On January 9, HBO’s Euphoria—a series that perfectly encapsulated the struggles of Generation Z—made a stunning return in a journey down memory lane. Sam Levinson’s show delves deeply into the hopes and frustrations of contemporary adolescence, serving as a timely reminder of how transient adolescent difficulties may be. “One feels old watching the show because… it’s all about young people and their Gen Z hangups and habits.”
Following Rue’s (Zendaya) journey, which was characterized by a drug relapse, proved to be a compelling story about the difficulties that today’s youngsters face for viewers of the show. Her tale is an important element of the course of her life, not merely a fleeting stage of growing up. Additionally, the show does a fantastic job of contrasting this with Rue’s peers’ more conventional coming-of-age stories. “But many of the friends and classmates she is alienated from… are enduring the typical rustlings and insecurities and mistake-making that many of us did at their age.”
Euphoria explores the darkest sides of adolescence without holding back. The program explores topics including self-harm, identity difficulties, and abuse.
The show does not, however, avoid criticism. Although visually beautiful, Levinson’s artistic decisions can overpower the unadulterated and genuine storyline. Particularly in the second season, it seems difficult to strike a balance between the narrative’s complexity and aesthetic appeal. “Midway through the second season, I found myself wishing Euphoria would turn down the carnival lights a little… and just let these gifted actors talk and react and tell a story.”
Intriguing storylines were also featured throughout the season, such as a potent speech delivered by Eric Dane’s character that highlighted the underlying familial conflicts. The series is given a delicate touch by the developing connections, particularly the subtle depiction of a budding romance, which suggests that there is life beating beneath the show’s glitzy veneer.
However, the season frequently felt stuck in cliched storylines, especially one involving a love triangle that seemed to impede the development of the program. “When that romantic scandal curdles into violence, we can too acutely feel a writerly hand wringing out the drama.” On the other hand, Rue’s unrelenting hardships, vividly shown by Zendaya’s remarkable performance, stand out as a more realistic and terrifying portrayal of adolescence.
Euphoria serves as a sobering reminder of the challenges of growing up in a world that is ever changing as we revisit it now. Although not without its problems, the show provides a moving and sympathetic look into the lives of today’s youth, capturing their happiness, sadness, and the indescribable process of growing up.