“Euphoria:” the drama that has America wrapped around its finger

The 2019 series “Euphoria” just released the first half of the second season this past month racking up millions of viewers

Roman Pallotto, Arts & Culture Writer

The newly beloved drama series “Euphoria” follows a group of high school students trying to find their identities from enduring unnatural experiences of friendships, drugs and love. The show is narrated by actress Zendaya who plays the character Rue Bennett. Rue struggles with drug abuse and in the first season is admitted to rehab for overdosing. Along with her character, the audience is introduced to a few other characters such as Fezco, Nate Jacobs, Cal Jacobs, Maddy Perez, Kat Hernandez, Lexi Howard, Cassie Howard, Chris McKay, Jules Vaughn and many more. 

The beginning of the show starts off with introducing Rue’s life and her drug problems. Each episode features a singular character with other scenes happening on the side to keep the story going. As time goes on many relationships are formed between the characters causing both fond moments but also a ton of drama. Season one featured a total of eight episodes, each with a featured character with the exception of the season finale. Each character brings something new to the table. While the cast could use some more diversity, there are plus-size characters, men and women of color and queer individuals allowing for a well-varied cast. 

With the anticipated release of season two last month, millions of viewers tuned in to watch. This season finally got to see one of the fan-favorites Fezco become a featured character for the first episode. This season definitely focuses more on the story of the show rather than the aesthetics which made the show popular from the first season. Although the show is rated R for its sexual content, violence, drug usage and more, many teenagers have found an interest in the show. 

The drama touches on dark subjects such a drug abuse/addiction, self-harm, sexual abuse and underage drinking and intercourse. By portraying these problems in a certain manner, the cast and producers try to depict the dark message of doing these things. The prevalence of these issues on the show has led to its fair share of controversy and criticism. Common Sense Media, an organization that issues information about media suitable for child and teenage viewership, recommended that teens should not watch the show especially because of its overuse of nudity. Sam Levinson, the creator and writer of “Euphoria,” believes that the use of explicit content and nudity should help spark a conversation between parent and child who in today’s society seem to have a blocked relationship in regards to sex education. 

Even with the criticism, the show has had an overwhelmingly supportive fanbase. The premiere of the first episode saw a total of 2.4 million viewers with the season as a whole garnering a total of 3.3 million viewers in 2019. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the show has an average 86% tomatometer score and an average 89% audience score. For the second season, the audience score has still been at 89% however the critics score went down 4% at an average of 82%. 

As someone who does not watch shows very often, this show has caught my attention. Not only due to the overwhelming amount of teenage viewership and thoughts on social media apps like TikTok, but also because of the storyline, amazing soundtrack and use of other songs. If you’re looking for new music, this show is the one to help you with that, as it has introduced me to a plethora of new songs. My favorite character and their storyline would probably be Maddy’s, as she struggles with her boyfriend Nate in various situations and has the best fashion taste of all the characters.

Overall I’d give this show around an 8.1/10, as it could use some more work on the acting, the plot and reducing the exaggerated amount of nudity in each episode. “Euphoria” is available to watch on HBO Max and each episode of the second season premieres Sunday nights at 9 pm.