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Thursday May 19th

‘Euphoria’ season 2 review: A euphoric high you can’t come down from

(Photo courtesy of HBO, https://www.hbo.com/euphoria)
(Photo courtesy of HBO, https://www.hbo.com/euphoria)

By Jordan Galan
Staff Writer

The Emmy award-winning HBO drama “Euphoria” began airing its second season on Jan. 9, and what a whirlwind it was. Starring Sydney Sweeny and Zendaya, the series was exceptional — not only in its character development, but how every moment felt like an explosion waiting to happen. 

“Euphoria” is known for being unpredictable, but this season there were absolutely no clues as to what would happen next. From the very first episode my jaw had already hit the floor, and that was only the beginning of what was to come in this season’s myriad of surprises and heartaches. The show had a way of leaving hints as to what would happen, but how it all unfolded bit by bit could only be summed up as a non-stop heart attack. The scenes were so jarring that I couldn’t help but shout at the screen and look away, only to turn back and watch as it was too addicting to turn off. 

Each character had their dark secrets, but how they came to light was spectacular and volatile. The lying, cheating and toxic love never ceased to amaze me. How love can be so twisted and manipulative I will never understand, but to watch it play out was a constant source of excitement. The overarching theme of “am I a good person?” resonated within every character this season, whether they would openly admit it or not. Each character is deeply flawed in their own way and the characters I once loved became the ones I despised the most. The primary feelings of fear, anger and love were ultimately the driving force behind every action, and it was pure bliss to watch. 

I could not have been more impressed with Zendaya’s role in this well-crafted series. Her ability to immerse herself in the role of a drug addict is extraordinary. Watching her go through withdrawal and take her anger out on her family and friends felt so real that I was speechless. Rue’s character development from start to finish is sublime. She does not have the Disney-style ending in which her problems miraculously disappear, but there is a reflection of her past and present self that is beautiful to watch. It’s no surprise why she won outstanding lead actress in a drama for her role in Euphoria back in 2020, but Zendaya is not the only actor/actress that has shown such depth within their character. 

The show’s plot line is thrilling, but without the skills of the performers the plot would fall through. The series relies heavily on the characters to show depth and development and that could not have been achieved if the actors/actresses did not fulfill their roles perfectly. The growth and deterioration of each character takes you on an emotional rollercoaster and just when you start to think things are turning around something happens that makes everything come crashing down. Every little detail that goes into each character truly is what makes the series so addicting to watch. 

With all these moving parts coming together, the show becomes a magnificent culmination of pure chaos and strife. It romanticizes the drug addict experience with strategic lighting and music choice. The lighting difference per scene, as well as the music choice, is able to convey key messages all on its own. The ambience created with these two factors resulted in uncontrollable goosebumps and involuntary shivers that would leave me breathless. I felt like I was holding my breath for most of the season, and in no way shape or form did I lose interest in what the next episode had to offer.

The show undoubtedly lived up to its expectations, but the only thing that fell a little flat was the ending. There were definitely heart-wrenching and hilarious scenes that made me want to laugh and cry, but the ending left me feeling as if something was supposed to happen. It was a bittersweet ending, and I only hope that if a third season were to be produced that I would be left with something more satisfying. Regardless, the season was a masterpiece, and I would happily watch it again from start to finish to enjoy it once more. 




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