Written on a Sunday at 8 P.M. as I lie in wait for the new episode to drop.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of Euphoria, the HBO Max original series that just finished presenting its sophomore season. The show is a huge hit, especially among high-schoolers and college students. It’s dark, unique, unconventional, and consists of deep, complex characters whose actions are nearly impossible to predict. The show’s depressing atmosphere and intricate plot have emanated nothing but praise from its audience. Aside from the fact that the show stars some celebrity favorites, such as Jacob Elordi and Emmy award-winner Zendaya, I think the world’s love for Euphoria goes deeper than just the faces they see on-screen.
I love this show, and I think I can speak for the millions of other viewers when I say that I hope we get many more seasons. As for why this show has grabbed us all by the necks and refused to let go, I have a few theories.
Euphoria’s target audience is teenagers. The characters themselves are in high school, and although sometimes it may seem unrealistic due to the enormous parties and all-too-permissive dress codes, the show sets forth an undeniably incredible representation of mental health issues among teens. Dedicated to each character is an episode detailing their upbringing, including their trauma, experiences, and all the good, the bad, and the ugly. We, as viewers, get to see the unfiltered emotions in our favorite characters, what makes them the way they are, and the deep-rooted issues they all seem to have. Speaking from a teenager’s perspective, we all go through things that may not be visible on the surface. When consuming media, whether it be through books, film, or via the internet, we all want to feel understood. We favor one character over another because we relate to them. We want to be represented in media because it reassures us that the way we feel is normal, especially for a teenager who is nearing adulthood and wants more than anything to feel understood. Euphoria does an amazing job of connecting with its audience. I have never encountered another series — and I watch a lot of TV — that so perfectly describes adolescence in such a raw, real, and beautiful way.
Though you may not relate to every single aspect of the show, most people find themselves resonating with at least one character. Euphoria has it all, ranging from substance abuse to body positivity to coming to terms with your sexual identity, all things that most teenagers have encountered at one point or another. People find comfort in Euphoria because unlike so many other series’ depicting high school students, this one highlights the usually scrubbed-under-the-deck mental health issues that everyone faces. Because the truth is, it’s hard to resonate with simple, mentally stable characters who never show vulnerability or make mistakes.