Three reasons ‘Euphoria’ was the show of the summer


Photo courtesy of HBO

Rue, played by Zendaya Coleman, and Jules, played by Hunter Schafer, hide in-between carts at the town carnvial.

As we settle into the fall season and daylight savings draws near, we reminisce about the great things that happened this summer. So how could we do that without mentioning the new HBO hit show, “Euphoria?” Its dreamlike film style and bold makeup looks were an aesthetic that attracted an audience; consisting mostly of young people and Leonardo DiCaprio. Although the show is a success for many reasons, these are the most important ones:

1. The accuracy of current teenage life:

“Euphoria’s” depiction of the daily life of a high schooler is far from the dramedy coming-of-age story we usually see in teen TV shows and movies. However, this gritty view is closer to reality than the censored version. The main character, Rue, suffers from a severe opioid addiction which brings a very raw and honest take on addiction as a teenager in 2019. Her love interest is a girl named Jules, whose character also sheds light on the hardships of young transgender people. Several other characters represent real-world people in different ways, but the intersection they all share is the difficulties of being a young person in today’s world. Jules has a series of online hookups with strangers, who are typically men who are much older than her. What adults may call the “danger of the internet” is simply the way some high school students live day to day, and whether or not that is dangerous is up to the viewer. The show makes no judgments, but instead is honest about the impulsive choices young people make.                

2. Hallucinogenic cinematic quality:

The iconic camera spin and walking-on-the-ceiling shot are moments in the show that viewers are not quick to dismiss. It’s exciting that we’re in a time where directors of television are driven to give shows a similar feeling to that of cinema. “Euphoria” is the first TV show to do this. It’s not hard to notice that many TV shows in the past, and even now, lack a certain cinematic quality. Part of this has to do with HBO itself, which is a premium channel. Users must pay a subscription fee to watch the shows HBO produces, allowing the content to be of higher quality than regular cable television. Regardless of how they are obtained, the artistic shots give the show promise in its creative abilities. Along with the film style, the costume and makeup department provides a unique look at high school fashion. The color and pattern contrast in the outfits always matched by an equally eye-catching makeup look. This adds to the character’s personality and makes an impression on the viewer.

3. Representation of LGBTQ+ community and relationships:

“Euphoria” is revolutionary, but not for the reasons you may think. A lot of TV shows over the past couple of years have turned to a kind of “woke-centric” theme. Implementing political correctness and current world issues in cinema and TV is nothing new. However, it is the way “Euphoria” presents it. Representation of the problems minorities face isn’t flat or spoon-fed. Instead, the characters have a complicated journey with their identity linked with mental health and how the world around them treats them. The show explores themes surrounding body positivity, abusive relationships, and the struggles of queer youth as well as the stigma attached to them. Euphoria isn’t afraid to remove filters and give underrepresented young people the recognition they deserve.