It’s official, Euphoria has finally peaked. Not only did Euphoria’s season 2 become one of the best written and produced shows of the last few years, it also became HBO’s second most popular show after Game of Thrones.
Sam Levinson’s “Euphoria” is a blend of a little bit of everything, from classic teen drama’s such as Skins, to romance and adult content such as drugs, explicit sexual content and a whole lot of cussing. “Euphoria” is perhaps one of the most visceral series we’ve seen in ages, it’s a show that isn’t afraid of showcasing what exactly it needs to showcase in order to further the plot. However, in doing so, Euphoria makes it clear that this isn’t real life and it is simply fiction.
Jules and Rue, A Catastrophic Duo:
Whenever Jules and Rue are in the same scene together, they’re never really ‘together’. Their dynamic is that they are both not compatible at all, Jules is just a fun-loving spray of star dust, whereas Rue is more of a brooding, lost, ‘trying to find some semblance of hope in anything’ kind of person. Their dichotomy is that they are completely different, yet they do somewhat yearn for each other, but when they do get together, they’re just absolutely horrible to one another.
This was their storyline this season, in particular Jules’. Not only did they get back together, Rue even found herself another compatriot in Elliot and they started doing drugs together again. However, Rue and Jules’ relationship was upset massively when Elliot and Jules started hooking up behind her back. Which eventually led to one of the biggest reveals in the season yet, and that is where we saw Zendaya show up as one of the best young actors in the world.
Rue’s Addiction, An Insight Into Her Mind:
While the first season did a great job of showcasing how the mind of a drug addict would work, the second season puts you full throttle into the mind of Rue. Rue is an absolutely confused, heart-broken soul, who is just running around in her bland town and her boring life, trying to make sure that nothing hurts her anymore, that she’s the one causing the hurt instead. Her solution to all the pain she’s enduring is numbness, which she can only get through drugs.
She devises a plan this season to become a drug peddler for one of the more dangerous drug kingpins in the series, Laurie. However, Elliot tells Jules about this plan and she in return tells Rue’s mom. This leads to perhaps one of the most horrifying and most aggressive we’ve seen Rue be, and all I can say is that this was a scene both acted and written to perfection. Rue stabs everyone in the heart with her horrible words, not thinking a single second before speaking. She offends everyone, her mother, her girlfriend, her best friend, people she is friends with like Cassie and Maddy, her little sister and even Ali, her sponsor.
A Love Triangle, A Broken Love Story:
Another love triangle was formed this season, Cassie managed to fall in love with Nate Jacobs somehow when Maddy was just thinking of getting back with him. This led to a lot of secrecy and a lot of scenes that contain Cassie in some very questionable situations. On the other hand, Cassie’s sister Lexi perhaps has the biggest role of all this season. Lexi’s arc this season starts with her infatuation with Fezco, whose life just got way harder this season. The cops are on his tail ever since they killed Mouse, so Fez and Ash were really thrown directly into the spotlight as much as they tried to avoid it. However, Lexi on the other hand wrote a play.
Lexi’s play takes the centerstage for the last two episodes of this season. It is a beautifully written, intricately designed play that is made from the memories of Lexi’s life. It showcases people that she sees in her life through her eyes, showcasing her perspective on things. It doesn’t directly name who they are but you have a clear idea of who she’s talking about. She made sure that this play affected everyone who saw it in different ways.
Cassie and Maddy were embarrassed, Kat was ashamed, Nate was furious, Rue… Rue was enlightened, perhaps. However, the one person she wanted the most to see it, didn’t make it. Fezco’s situation got worse on the day of Lexi’s play, and that was due to some horrible events taking place. What happened to Fez, we won’t know for sure until the next season comes out, however, what is going to happen to their broken love story, we know that it won’t go seemingly anywhere now that Fez will most likely be incarcerated.
Smart Filmmaking, A Bit of a Writing Issue:
In essence, I feel like Euphoria’s filmmaking has gone severely up in comparison to the first season. Sure, the first season was still fantastically written and produced, with some amazing cinematography done by the masterful mind Hungarian auteur cinematographer Marcell Rév. His work in not just the lighting for Euphoria, but for the overall design of the fantastic shots in this series is absolutely magnificent. I remember that one of the episodes had an opening shot that was directly put up to someone’s eye, and it was reflecting memories through them. It really showcased how experimental and smart the people working on this show were, artistically.
Whereas with the writing though, there are some questionable choices here that don’t really make sense. For one, Cassie’s going through an actual Joker arc now. She’s lost her mind completely and has gone kind of crazy because Nate doesn’t love her the way she wanted. Whereas with Jules, she cheats on Rue again despite the fact that it was one of the things that literally wrecked their relationship once already in the past. It’s confusing how some of the choices don’t make sense, and how they always lead up to one or the other person being absolutely terrible to their loved ones. Though one of the few choices that did make sense was Lexi and Fez as a duo, as they listened to Stand By Me while staring into each other’s eyes.
In conclusion, HBO’s “Euphoria” is perhaps one of the biggest glow-ups in TV history. It utilizes its core strengths, the tasteful aesthetic, the wonderful actors who come well prepared for their roles this time around, and a story about nothing but betrayal and angst. It’s a show about broken people trying to figure out their way around this world and its massive issues, yet they never do and their problems seemingly get worse. The future does look slightly hopeful for Rue, and I wish that is the case, though you never really know with a show such as this.