Who’s in it: Leslie Bibb, Carly Pope, Tamara Mello, Christopher Gorham, Sara Rue, Bryce Johnson, Tammy Lynn Michaels, Ron Lester, Leslie Grossman, Lisa Darr, Scott Bryce, Diane Delano
What it’s about: Popular was Glee before Glee was Glee, but most people aren’t ready to have that conversation. The WB’s criminally underrated 1999 teen dramedy centered on two groups of teenagers at Kennedy High: the popular crowd and the supposedly un-popular crowd. Through unflinching satire and crazy situations, Popular delved into the social hierarchy of the average American high school from the eyes of queen bee Brooke McQueen (Leslie Bibb) and her arch-nemesis turned unexpected stepsister Sam McPherson (Carly Pope).
Why you should watch: As mentioned, Popular was Ryan Murphy’s first stab at Glee. The prolific producer’s first television series ever featured a lot of similar elements to the pop culture phenomenon musical dramedy, like the jock with a heart of gold and a torturous teacher out to get her students. Of course, the Hallmarks of a Ryan Murphy series that are all accounted for in The Politician hearken back to the cult favorite, queer canon diamond in the rough Popular.
If you consider yourself a Ryan Murphy fan and have watched all of his series, Popular should be added to the top of your watch list. While many teen series at the time where breaking new ground and starting conversations, Popular tore down walls with a bulldozer and created challenging discussions with left-of-center characters. Everyone thinks The Politician relates most closely to Glee, but the latest Murphy hit definitely descends from this hidden gem.