10 Shows To Watch Similar To Apple TV+’s Life By Ella


While streamers like HBO Max are cutting back on their family shows, Apple TV+ has expanded its slate of these series with the release of Life by Ella. It follows Ella, a middle-school girl who has just beat cancer and is ready to get back to living her best life. Determined to make the most of every day, she drags along her best friend Kai into her many adventures while her parents try to give her space to grow and her brother deals with feeling like the forgotten one of the family.


The coming-of-age story is full of heart and wholesome adolescent angst that’s certain to resonate with audiences of all ages. With one ten-episode season, Life by Ella is a relatively easy show to binge that will certainly leave audiences wanting more. Luckily, there are a handful of shows out there that offer similar characters, themes, and storylines as Life by Ella does.

Alexa & Katie (2018-2020)

Stream On Netflix

Alexa & Katie is one of Netflix’s more underrated teen comedy shows. The series centered on Alexa, a young teen who has spent the summer battling cancer, and her best friend Katie, who has been there for her every step of the way. Now in remission, the girls are ready to start high school and embrace everything life has to offer them.

RELATED: The Best Kid-Friendly Shows On Netflix, Ranked According To IMDb

The obvious similarity between these two shows is that they both center on young protagonists who have battled cancer. Like Ella, Alexa is determined not to let her cancer hold her back, and she definitely doesn’t want to be treated any differently because of her diagnosis.

Amber Brown (2022-)

Stream On Apple TV+

Amber Brown drawing in her sketch book in Amber Brown

Amber Brown is another new Apple TV+ family show that debuted in July 2022. Based on the children’s book series of the same name, the show follows Amber as she deals with her parent’s divorce and best friend moving away through her art.

Like Ella, Amber is going through some pretty big changes in her life that leave her having to dig deep within herself. Through friendship, family, and confidence in herself, Amber is able to overcome obstacles and succeed in life just like Ella.

Andi Mack (2017 – 2019)

Stream On Disney+

Andi Mack is one of Disney Channel’s best original shows from the 2010s. The series begins with preteen Andi learning that her older sister is actually her mother but ends up being more about Andi’s coming-of-age journey as she goes through school alongside her best friends.

Both shows deal with adolescent growing pains which is why fans of Life by Ella will love Andi Mack if they haven’t already seen it. Both shows feature the protagonist with a solid and supportive group of friends, which is so important.

Diary Of A Future President (2020-2021)

Stream On Disney+

Diary of a Future President

While Elena Cañero-Reed grows up to be the President of the United States, Diary of a Future President focuses on Elena’s middle school days as she figures out who she is and where her place is in the world alongside her best friends and her family.

Like Ella, Elena’s family is extremely supportive of her in more ways than one. Both shows also feature brothers who are struggling in their own unique ways, with Bobby coming to terms with his sexuality and Grady trying to find his place in the world.

Girl Meets World (2014-2017)

Stream On Disney+

Girl Meets World cast

A reboot of the beloved sitcom of the 90s, Girl Meets World, follows Cory and Topanga’s daughter Riley as she navigates school, love, and heartbreak with her best friends and her father as her teacher.

RELATED: 5 Things Boy Meets World Did Better Than Girl Meets World (& 5 Things Girl Meets World Did Better)

Riley and Cory’s father-daughter relationship in Girl Meets World is extremely similar to the one Ella shares with her own dad in LIfe by Ella. Both Cory and Karl have a hard time letting go of their daughters even though they know it’s best for them to let them make their own mistakes.

Gordita Chronicles (2022)

Stream On HBO Max

Cucu wearing a yellow vest, deep in thought in Gordita Chonicles

Set in Miami in the 1980s, Gordita Chronicles follows the Castelli family as they adjust to life in the United States after moving from the Dominic Republic, told from the perspective of grade-schooler and baby of the family, Cucu.

While Cucu might not have battled cancer, she has faced battles of her name in adjusting to American life while trying to keep hold of her Dominican roots. Both Cucu and Ella rely on their friends and family to help them get by and end up learning a lot about themselves along the way.

Julie And The Phantoms (2020)

Stream On Netflix

Original cast of Netflix's musical comedy Julie and the Phantoms (2020)

Sadly canceled after one season, Netflix’s Julie and the Phantoms centered on Julie, a talented singer who finds herself pursuing music more seriously when she accidentally summons the ghosts of three teenage boys who were in a ’90s band.

While Julie and the Phantoms is a lot more musical than Life by Ella, the shows have a lot in common. Both Julie and Ella are dealing with changes in their life, with Julie still processing the death of her mom and Ella dealing with her cancer remission. Both shows also feature mischievous younger brothers too.

The Baby-sitters Club (2020-2021)

Stream On Netflix

The Baby-sitters Club revisits the beloved children’s franchise and brings it to the modern age. The show follows a group of middle-schoolers as they start their own babysitting business to prove their independence and earn money so they can go on adventures of their own.

RELATED: The Baby-Sitters Club Characters & Their Disney Counterparts

Like the girls in The Baby-sitters Club, Ella is trying to find her place in the world. Lucky for her she has friends like Kai and Ximena to help her out along the way. Both shows also deal with deeper themes like cancer, diabetes, and even LGBTQ+ storylines.

Stuck in The Middle (2016-2018)

Stream On Disney+

Stuck In The Middle cast hugging

Stuck in the Middle is a Disney Channel original series that follows middle child Harley Diaz as she attempts to come into her own alongside her six other siblings.

Harley has a lot in common with Grady from Life by Ella. Both children feel slightly overlooked by their families because they’re not always the center of attention. Thankfully, they eventually learn that that’s not the case and they are a special part of their families in their own unique ways.

Zac & Mia (2017-2019)

Stream On Paramount+

Based on the young adult novel of the same name, Zac & Mia is a web series that now lives on Paramount+. The series centers on two teenagers who meet in the hospital and help each other through their battles against cancer.

While Zac & Mia is a bit older in themes, centering on older teenagers, the show still has a lot in common with Life by Ella because both deal with characters trying to find their place in the world after their cancer diagnosis. Zac and Mia’s relationship also feels like a sequel to what might become of Ella’s friendship with Gavin.

NEXT: 10 Best Kids’ Shows With LGBTQ+ Representation


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