Irrespective of what number of characters crash out and in of them, most episodes of Euphoria begin by specializing in one particular person. Launched by protagonist and narrator Rue Bennet (Zendaya), HBO’s provocative teen drama zeroes in on one in all her teen classmates for a whirlwind tour of their backstory. It’s normally a downer.
Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) has a father battling dependancy who left her household when she was younger, and within the current boys relentlessly objectify her. Nate (Jacob Elordi), struggling together with his sexuality, channels his frustration into athleticism and rage, arguably turning into the present’s villain. Kat (Barbie Ferriera) struggles with physique picture, discovering her confidence in a facet hustle as a cam lady, solely to disconnect from her real-life pals. And Jules (Hunter Schafer), Euphoria’s different protagonist, is a trans girl new to town, weaving out and in of the drama of those youngsters and their pals whereas looking for achievement on her phrases.
Euphoria’s first season — which premiered in June 2019, its return delayed two and a half years by the coronavirus pandemic — was notable for being HBO’s first teen drama, and leaned into that by making in depth use of the freedoms afforded by premium tv. As outrageous as teen dramas like Riverdale may be, none of them can maintain a candle to Euphoria, a present that by no means met a bootleg impulse it wouldn’t indulge, nor a boundary it wouldn’t push. Most episodes of the present function a number of nudity, heavy drug use, and occasional violence. Because it’s a present about teenagers (all performed by actors of their 20s) it additionally has a propensity for triggering any paternal instincts the viewer might need: These youngsters are doing probably the most, always.
Primarily based on an Israeli drama of the identical identify and dropped at the states by author/director Sam Levinson, Euphoria is an dependancy fable by means of teen drama. Rue is an addict, and her pals’ tales, filtered by her, provides Euphoria its claustrophobic focus and whiplash-inducing tone. A given episode can rocket from ecstatic social gathering scenes to graphic depictions of sexual assault; from moments of idle boredom to beautiful choreographed dance numbers.
In final weekend’s season 2 premiere, Euphoria returned from its lengthy hiatus with an episode targeted on Fezco (Angus Cloud), the drug supplier with a coronary heart of gold and a gentle spot for Rue.
As a drug supplier in a narrative about customers and the used, he has a clearer perspective than most, but it surely’s one which few admire, given his occupation and standing as a highschool dropout. He hates the cycle, however is aware of there’s just one place he can survive it, and each time he tries to step out of it, he’s overwhelmed again to the place he supposedly belongs.
By means of Fezco the present is at its most brutal, yet one more instance of the present’s maximalism, the place all the things occurs simply as extraordinarily as its characters really feel it, and earlier than the episode is even midway over his provider is useless and he and his pals are held at gunpoint by the individuals mentioned provider labored for.
That is only a small a part of the premiere, which does a whirlwind catchup on the Euphoria solid throughout a celebration that’s the present in microcosm: A sloppy hook up provides method to humiliating cringe; Jules returns to city after Rue determined she couldn’t run away along with her final season, and all the things stops for a second of lovely craving. After which all of it ends in a vicious beatdown.
As a result of in Euphoria, each coming of age is a tragedy. It’s a second beginning which may result in nowhere, stasis at finest or a metaphorical demise at worst — though precise demise isn’t out of the realm of risk both. It’s straightforward to get caught up within the floor stage antics of the present, as a result of the present devoted loads of its power to mentioned antics. It’s unquestionably sensational, stuffed with erect penises and casually aggressive intercourse, and it’s exhausting to take critically as a present about teenagers, even when teen characters are its chosen medium.
Dependancy is the place its energy as a narrative lies, and the place Euphoria is most compelling. In that, it is sensible that the story is about youngsters: the distinction between youth and maturity is that, for just a few transient years, bliss appears inside attain.
Euphoria season 2 premiered is now airing on HBO. New episodes drop each Sunday.