[TV REVIEW] New year, new plot twists: Euphoria leaves viewers wanting more


Fair Use Images: @euphoria on Instagram

EUPHORIA. Season two of the hit series recently premiered on HBO Max, introducing viewers to new twists and turns. Containing mature themes such as substance abuse, Euphoria details the high school experience in a new light.

Engulfed in blaring music and golden light, HBO’s Euphoria season two opens with a New Year’s Eve celebration and one last high before a year full of lows.

With familiar faces like Fezco (Angus Cloud), Rue (Zendaya), Maddie, (Alexa Demi), Nate, (Jacob Elordi), and Kat, (Barbie Ferreira), Euphoria’s return builds upon themes and character narratives from the 2019 original season.

Euphoria explores themes of substance use and abuse, but also touches on typical high school topics: figuring out relationships and love, heartbreak and mental illness. They are portrayed accurately compared to those in 13 Reasons Why and other shows focused on high school.

The original season focused on Jules (Hunter Shafer) and Rue. The return still leaves room for the two to shine, but the space for characters with underdeveloped narratives like Lexi or Fez is ever-expanding.

The second season’s opening episode hints at the spark of an unexpected relationship between Lexi and Fez. Quiet and reserved, Lexi was only known as Rue’s childhood best friend in the first season. In the second, a side of Lexi audiences didn’t know before begins to appear.

Euphoria brings new faces to the table, too. Dominic Fike, a singer-songwriter with notable tracks trending on Tik Tok, plays Elliot, a character Rue befriends.

Soon the friendship becomes a prominent side story.

Faye, a character Rue connected with in the backseat of a car, is a character many hoped to see again after she trended on social media.

Lexi and Fez aren’t the only unexpected twist to the original story. Cassie, played by Sydney Sweeney, drove with Nate to the new year’s party giving audiences insight into their coming relationship.

Rue’s state after relapsing, her enabling friendship with Elliot and her conflict with Jules are just the tip of the iceberg for what’s to come in the remaining episodes.

Euphoria explores themes of substance use and abuse, but also touches on typical high school topics.

The depth of the themes Euphoria explores may feel off-putting, but that’s the very reason the show is worth the watch. For people who experience firsthand stories like those found in Euphoria, the show offers a sense of reliability and understanding that their lives aren’t so outlandish.

For those who feel that Euphoria is an inaccurate portrayal of typical American high school, it offers an escape into fictional, issue based narratives one may never hear about.

New perspectives or ones that are relatable, characters that audiences can sympathize with, cinematic videography and a story immersed in countless twists and turns, Euphoria’s exploration of one high school girl’s journey of sobriety will leave viewers, well, euphoric.



[ARTS OPINION] Euphoria harms teens’ perceptions of adolescence provides a different viewpoint.