I freely admit (and am quite proud of the fact) that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is my favorite television show, EVER. I think it was way ahead of its time. First show on network television to portray a young lesbian relationship (a healthy one too). Best show EVER in terms of dealing with the trials and tribulations of adolescence and young adulthood. Very realistic. I know you're thinking (if you've never seen Buffy): how can it be realistic, it's about VAMPIRES?? The science fiction/fantasy aspects of Buffy are analogies for real life. The demons and vampires are symbols for the difficult and dangerous problems we face every day.
The biggest lesson I've taken from Buffy is that no matter how bad things get, how much it looks like you won't survive the day, you truly never know what's going to happen next. When you are moments away from "death" (could be psychic death, could be you have no money and can't eat until the next paycheck, etc.), never give up hope. Life will surprise you, and help you in ways you least expect. Everytime "the world is ending" in the Buffyverse, the Scoobie gang comes together and prevents it from happening. That's not to say that everything is all roses and joy every day. Life is hard, but it's soooo worth living. AND our friends and family are what get us through.