Euphoria wraps up season two with criticism and acclaim among fans

Emma Defot, Staff Writer

In 2019, HBO released “Euphoria,” a series depicting the chaotic lives of a group of teenagers at East Highland High School. The series covers serious topics and includes a realistic portrayal of teenagers. “Euphoria” demonstrates the effects that drugs and social media have on teenagers. Each character faces their own form of addiction. The protagonist and (somewhat unreliable) narrator, Rue, struggles with substance abuse and other characters are often shown in compromising situations. These situations include physical and mental abuse and the adverse effects of social media, including the dangers of dating apps and distribution of nudes.

“Euphoria” has received a mature rating due to the serious and sometimes graphic content. However, this has not deterred teenagers from watching the show, as shown in HBO Max’s numbers and trends online. When the first season premiered in 2019, it quickly became a cultural phenomenon, attracting 6.6 million viewers per week. The first episode of season two had 16.7 millions viewers across multiple platforms, resulting in the site crashing. The time gap between the first and second seasons has allowed the series to gain popularity online.

During the first season, unique looks created by makeup artist, Donni Davi, inspired trends in sparkly makeup and jewels. The bright, sparkly makeup contrasts with the dark tone of the story. The style of makeup used in the series became a trend in 2019 and has made a comeback in anticipation of the season two premiere. The series is no longer not only a TV program but has become a lifestyle as well. The makeup and fashion that the characters wear in the show have heavily influenced trends.

“Euphoria” season two wrapped up Feb. 28, and has been confirmed for a third season. The third season is not expected to arrive until 2024 due to scheduling conflicts with Zendaya, who plays Rue. It will be interesting to see how the show progresses with regards to the actors’ ages. The show revolves around a group of high school students, though nearly all the stars are much older than their characters. Javon Walton, who plays Ash, is visibly older than he appeared to be in season one, even though the two seasons take place only two months apart. This can also be seen with Alexa Demie, who plays Maddy. Demie is 31 years old and soon will no longer be able to portray a 17 year old.

Although “Euphoria” has had a big impact on pop culture, not everyone thinks highly of the show. There has been criticism that the show glamorizes drug addiction and drinking. This critique is unfair because, although the show exaggerates some aspects of drugs and alcohol use, the show also portrays the consequences.

“Euphoria is an accurate description of what teens go through in high school, but it is not an accurate description of how they dress or the aesthetic of true high school,” Alora Schoneberg (’24) said.

Due to the success of the second season, HBO renewed “Euphoria” for a third season and it will be released in 2024. It will be interesting to see if the show will be as popular as the first two times and if it will continue to gain momentum.

“I feel like they are going to make us wait for a long time and I don’t feel like they did a good job of closing season two, it left a lot of loose ends and open plotlines, so I don’t know if people will still be interested or get bored,” Camille Pomeroy (’24) said.