HBO’s Euphoria Depicts The Harsh Realities Of Adolescence

In June 2019, Euphoria, HBO’s latest bar-setting series, hit our screens for the first time.

Created by actor and filmmaker Sam Levinson, Euphoria is an eye-opening examination of young adulthood. It follows a group of high school students as they navigate a world of sex, mental illness, alcohol, drug addiction, rape, and trauma.

Euphoria features Zendaya as protagonist Rue, a fresh-out-of-rehab drug addict steering through her junior year of high school. During the summer before school starts, Rue meets Jules, a transgender girl, and their connection is immediate. The show also has a home-run ensemble cast that includes Jacob Elordi (Nate), Hunter Schafer (Jules), Barbie Ferreira (Kat), Alexa Demie (Maddy), and Sydney Sweenie (Cassie). 

Each episode focuses on a different character, all dealing with their own internal and external demons.

The show marks an entirely new era of teen dramas and sets the bar high for any projects that follow. It’s the closest we have gotten to a relatable young adult series without glorifying or intentionally dramatizing the teenage experience, something shows like 13 Reasons Why tend to do. 

The series is an honest depiction of the struggles young adults face today. The seventh episode of the series, The Trials and Tribulations of Trying to Pee While Depressed, examines one of Rue’s depressive episodes in a way that no other teen show has come close to illustrating. 

But Euphoria goes beyond hard-hitting topics. 

Head makeup artist Doniella Davy, creates beautiful appearances on the female characters using loads of glitter, abstract looks, and neon colors that won’t let you look away. 

Throughout the show, each character’s emotion and personality is showcased through makeup and their striking outfits. Rue’s infamous glitter beneath her eyes is an extension of her sorrow. Jule’s free spirited style shows her independence as a proud transgender teen in modern-day America. Kat drastically evolving her style while she explores the world of online sex work is a statement of her discovery of herself and her sexuality.

The soundtrack, curated by singer-songwriter Labrinth, tells a story that lets the viewer feel the true emotion of a scene. 

While it isn’t known when season two will premiere, a recent Instagram story posted on Aug. 28 by Zendaya showcased Rue’s instantly recognizable high-top converse, a hint that production may have begun.

Whether it’s the visuals or complexity of storylines, the show does a great job of making you love every second of it. For those willing to give Euphoria a shot, buckle up for the ride.