Euphoria: High School Fact or Fiction?


Disclaimer: Euphoria is an HBO series intended for mature audiences. It includes material not appropriate for children under the age of 17. This news story in no way condones or encourages underage children to view this series. It is intended to inform readers of the premise and critique the show as a whole. 

After two years, the hit HBO series, Euphoria has come back into full swing releasing new episodes each Sunday. The show took the world by storm with its wildly controversial topics relating to high school-age kids. The series originated as an Israeli show that was rebooted by Sam Levison. Notable actors like Zendaya, Jacob Elordi, and Alexa Demie are a part of the cast that entices viewers to watch. Euphoria has had multiple nominations and wins making it a critically acclaimed show. 

What sets this coming-of-age show apart from other teen dramas, like Skins or Degrassi,  is the depth of the topics covered in the show. Topics range anywhere from drug abuse, self-esteem issues, toxic relationships, and physical trauma. The main character, Rue, played by Zendaya, is constantly battling her addiction to drugs and how it has affected her relationships with everyone in her life. Supporting characters, Nate, played by Jacob Elordi, and Maddie, played by Alexa Demie, show the graphic consequences of having a toxic and abusive relationship.

In addition to the tantalizing nuances of teenage relationships, the award-winning cinematography sucks the viewer into the story. You experience the nausea Rue feels as she spirals and the energy of a party through the vibrant colors permeating the scene.

Along with engaging cinematography, the fashion was nominated for various awards as well. The characters use fashion and makeup as a form of self-expression and communication to the audience. The attention to detail also allows the audience to find clues that help explain storylines and character choices while foreshadowing future episodes.

While watching Euphoria, many viewers wonder how realistic it is to high school. This is a hotly debated topic surrounding the show. Some claim the show accurately depicts their high school experiences while others claim the show glamorizes drugs and partying. Those who have had firsthand experience with the issues depicted in the show find that it depicts reality and they relate to the characters and plotlines more than those that have not.

Harsh realities are displayed through the storylines and actions of the characters. Life is about people making choices based on their experiences and what they are going through at the time. In the show, all of the characters make questionable choices and as a viewer, you are forced to empathize with their actions through the illustration of their backstories. Euphoria emphasizes how life is not black and white, but rather a spectrum. Overall, Euphoria is about making choices based on what you are capable of in the present moment. That is realistic to everyone, whether you’re an adult or teenager.