Euphoria Season Two: Was it Worth the Hype?
By Julia Barth, Features Editor
It’s no secret that the new season of “Euphoria” has taken the world by storm. The episodes were released weekly and every week the internet would have a field day. “Euphoria” seemed like the show to watch because everyone was talking about it, no matter if you were on Twitter, Tik Tok or Instagram.
I, of course, hopped on the bandwagon to watch the second season. I had originally watched the first season when it came out a few years back, so I was looking forward to new episodes finally being released. This time around, I’m living in a house with three of my best friends, and we made it a ritual to gather under our blankets, get our little snacks and watch each episode together when it came out.
This season was — to say the least — crazy. The show has always been notable for its explicit nature. Not only are there lots of nudity and sex shown, but they also cover topics like abuse and addiction that could be hard for some people to watch. “Euphoria” has never shied away from topics that are usually avoided in other teen dramas.
Although it is hard to believe that these type of situations are happening to high schoolers (I’ll admit, having the characters be in college not only would have been more accurate, but less disturbing, considering the things these characters are doing at the age of 17), the first season of “Euphoria” expertly balanced being extreme but also real.
However, I just can’t say the same about season two. It had plotlines that didn’t add up, situations that were just too outlandish to believe and it left many holes in what was established about the characters anyways. Some characters simply disappeared (McKay), some had little-to-no storyline (Kat) and some made decisions that didn’t seem to align with how fans knew them (Jules).
This is not necessarily a bad thing. I still enjoyed watching every week to see what would happen to the people I was rooting for, but it felt less like a high school drama and more like an unbelievable combination of craziness. It’s like the writer, Sam Levinson, thought that the crazier the show was, the better.
Levinson is also getting a lot of pushback on social media for some of his choices this season. Notably, fans are pointing out that the use of sex scenes this time around didn’t do much to advance the plot. They seemed like they were arbitrarily thrown in there, instead of artistically or for a purpose. By the end of the season, there were less sex scenes in the episodes, and people online seemed happier with how those episodes played out.
What was lacking in plot for season two of “Euphoria” was made up for in the acting. Once again, there were masterful performances by Zendaya as Rue as well as Sydney Sweeney as Cassie, and notably this season were the performances of Storm Reid as Gia, Maude Apatow as Lexi and Angus Cloud as Fezco.
All of them showed amazing emotional versatility, and they really played into what their characters were going through during that time. A particularly intense episode that Zendaya — as well as Reid and Nika King — performed in included showing what addiction was like for Rue and her family. It was praised online for showing what it is really like, and for not glamorizing an extremely serious disease that affects many people. Fans are hoping Zendaya will get an Emmy nod for that performance.
As for what fans loved most about this season? Three characters come to mind — Lexi, Fezco and Maddy. After their conversation in episode one, fans have wanted to see more of Lexi and Fezco’s relationship. Their friendship blossomed, but a romantic relationship didn’t take off this season. As for Maddy, she proved to not only be confident and strong but also extremely loyal. Maddy had a lot of supporters online and was a favorite in season two.
“Euphoria” season two proved to be just as popular (if not more) than season one, but I don’t think it quite lived up to the hype. The writing and plotlines seemed off, and some of the filming choices went a bit too far. Most of the characters had great arcs, and of course the drama kept me glued to the screen, but I think the excitement of the new season gave people false hope for something different. I would recommend this show if you like dramas with very serious topics and intense imagery, but if you don’t want to watch graphic and possibly triggering content, I’d steer clear.