this list was Derry Girls. I mean, it’s after all another adventure show; it’s got many journeys and some delightful characters that get you all warm and fuzzy on the inside because they’re so hilariously relatable. This show is very over-the-top and highly exciting, and if you’re a fan of interesting accents, then this one’s going to have you in a frenzy.
2. Everything Now
Oftentimes, I wonder why it’s alright for these big OTT platforms to make TV shows about teenagers that seem like they’ve been written by someone in their late 50s. The judgment is so clearly visible in the presentation that they fall flat on their face with no redemption. Everything Now is the opposite of that, in a similar way to Boy Swallows Universe. It’s almost as if the narrative is actually coming from a teenager, which is refreshing in its own way. Everything Now also stars Sophie Wilde, who’s also in Boy Swallows Universe. It follows the life of Mia, who has been battling anorexia, and her journey back to school. It’s a thought-provoking show, to say the least, and also has an unreliable narrator, which is why it’s a good follow-up to Boy Swallows Universe.
3. Heartbreak High
Obviously, I’d have to bring in another Australian show on this list because it’s a big part of what you’re watching. Imagine one day we’ll be obsessed with Australian sitcoms like we are Korean dramas. Heartbreak High encapsulates the young experience today in a very authentic manner. I suppose that’s what makes all these shows worth watching; they may be overexaggerated, overdramatic, or even fantastical, but somehow they’ve all got heart. Heartbreak High could be considered like the new-age Australian version of 90210. It follows a girl named Amerie, who is trying her best to cope with being a teenager, which entails feelings, sexuality, and obviously heartbreak. There’s this overdramatized quality to this show, which is very similar to Boy Swallows Universe, however, it definitely deals with a more individualistic dilemma rather than the family like the latter.
4. My So-Called Life
Despite this show having only one season, I will never stop talking about it. Maybe it’s the fact that it was made in the 90s alone that makes it so fantastically fresh—the true teenage experience—a sad yet rewarding one. Starring baby Claire Danes and (a not-so-baby) Jared Leto in the leading roles, this show is the epitome of teenage angst. This is where you can define that term. It’ll have you in a “chokehold” within 5 minutes. At the end of the day, if you’re looking to change up your fashion game and are looking for some fantastic 90s music, then just watch this show. I suppose it’s the older, more female version of Boy Swallows Universe, with the entrapment of drugs, sex, and love in the 90s (ah, the old times).
5. Stranger Things
Yes, it’s another tween-to-teen show set in the 80s; that is the only reason this show is on this list, and of course, all the profanity that the kids bring with it. I may have become immune to young kids cussing in every sentence thanks to this show and IT. I didn’t even bat my eye while watching Boy Swallows Universe. Apparently, absurdity and an 80s childhood go hand in hand because both of these shows have these very strange things in common. I suppose everyone on the internet knows what Stranger Things is about; however, if you don’t, then know it’s got a lot of adventure, with 80s music, some fantastic child actors, monsters, and secretive government organizations—oh, sorry, they might both be the same thing. Boy Swallows Universe is more of a crime thriller, whereas Stranger Things has a larger element of fantasy and horror.
6. Surviving Summer
Yet another Australian show; here I am. Hey, both shows have boys with long, beautiful curly locks. Boy Swallows Universe will make you want to paint because of the gorgeous artwork Gus brings out on the show, and Surviving Summer will make you want to leave your whole life behind and learn surfing. At its core, it’s purely about surfing, but of course, it is, at the end of the day, a teen drama, so you’ve got the basics: love, friendship, and alcohol things happening. I suppose in some ways, Summer and Eli are both rebellious kids who love to run their mouths where they’re not meant to but somehow have things go their way!
7. Lockwood & Co.
This one’s the most wacky option on the list because it’s really got nothing in common with Boy Swallows Universe except “psychic abilities.” I’m just using this list as an excuse to recommend this show, which unfortunately Netflix has cancelled, which is such a shame because it’s madly entertaining. Lockwood & Co. got the usual teen drama and romance, but it’s also got ghosts and adventures, which in my eyes is enough to get me hooked. If you’re looking for something thrilling after watching Boy Swallows Universe, then this one might be the right choice for you. I suppose we love an obnoxious protagonist here.