By: Mahathi Uppuluri
Euphoria follows a set of teenagers navigating their personal struggles with love, trauma, drugs, friendship, and individual identity. The show is narrated by Rue, who is played by Zendaya. Rue suffers from different mental illnesses that have led her into a crippling substance addiction. Despite being back from rehab, Rue has no intention of staying off drugs. Some of the other characters include Jules, Nate, Cal, Maddy, Cassie, Kat, Fezco, Lexi, and Elliot, who was introduced in the beginning of the newest season.
Season 2 starts off with a character backstory like other episodes. The audience learns about Fezco’s upbringing, what life was like growing up with his dealing grandma, heading his own business and taking care of his little brother at a very young age. After that, it cuts to a New Years Party where the audience sees many new connections between the different characters, as well as past conflicts. This is also the episode where Elliot, Rue’s closest friend after Jules, is introduced.
Overall, this season delves into the backgrounds of those who were previously side characters. Episode 2, my personal favorite so far, starts off with Lexi’s backstory and her struggles with confidence and fear of being outspoken after being constantly overshadowed by her older sister. This episode acted as a balance to get the viewers caught up to the plot and individual storylines after not watching for such a long time. In my opinion, this is what made it the most interesting.
In Episode 2, viewers see many more perspectives and characters in a single episode than we ever have before. In the most recent episode, we were exposed to Cal’s past, who undoubtedly is the most extreme and psychopathic character on the show besides his son Nate Jacobs. It was interesting to learn about the source of Cal’s abusive tendencies towards his son. We also learned Cal only married Marsha because she was pregnant with his child, and hid his sexuality from his family.
One major strong point of the show is definitely its videography. Each shot is set up differently from the previous one, and the use of glitter and lighting creates a dream-like aesthetic, further emphasizing the euphoric imagery.
“I love Euphoria because it shows a realistic yet unrealistic look on a high schooler’s life and things kids our age deal with. The cinematography and aesthetic of the show is also what everyone loves about it, “said Phoebe Jamieson (‘25). “I also love how inclusive it is, considering one of the main characters, Jules, is a trans woman. I think that fact can inspire people and allow people to relate to a character who is often not represented.”
One major criticism of the show is that it is unrealistic. The show is from the point of view of a teenager, so there has been controversy over its hypersexual and exaggerated scenes. Critics often say it is too extreme in the way, and that life is not like that for the average highschooler.
“Well Euphoria is entertaining but not really a realistic show. I like the drama and suspense that’s built throughout. I like how it talks about some problems a lot of people deal with in society, like body shaming and drug addiction and how hard it is for people to overcome such things,” said Daniella Pareja (‘24).
Personally, I find Euphoria entertaining, and it shows an extreme version of high school. I like how it doesn’t try too hard to resonate with teens because the dialogue seems more authentic and not forced. The visual aspect of the show is beautiful, with dreamy cinematography that captivates the audience. I also love how the narrator is a teenager which makes the show a lot more relatable.