The Best Years follows orphaned and full-ride scholar, Samantha Best (Charity Shea), as she starts her freshman year at the prestigious Charles University in Boston, Massachusetts.
Samantha has been shuffled through the foster care system her entire life and is finally looking forward to a future of new opportunities and friendships. She has to contend with the ins and outs of college as she struggles to find her own identity.
Along the way Samantha meets her new roommate Kathryn Klarner (Jennifer Miller), a rich socialite from one of the most prominent families in the mid-west; Devon Sylver (Brandon Jay McLaren), a fellow scholarship recipient and star basketball player who has caught her eye; Dawn Vargas (Athena Karkanis), a child actor who trades in Hollywood for university; Trent Hamilton (Niall Matter), a part-time student and full-time head bartender at Boston’s hot spot, Colony; and Noah Jensen (Randal Edwards), Devon’s room-mate, a business major with a future planned in Hollywood.
With a part-time job at Colony, Samantha finds herself juggling a lot more than just academics.
With her new-found friends, her employer, Lee Campbell (Alan van Sprang) and the benefactress of her scholarship, Dorothy O’Sullivan (Sherry Miller), Samantha has found her new, occasionally dysfunctional, family.
The Best Years was created and executive produced by Aaron Martin. Blueprint Entertainment's Noreen Halpern and John Morayniss also served as executive producers.
The Best Years is produced by Blueprint Entertainment in association with CanWest MediaWorks Inc. and The N, with the participation of The Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit; and The Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit.
The first season was shown on Global in Canada and The N (now known as TeenNick) in the United States. The second season was shown in the US on The N first and in Canada on E! a few weeks later.