‘Euphoria’ outshines itself in its latest season premiere

Courtesy of HBO Max

“Euphoria” is a beauty to watch that has excited fans for its newest season. Its blissful soundtrack, makeup and overall cinematography make every scene feel like a dream that viewers can catapult themselves into. Its jarring storylines captivate every person’s attention and turn them into dedicated fans of the show. “Euphoria” itself is very graphic and oftentimes may seem like it is glamorizing the inner-rings of drugs, sex and violence. To some, the content is overbearing and unnecessary, yet it aims to show the raw lives of young teenagers battling these obstacles. 

Premiering just last week, the latest episode has already become HBO Max’s most streamed episode since the platform’s initial release. The new season kicks off with Fezco “Fez,” portrayed by Angus Cloud, whose story leaves little to the imagination. Similar to other characters receiving their origin stories in the first season, Fez’s story is illuminated as we walk through his tumultuous upbringing. From being taken in by his grandmother to becoming her partner in crime within the drug business, Fez’s character is given the long awaited spotlight he deserves. The episode also delves into the New Year’s Eve party where we see familiar characters back on screen as they drink away the sorrows of their past year. 

Various promos for the new season displayed the challenges each character will have to face, such as Cassie (Sydney Sweeney), who is still haunted by her past actions and ventures on the journey to find her true self, or Kat (Barbie Ferreira), who appears to feel stuck in her newest relationship while also being caught up with her secret life of being a cam girl. The same can be said about Maddy (Alexa Demie) and Nate (Jacob Elordi) whose previous actions in season one remain undisclosed to other characters, yet their rocky relationship and “love” feel uncertain in the latest episode. Nate’s possessive character on its own could also bring many more infuriating problems into the new season as he continues to struggle with his masculine and sexual identities. The new season does not stray away from putting long-term friendships and blossoming relationships on a thin line in its episode debut. 

Season two continues the legacy of intense emotion that its predecessor initiated. The first season ended with an unsettling and an almost illusory scene where Rue (Zendaya) is seen relapsing before falling into a song with a crowd of strangers dressed in burgundy cloaks. The scene highlights Rue’s distress after she regretfully says her goodbyes to Jules (Hunter Schafer) who boards the train to the city. Rue and Jules’ “relationship” was unstable in the episodes leading up to the season finale, so it came as no surprise when they finally parted ways. 

The ending left many fans feeling empty-handed, especially when COVID-19 took the world by storm. The show had to delay its production for season two, but in late 2020, fans were blessed with two Christmas specials focusing on both Rue and Jules. The two received their own episodes that showcased how they dealt with their break up while also navigating their individual relationships with drugs and sexual identity. Jules’ episode, “F一 Anyone Who’s Not a Sea Blob,” ends with a teary-eyed Rue as she wishes Jules a Happy New Year. 

But fans don’t have much to worry about in season two since Rue and Jules face their inevitable reunion. The scene itself is beautiful and intimate while also building up the suffocating tension between the two characters. The obvious love that Rue and Jules feel for each other is spoken through their silence, something that fans have been itching to see ever since the specials premiered. This could be their fresh beginning that the show has been aiming toward since its first season, yet it’s hard to feel safe about their relationship in the chaotic “Euphoria” world. 

Zendaya’s recent post on her official Instagram page issued a warning to viewers, saying that this season “is deeply emotional and deals with subject matter that can be difficult to watch.” Season one was known for its excessive use of nudity and drug usage for underage characters, and season two is not shying away from these elements. It seems that the new season will elevate its graphic content with an even greater focus on each characters’ internal conflicts. 

This show is no longer a simple teen drama with cliché relationships and petty fights. It is a show that represents the struggles of finding one’s identity and happiness in a problematic world. “Euphoria” knows how to make that journey beautiful and unsettling all at once. 

Verdict: “Euphoria” season two pushes the limits of depicting the raw lives of young teenagers confronting their emotional distress. With its content growing more intimate and explicit, viewers should be aware of their own level of comfort when watching the newest season.

 

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