The teen drama is a vital part of the television experience, with shows that each generation has their loyalties to. What would happen, however, if we took each major teen drama stereotype and named the definitive character of that category in hopes Hollywood would construct an all-star team of characters similar to them? We're not sure, but we did it in hopes someone gets wise and makes a show with characters modeled after our favorites in each category. We even threw in some runner-ups just so that whoever tackles this primo drama has some additional options for inspiration. Take a look!
The Leading Man: Ryan Atwood - The O.C.
If ever there was a character in a teen drama everyone could get behind, Ryan Atwood of The O.C. was it. Who doesn't love a kid from a bad upbringing finally seeing some comeuppance and transforming a community around him in the process? In a genre where it's seemingly hard to write a leading man who is objectively good as well as entertaining, Ben McKenzie's portrayal is the gold standard. The ideal teen drama leading man needs the opportunity to grow into the character he should be as the series continues on, and Ryan Atwood is the perfect example of what happens when that works.
Runner-Up: Lucas Scott - One Tree Hill
Ironically enough Chad Michael Murray turned down the role of Ryan Atwood to play Lucas Scott on One Tree Hill. Lucas and Ryan are similar characters, but Ben McKenzie's portrayal and the overall cheese One Tree Hill got into with its later seasons certainly put Ryan above Lucas.
Leading Lady: Veronica Mars - Veronica Mars
Veronica Mars was such a great character she has the show named after her. Kristen Bell's portrayal as the young private investigator was so popular it even managed to get a film years later, which is yet another nod to how great her character was. Teen dramas often feature young characters solving mysteries the town is stumped by, and while Riverdale's Betty Cooper does some pretty good investigating, Veronica would've easily sniffed out her father was the Black Hood killer long before Cooper ever did. Veronica Mars also taps into the compelling story of a lead overcoming a terrible past situation, which is not something that always happens for principal female characters in these types of shows.
Runner-Up: Elena Gilbert - The Vampire Diaries
Elena certainly has the tragic background for a female lead, but it's a hard sell to say she's as good as Veronica Mars. Put simply, The Vampire Diaries was able to continue without Nina Dobrev. Could Veronica Mars have kept going without Kristen Bell?