Euphoria is Unapologetic!!

Season 1 Review (Spoilers)

So I decided to start the new year by watching Euphoria since season 2 was right around the corner. And in case this is your first time hearing about this HBO Original led by Zendaya, it’s a drama that sheds light on drug addiction in the most grotesque yet captivating way possible. Now let me be the one to tell you that this show is not for the faint-hearted because it takes you on a roller coaster with 20 loopy-loops with its artistic cinematography and trippy soundtrack. And the crazy part about all of this; is that I couldn’t stop watching this.

This show is about Rue (Zendaya), a seventeen-year-old who struggles with addiction and, up to this point, has just left rehab. She returns home with her mother and little sister, promising that she won’t do drugs. However, shortly after arriving home, she continues to use drugs and even goes straight to her plug/friend Fez(Angus Cloud), a 20-year-old hustler who was raised in the drug-trafficking industry. When I tell that I almost couldn’t sit through episode one because of how gruesome the scenes were, I mean I had to see Jules (Hunter Schafer) get shacked by an old man who we later find out to be a husband and a father. Next, we’re sent straight to a high-school house party where every horny teenager is drinking, smoking, and sniffing their way out of virginity-town. And then there’s NATE, the man we love to hate.

Nate(Jacob Elordi) is the embodiment of toxic masculinity. His perverted facade mixed with his closeted feelings towards men are caused by a neglectful father and an incapability to control his emotions. As much as you want to root for him to learn from his mistakes, he just keeps making more and more as if he enjoys causing chaos around him. In this show, Nate Jacobs is the ROOT of everyone’s problems, and it’s easy to label him as the antagonist. But considering that everyone is essentially messed up in their own way, his actions are more unveiling than harmful. Meaning characters like Maddy (Alexa Demie), Nate’s on-again-off-again girlfriend that he blatantly abuses physically and mentally, have an image of love that is not the good kind. But when you seemingly have a dull life, and you wish to have some spunk, you can see why she’s drawn to Nate. She sees love as something absolute and spontaneous, regardless of the fighting or the jealous acts they inflict upon each other.

There’s also Cassie; oh sweet, naive cassie. The girl flings herself off to any man that gives her attention and professes their love for her. Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) hasn’t really any significant problems; just insecurities that she dramatizes as life-threatening. I want to love her because she is a “nice girl,” but in the sense that she is a yes-girl and doesn’t understand the concept of “NO,” not to mention victimizing herself. My only two accolades for her bravery in the abortion scene and her sense of fashion. But either than that, she is a clueless schoolgirl who still thinks she can get away with her actions if she isn’t the DIRECT cause.

This show stands out above the others because of the UNAPOLOGETIC portrayal of substance abuse, depression, and anxiety it provides. Unlike 13 Reasons Why, which romanticized those three aspects, Euphoria takes you to the knit and grit of it all. And the entire cast pulls it off with their respected roles.

The TRUTH Company could NEVER!

Now there are mixed reviews regarding whether or not this show illustrates high school drama inaccurately. Well, in my opinion, it depends on where you come from. In my high school days, there were drugs, fights, and impregnating going on. Therefore, in my perspective, this is the exact portrayal of what my school was. People smoked weed on school grounds, embarked on fights, sexual misconduct from teaching staff, and one time a student brought a flamethrower (lighter and chemical spray) to school and was disciplined for half the school year.

In conclusion, this show has hit home for me in more ways than one. From the real and horrific lifestyle of an addict to the artistic directing style, I can say with confidence that this is one of my favorite HBO originals of all time. On top of Zendaya being one of my favorite actors, she has given me a reason to love her even more. She continues to surprise me in every turn, with her commitment and perseverance to a role that not many young actors can pull off. I’m looking forward to what this show has to offer in the future.

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