Euphoria: Season 1 Review

I will be honest I was very late to jump on the Euphoria train, being that I only started and completed the show just two weeks ago. That being said, seeing the way the show took over social media before and during quarantine, I knew it was only a matter of time before I was sucked in. When my best friend found out her parents had been (not so) secretly paying for an HBO Max subscription, she graciously let me log on for a few days to watch the 8 episode series. Upon completion, I now entirely understand what I was missing out on before.

Starring Zendaya as Rue Bennett, Euphoria is an HBO teen drama series that premiered in June of 2019. Rue, a recovering drug addict, takes us through the twist and turns of high school in the suburbs of Los Angeles, with each episode highlighting a different character’s story. The series depicts the characters and their relationships with addiction, sexuality, abuse, and many other “taboo” topics.

Like most television shows, Euphoria is a dramatic telling of the high school experience. While oftentimes unrealistic, at its core, it tells a story we can all find some way to relate to. Drugs, sex, depression, sexuality, etc. are all real things that people experience and struggle with every single day and the blunt and genuine take on these topics within Euphoria is what makes the show so powerful and unforgettable. The series makes people uncomfortable and uses suggestive and to some people even offensive language and scenes to create a story that makes people want to keep watching. In its ~8 hour duration I never once found myself bored, and after every single episode ended I found myself rushing to click start on the next one.

More than just the attention-grabbing story lines, the cinematography is something that makes this show so unlike any other teen drama series I have watched before. Holding true to the series name, the use of lighting and visuals truly depicts a feeling of euphoria. The use of color, lighting, and angles all take the story to new heights. I think even if the story being told was boring, the cinematography would make it worth watching. The use of virtual storytelling within Euphoria only helps to elevate the script.

After finishing Euphoria season 1 in two days, I can confidently say I am beyond ready for season 2. With the success of the first season, I can only hope that season 2 will hold up to my own and many other's high expectations.