This is coming from someone who has watched the series twice. As much as I love Euphoria, there are also many things I find problematic about it. One of my favorite parts of the show are definitely the visuals and costume designs. Euphoria uses a lot of bold colors and I like how Levinson plays with lighting. In an interview with Vulture, Levinson explains the Euphoria world as “an emotional reality”. The combination of the set design, lighting, wardrobe, use of colors creates this not-so-realistic type of setting. It emulates and romanticizes what it’s like being a teenager and living in a suburban neighborhood. One of my favorite episodes and the episode I believe shows this alternative emotional reality is when Jules goes back to the city and visits her friend. The colors in specific scenes are so bold and vibrant. It shows how Jules really wanted to escape her troubles at home. After taking some drugs, she has a bad trip and her problems only intensify. The background is very dark, but the light is on Jules’ face so you can see her facial expressions while experiencing happiness while hanging out with her friends to having a breakdown in the middle of the club. Her pink eye makeup also compliments the blue hues of the scene.
I also like how they portray Rue’s drug addiction, depression, and anxiety. I don’t believe the show romanticizes Rue’s mental health problems. It is genuinely sad, annoying, and frustrating to watch her character’s actions. As someone who deals with anxiety, I loved and teared up towards the end of the series. When Rue and Jules decide to leave town, it is obvious that Rue is going through so much mentally. Unlike Jules, it is not easy for her to hop on a train and leave town. All Rue wanted throughout the series was to move into a small apartment in the city with Jules. When Rue gets the opportunity to leave, she realizes how toxic being with Jules is for her. As Jules gives her the same high that drugs did. It could also be that Rue is not ready to “come out” and express her sexuality. Unlike Jules, she does not seem comfortable when it comes to talking about intimacy and sex.
What bothers me about the show? A whole lot. One of the biggest problems I have with teen drama shows is the amount of sex and the emphasis of sex that exists within teen drama shows. Growing up and watching teen drama shows, I just assumed that sex was something every single teenager was doing. Maybe I hung out with the nerdy crowd, but I personally never experienced that amount of sex or things of sexual nature happen to me or people around me. As an adult, the idea of sexualizing teenagers is gross. I know these actors are of legal age and aren’t actual teens, but it’s the idea of sexualizing minors is still disgusting. I never really understood why these teen drama shows have to take place during high school. I feel like Euphoria could’ve easily taken place during college and it would’ve had the same impact. It’s also the fact that this show is obviously marketed towards teenagers. I understand it is the edgy teen show, but this isn’t a show I would want a fourteen year old watching. A lot these characters experience a lot of trauma and they show all the trauma these characters experience. I don’t want to say the show has “adult themes”. I understand that plenty of teenagers are experiencing or have experienced similar situations to the characters on the show. Again, maybe I’m just being an old fart, but I just really dislike the amount of penises, sex, and moans I had to watch throughout the show.
Speaking of sexual nature of the show, I really did not like Kat’s storyline. Before I continue to rant, I just want to say I have zero problems with Barbie Ferreira or the fat acceptance. What I do have is a problem of finding confidence with her body through sex work. Especially since her character is in high school. Again, I know porn, cam sites, and nudes have been normalized. Again I find it extremely uncomfortable about how easily accessible it is to minors. The truth is I personally don’t think teenagers have the emotional maturity to watch all the different types of porn that exist. Again, there’s many different ways to gain body confidence, and I’m just angry the show took the sex route.
But, I’ll probably end up watching season 2. What do you guys think of the show? Leave a comment and share your opinions and thoughts!