HBO’s Euphoria is 13 Reasons Why on steroids and pain killers.
HBO’s programming has been incredible for a long time. With Game of Thrones ending and Westworld taking a year off, HBO had to sprinkle in some television shows to fill in the void. Euphoria is an excellent addition to the HBO library.
Euphoria follows a group of high school students as they navigate drugs, sex, identity, trauma, social media, love and friendship. Zendaya stars as Rue Bennett, a somewhat recovering drug addict teenager, living through the high school life. Throughout the pilot we are introduced to several layered characters that are high school kids obsessed with social media, sex and drugs. All the actors pull their weight and portray interesting characters.
Some of the standout actors so far through two episodes are:
- Angus Cloud as Fezco, a close friend to Rue and her drug dealer.
- Hunter Schafer as Jules, a trans girl who just moved to town and befriends Rue.
- Barbie Ferreira as Kat, a heavier set girl that is finally exploring her sexuality.
- Jacob Elordi as Nate, the super masculine college douche bag that is going to cause trouble throughout the season.
- Alexa Demie as Maddie, Nate’s on and off again girlfriend
- Sydney Sweeney as Cassie Howard, the older sister to another character Lexi who has nudes all over school.
By far the star of the show is writer and director Sam Levinson. Last year he directed Assassination Nation which was one of my favorite movies of 2018. He has a specific style of direction which I absolutely love, and he has something to say in all his projects. He has the characters narrate the story and have the break the fourth wall which I love but understandably viewers might not. The way Levinson shoots this show is aesthetically pleasing.
Euphoria bleeds style with colors and close ups. There are some heavy topics that the show is handling such as drug addiction, revenge porn, rape, prostitution, underage sex and violence.
The pilot of the show hooked me immediately and I wanted to binge the whole show. The second episode kept my excitement going. I am completely invested in the characters and want to see where it goes. The show does remind me of 13 Reasons Why which I started out his review saying. The difference for me is the acting and the hardcore aspect.
I expect that Euphoria is going to split audiences. The style of the show is going to turn people off.
I absolutely love the show so far and I cannot wait for Sunday nights. Big Little Lies and Euphoria are the perfect one two punch that I need right now.