Unlike Any Show You Have Seen: A Review of “Euphoria”

Teens tune into Euphoria, a popular drama series on HBO that targets heavy topics.


Staff Illustration

The HBOMax series Euphoria just concluded its second season.

Over 19 million viewers tuned in to watch the first season of Euphoria, including dozens of AHS students. Blowing up on TikTok, the show brought lots of teen viewers to watch every Sunday night in 2019. After Season 2, Euphoria climbed to be the second most-watched show on HBO behind Game of Thrones.

In Season 1, you’ll feel a lot of emotion. From relating to one character then disliking another, the opening episodes pull you in with the backstories of both protagonists and antagonists. You start off meeting Rue, played by Zendaya. You also meet her drug dealer, Fez; Ashtray; and other main characters such as Nate, Cassie, and Maddy. Rue’s addiction is central to the story She overdosed two months before her junior year, at the start of Season 1. The show highlights Rue’s questions about sobriety and displays different character stories based in Los Angeles County in the modern-day.

Season 2 highlights the struggles Rue has with her dad’s death, drugs, addiction, and more. You also dive deeper into the toxic relationship with Maddy, Cassie, and Nate, which progresses throughout the season, leading up to suspenseful final episodes that show the last half of Lexi’s (Cassie’s sister) play she wrote about her life and the lives of those around her. It also shows Fezco and Ashtray’s relationship and how strong it is. 

Sam Levinson, who created, wrote and directs Euphoria, is a mastermind behind the camera

Sam Levinson, who created, wrote and directs Euphoria, is a mastermind behind the camera. The way the camera moves and shows the emotion of certain scenes shows how intense it is. When Rue is at Fezco’s house pounding on the door, Cassie and Natie’s fight, or even the ending, the music (performed by Labyrinth) heightens the tension.  

Labrinth created most of the music used in both seasons and the soulful mood of the songs are perfect for the overall vibe of the show. The most popular songs are “Forever,” “Formula,” “Nate Growing Up,” “Still Don’t Know My Name,” and “When I RIP.” Dominic Fike, the actor who plays Elliot in Euphoria, wrote a song dedicated to the character Rue that implies that he has to let her go to let them both be better in their own ways. Zendaya also sang in a couple songs, including my favorite “I’m Tired.”

The acting in Euphoria is incredible, to say the least. When Cassie, played by Sydney Sweeny, yelled at her mom during a fight, it seemed real. Also, the emotional points in the show are intense, especially with Maddy and the drama with Nate Jacobs. Nate (played by Jacob Elordi) has many emotional scenes as well that are sparked by his relationship with his dad.

Overall, I recommend this movie for anyone who loves modern-day dramas that deal with heavy topics.