The highlight of my winter quarter was waiting every Sunday for 6 p.m. to arrive, so my housemates and I could finally watch the newest episode of “Euphoria.” If I did not watch the newest episode right when it was released, I would see spoilers all over TikTok, Twitter, Instagram or anywhere I went really. That’s how popular “Euphoria” is — and for really good reason.
Written and directed by Sam Levinson, “Euphoria” tells the story of Rue — a teenager struggling with drug addiction — and the relationships and backstories of those around her. Because the majority of the show is related to drug abuse, sexual harassment, mental health and many more mature topics, the show has received a lot of backlash and controversy. However, many (myself included) argue that “Euphoria” brings awareness and attention to a lot of problems and stories that usually go under people’s radar.
Although “Euphoria” was not as talked about as it is now when it first aired back in 2019, the show still received many good reviews and Emmy nominations. Zendaya won her first Emmy for her lead role as Rue, boosting both the show and the actress’ own career. Marcell Rév received an Emmy nomination for his cinematography, specifically for the Christmas-themed episode “Trouble Don’t Last Always.” The original soundtrack written by the artist Labrinth also has over 300 million listens on Spotify, with the most popular song being “Still Don’t Know My Name.”
Season two does not disappoint, with the cinematography and original soundtrack being even more phenomenal than the first. One of my favorite tracks has to be “Elliot’s Song,” which was written by Labrinth and Zendaya and performed in the show by Dominic Fike. Despite the fact that many people did not like the song’s placement in the season finale, I have been listening to “Elliot’s Song” on repeat ever since the show has ended. There’s something about the soundtrack of “Euphoria” that makes you feel every single emotion the character is going through in the show, which many original soundtracks have not been able to do.
Compared to the first season, season two of “Euphoria” pays a lot more attention to the backstory of the main cast. Without giving too much of the plot away, season two focuses on Rue’s journey to recovery and how it has affected her family and friends. We also learn a lot more about the side characters, such as Nate Jacob’s disturbing yet fascinating father Cal, the empathetic drug dealer Fezco and the observant writer Lexi.
As much as I love watching the episodes, I would not be as obsessed with this show as I am if it were not for the behind the scenes. Along with each “Euphoria” episode comes a behind-the-scenes look at the making of “Euphoria,” where the staff explains the reasons and intentions behind each scene. In these features, you can really see how detail-oriented the whole show is, from the dressing of the characters to the lighting of each shot. We also get to hear what the actors and actresses think of their characters, allowing the audience to understand the purpose of each backstory a little bit better.
My biggest complaint about “Euphoria” has to be the time in between each season. Season three is scheduled to air in 2024, which is two years too many to wait. However, there is no doubt in my mind that “Euphoria” will remain relevant between now and the airing of the third season. Obviously, “Euphoria” is not for everyone, and I am in no way trying to convince you that is. The show deals with a lot of complex situations in real life that can be very hard to watch at times. Nevertheless, if you are struggling to find a show to watch for spring break, “Euphoria” will definitely be worth your while.