Euphoria on HBO – Review
There’s this thing with drama shows: Their plots are repeating themselves every year. It got difficult for me to sit through an 1-hour episode because it feels like I’ve seen every drama storyline on television. For some time, only Netflix put out new, different, and more diverse shows. “Diverse” is the keyword here. If I have to see another white, heterosexual dramatic love story, I’m losing my mind!
Netflix, for example, had their driving force “Orange Is the New Black”. Their cast came in different colours, shapes, sexuality, gender identity and religious beliefs. And let’s be honest: That was great! So I’m asking myself: “Why is there not more of it?”
Recently, I stumbled over something new called “Euphoria” on HBO. As the channel often produces extraordinary shows like “Sex and the City”,“Game of Thrones” or “Westworld“, I thought this production might be remarkable too. And let me tell you—I was 101% right.
What is the show about?
Euphoria is an explicit, provocative, but also melancholic high school drama on the premium network HBO. Rue, the character of main-cast Zendaya, is narrating the series which focuses on addiction, sexuality, assault, body-shaming and mental health. That makes it sometimes hard to watch, but it is empowering at the same time.
Rue is a 17-year-old girl who suffers from anxiety and drug abuse. After Rue was in rehab, she has no intention to stay clean but finds comfort in her new friend Jules. She’s new in town and a transgender girl who lives alone with her dad. While Jules entertains multiple sexual liaisons throughout the season, Rue is focusing on Jules alone, both platonically and romantically.
Also, their friends seek a lot of problems. There’s Cassie who has a difficult sexual history, and a troubled family life; Maddy has to deal with physical and mental abuse; Nate, the embodiment of toxic masculinity who’s also violent, manipulative and criminal; Kat is an outcast that wants to change her reputation by exploring her sexuality; Fez a drug deal with a big heart; Cassie’s younger sister Lexi and Chris, a wannabe football star.
Every episode focuses on the backstory of one of those characters. While this leads to many reveals, it’s also leaving you with a lot of questions.
Check out the trailer to get a better idea of the story and character of Euphoria:
What makes the show so captivating?
It’s artistic as fuck
It’s hard to put my thoughts into words. The cinematography is mouth-watering especially at the portrayal of a drug trip. The show takes you with them and makes you feel like to be one of them. Besides, the choice and position of the lights give you a dangerous and mysterious feeling. It creates a fascinating and extraordinary scenery. The soundtrack of Euphoria is the cherry on top and complements with the artistic editing. The creators even made a playlist on Spotify, so fans can easily look up their favourite songs.
HBO’s Euphoria Soundtrack:
Apart from the aesthetic point of view, the provocative high school drama contains a lot of graphic scenes. There was one episode with more dicks than I could count. Further, they put sex scenes and drug abuse into a spotlight. As said before, sometimes it’s hard to watch because you aren’t expecting such detailed scenes on television. Most of the time, I was sitting in front of my computer with an open mouth: “Wtf did I just watch?!”
One iconic scene was definitely when Kat acknowledged that she doesn’t need to define herself by her weight. I liked it because it was so powerful how they executed it. They made the right choice when they picked out that costume and make-up for Kat. Also, the song from Billie Eilish fit so well.
Here’s a snipped or watch the scene here (click).
The one and only: Zendaya
That woman can play anything: From Disney to playing a drug addict. I was skeptical at the beginning, but she proved me wrong. She’s unbelievable authentic and convincing in her role as Rue. She left me speechless at the season finale when the ending turned in an in-show music video. Her performance was magnificent and I’m not lying when I tell you I’m still listening to that song.
Yes, it displays so much graphic stuff but it’s shocking, unbelievable and empowering. The show makes you sit there in awe and open mouth because you can’t believe what you just have seen. After every episode, I was asking myself: “Did they really do this?!” Hell yeah, they did!
I also loved that within the show there was no big buzz about Jules being transgender or Rue having feelings for her. And that is so important! Because who gives a shit? Everyone deserves to be who they want to be and love who they want to love.