By Desmari Miller
The first season of “Euphoria” was released during the summer of 2019. The show is an HBO original that follows the life of high school junior Rue Bennett, played by Zendaya, through her journey post-rehab. Though “Euphoria” has the design of a typical Young Adult drama, Bennett makes it known her story is not one of a teenage dream.
Behind the pretty colors, flashing lights and a constant fashion show, there is a heavy story to follow. The story is driven by Bennett’s drug addiction, which is a main plot point through the course of the eight initial episodes. Although fresh out of rehab, audiences quickly learn that Bennett is ready to jump back into old habits and has no intention of staying clean. That is until she meets the new girl in town, Jules Vaughn, played by Hunter Shafer, and clings to her as a fresh start, feeling she has no place with old acquaintances. Viewers watch Vaughn and Bennett’s messy teenage relationship grow as Vaughn attempts to find a place in this town. Vaughn also gets herself tied up with the Jacobs family, attracting the attention of the show's greatest antagonist Nate Jacobs, who is portrayed by Jacob Elordi. “Euphoria” uses its characters to shine light on the experiences and influences of relationships, substance abuse, sex, identity and trauma in society today. The show is truly a mature take to the predictable teenage portrayal.
Through the span of a few years, “Euphoria” has done much more than other high school series, but the show's success goes beyond its plot. In partnership with A24, HBO has produced a detailed narrative through delicate cinematography and well planned scores. To film fanatics, an A24 production is of high regard, since it ensures artistically intelligent, unconventional and aesthetically pleasing styles.
“What stands out to me about ‘Euphoria’ is the effort and skill put into it. We can see the effort being applied into the cinematography from as early as the first episode with the ‘Room Turning’ scene, which I can tell was done by rotating the camera with a cart and translating the camera via a push,” senior Max O’Connor said.
This is usually something that goes unnoticed by viewers, but it seems "Euphoria" has gathered a lot of traction, receiving recognition not only from nominations and awards but also from casual viewers and binge watching enthusiasts.
Creator and producer Sam Levinson provides the term “emotional realism” as the reason for such dramatic use of artistic elements within performances, visuals and camera work.
“I think the show is authentic in the ways it shows how many people struggle in high school. Seeing the mental health problems that a lot of the characters deal with is realistic and not something many shows depict,” senior Jessica Jaimon said.
Fans are actively anticipating the release of the season two episodes, especially because they can not wait to see the characters’ iconic outfits. Since recreating looks from the show has been trending on TikTok, it is clear that the ensemble of outfits, accessories and make-up looks are a staple of the show.
Source from Rachel Xie (left) and Rachel Priest (right)
Rachel Xie and Rachel Priest take makeup inspiration from the hit show.
As fans await its weekly episode drop, anticipations for “Euphoria” are high. No matter what deep material the future episodes will entail, the show's impact will resonate with audiences.