“Euphoria” Season 2 Review by Katherine Holtz
“Euphoria” is hot right now. As the most-tweeted show of the decade so far, the second-most-watched HBO Max show behind “Game of Thrones,” and popular “Euphoria” Sundays where friends stream together, the show has undoubtedly developed a cult following. I am no exception to the “Euphoria” magic; I binged season one last year and watched every Sunday since season two’s airing on January 9.
“Euphoria” is an HBO television series written by Sam Levinson, based on an Israeli teen drama miniseries. It follows narrator Rue Bennett (Zendaya) and a cast of other high school students exploring themes such as love, sex, drugs, identity and family.
The show garnered acclaim following the airing of season one, with critics praising the cinematography and its approach to mature themes. However, season two has garnered much criticism concerning the drop in quality from season one. In season one, episodes began by closely following a character in the show, submerging the viewer into their world. It was a format that allowed the audience to understand and sympathize with the characters. Season two at first appeared faithful to this structure, following characters in the background of season one that many fans were excited to learn more about: Fez, Lexi, and even Cal. However, the close psychological focus on the characters suddenly disappeared midway through season two up until the finale. After Zendaya’s extraordinary and raw acting performance in episode five, which followed Rue’s drug addiction and its fatal consequences to her relationships, “Euphoria” became more like a reality television show. It lacked depth and motivation from characters, only seeking to intensify the drama and shock factor in its plot points.
There is also a plot hole problem. Season one provided many avenues for “Euphoria” to explore, yet it explored none of them. The same happened with many crucial plot points in season two, which were mostly unaddressed in the finale. Although HBO confirmed a season three, the accumulation of plot holes will likely never be addressed.
Still, while many can agree that “Euphoria” suffers problems as a show, it is enchanting and entertaining to watch. Because real-world high school experiences are not similar to those portrayed in “Euphoria,” one will inevitably become sucked into this world of these high schoolers with their messy relationships and other problems.