Maxton Hall, Amazon Prime Video. Ruby Bell (Harriet Herbig-Matten) and James Beaufort (Damian Hardung) stood in a beautiful old room
(Prime Video)

If You Love ‘Maxton Hall,’ These Shows Have All the Culture-Clashing Romance You Need

Maxton Hall is the new Prime Video series taking the internet by storm. Based on the novels by Mona Kasten, it looks at the clash of classes and forbidden but fated romance. If you have already binged the series and are looking for a replacement, we have you covered.

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Maxton Hall — The World Between Us has been a smash hit for Prime Video, skyrocketing to become their current most-watched show, knocking Fallout off its lofty pedestal. The show follows Ruby Bell, a scholarship student at the prestigious English private school Maxton Hall, where she must rub shoulders with the extremely wealthy. After she stumbles across a secret she should have never known, she finds herself pulled into the world of the uber-rich—well, one uber-rich person in particular: James Beaufort. The two collide, falling for one another, but their love is a difficult one, fraught with drama.

The show, while popular, is hardly original, with the concept having been played with time and time again. Despite claiming to hate the rich, most of us do love to watch them and the drama they get into, probably because drama just looks so much better when it’s wearing designer clothing and set against the backdrop of luxuriously stunning locations. If you like all that Maxton Hall has to offer, then here are some alternatives for you to binge while you wait for a second season.

Never Have I Ever

(Netflix)

Never Have I Ever follows another high-achieving student, Devi Vishwakumar. Devi has only two goals in life: get into Princeton and lose her virginity, preferably to the school hottie, Paxton Hall-Yoshida. However, Devi has a lot of trauma to overcome after the sudden death of her father, which she is still struggling to work through, as well as trying to be a good Indian daughter to her strict mother, Nalini. Devi is smart, bold, and fearless, though her blunt attitude and selfish behavior often end up landing her in trouble.

The O.C.

The cats of The O.C. on the beach at sunset
(Fox)

Teen drama classic The O.C. ran through most of the ’00s (2003-2007). This series focuses on Ryan Attwood, a kid from a broken home who is adopted by a wealthy (and attractive) couple, Sandy and Kirsten Cohen. Ryan has to navigate living among the elite of Newport Beach, with much of the first season focusing on his adjusting from a life of poverty to the superficial shallow existence of those that now surround him.

Wednesday

Jenna Ortega and Emma Myers as Wednesday Addams and Enid sinclair on Netflix's Wednesday
(Netflix)

Stepping more toward the realm of fantasy with this one, but I stand by including Wednesday on this list. The show is set at a prestigious high school where the protagonist feels she does not fully belong, and there is mystery, drama, and to a degree, romance. Wednesday is the quick-witted, sharp-tongued protagonist who plays by her own rules, eschewing the pageantry that surrounds her as she would much rather solve the mystery of Nevermore Academy.

The Summer I Turned Pretty

belly, jeremiah and conrad in the summer i turned pretty
(Prime Video)

If complex romance is what you love about Maxton Hall, then Prime Video’s other series, The Summer I Turned Pretty, may also be up your street. After having a natural glow-up, Isabel “Belly” Conklin returns to Cousin’s Beach to spend the summer with the wealthy Fisher family, which happens to include two gorgeous brothers in the form of Conrad and Jeremiah. Belly cannot seem to decide between the brothers, both of whom love her, causing turmoil for all involved.

Dear White People

A Black woman with a worried look and braids sits in a classroom surrounded by peers
(Netflix)

Samantha White hosts the radio show “Dear White People,” which plays across the campus of the fictional Winchester University. The university student body is predominantly white and wealthy, and Sam revels in calling them out on her show, leading to tension between white and Black students on campus. The series delves into the topic of institutional racism and the struggles facing Black students in institutions created for and upheld by white people. Throughout this, there is also romance, mystery, and personal drama that has you deeply engrossed in each character’s journey.

Young Royals

Edvin Ryding as Prince Willhelm in Young Royals.
(Netflix)

Here we have another non-English high school drama, though this high school accepts royalty. Young Royals follows Prince Wilhelm of Sweden, who is sent to Hillerska Boarding School for getting in a public fight. Here, he finds himself attracted to Simon, yet another scholarship student who attends the school as a non-boarder. Wilhelm must decide what is most important to him, his duties to his family and title, or his heart.

One Day

Emma and Dex looking into each other's eyes in One Day
(Netflix)

The series adaption of the novel by David Nicholls, One Day follows the lives of two recent graduates, Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew. Despite coming from different worlds, Emma being raised in a working-class family from Leeds and Dex used to a life of privilege in London, the two form a strong bond. The show looks at how their lives evolve, and devolve, as they navigate adulthood, and though they drift apart, they always find each other again and realize that, perhaps, there is more to their relationship than simply being friends.

Bridgerton

The Bridgerton extended family.
(Netflix)

If you are looking for romance and drama, all set against a backdrop of wealth and splendor, how can we not mention Bridgerton? The hit series has us all swooning for its sumptuous costume design, incredible musical score, and sexual tension that explodes on screen. Set in the Regency period, the show does go into the complexities of existing under the scrutinizing gaze of the Ton. The show has already covered two illicit romances, first between Viscount Anthony Bridgerton and then a budding romance between Eloise and the printer’s assistant Theo, showing that even with all that wealth, it can’t always buy freedom to love whom they want.

Elite

Danna Paola, Arón Piper, Ester Expósito, and Miguel Bernardeau in Élite (2018)
(Netflix)

Another non-English-language series focusing on the wildly rich young is the Spanish series Elite. The premise is extremely close to Maxton Hall, focusing on three scholarship students who find themselves at the fictional school for the wealthy and—as the title may suggest—elite. The working-class students must navigate the new world they have entered, engaging socially and romantically with other students in the school. Another series about the clash of classes in a high school setting, Elite garnered a lot of positive reviews, with its eighth and final season airing later this year.

Gossip Girl

Penn Badgley, Blake Lively, Taylor Momsen, Leighton Meester, Jessica Szohr, Chace Crawford, and Ed Westwick in Gossip Girl (2007)
(The CW)

Gossip Girl is one of the OG and best series about spoiled rich young adults (played by slightly older adults). It follows the lives of the ultra-privileged who reside in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, following their romances, scandals, and intrigue. The viewer isn’t the only one watching, as an anonymous blog written by someone known only as “Gossip Girl” has been putting these nepobabies’ lives on blast online—every secret, every illicit kiss, all of it. The characters spend much of the show trying to figure out who this “Gossip Girl” really is but, along the way, grow through their relationships and story arcs.


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Author
Laura Pollacco
Laura Pollacco (she/her) is a contributing writer here at The Mary Sue, having written for digital media since 2022 and has a keen interest in all things Marvel, Lord of the Rings, and anime. She has worked for various publications including We Got This Covered, but much of her work can be found gracing the pages of print and online publications in Japan, where she resides. Outside of writing she treads the boards as an actor, is a portrait and documentary photographer, and takes the little free time left to explore Japan.