‘Euphoria’ redefines the teen drama for high schoolers


(Photo obtained from IMDB.com) "Euphoria" succeeds as a teen drama because it is realistic and entertaining.

By Candace Ortman, Arts & Culture Editor

Teenagers have always been somewhat of a mystery to parents. They are difficult to understand because teenage culture is constantly shifting and what is in now may not be in five years from now. Television shows about teenage life are difficult to make because the series can easily become unrealistic and corny. As the world changes, networks attempt to make shows that will talk about the hot button issues in our society. HBO’s “Euphoria” has reset the bar as a realistic and entertaining portrayal of a teenager’s life in high school. 

With its outrageous makeup and costumes, “Euphoria” gives a very florid depiction of extremely controversial issues and how they affect the youth of America. The main issue that is discussed in the show is teenage drug addiction. However there are some less discussed issues including abortion and domestic abuse. The main character, Rue, played by Zendaya, suffers with mental health issues in addition to terrible addiction. Zendaya’s Emmy-worthy portrayal of Rue helps build awareness for the issues that the character suffers with. 

The cast of young actors have created quite the buzz on social media with their very trendy style on and off of the show. Specifically, the makeup artists are receiving the praise of starting new trends that many fans have been creating all over social media. 

West Essex students have been loving “Euphoria” as well. Junior Katelyn Doud binge-watched “Euphoria” and like many others, fell in love with it. 

“It’s different because it’s unfiltered and more realistic compared to other shows that talk about teenagers in high school,” Doud said. 

Although the show is intended for mature audiences, teens can learn a lot from “Euphoria” due to the graphic depictions of how the terrible decisions that characters make can affect their relationships with the other characters. Another popular show that attempted to have this effect on teenagers and parents was “Thirteen Reasons Why.” Many “Euphoria” fans are claiming that “Euphoria” did what “Thirteen Reasons Why” tried to do. 

Junior Mike Aktas is also a huge fan of the show and he had strong feelings about the difference between the two shows. 

“I completely think that ‘Euphoria’ did what ‘Thirteen Reason Why’ tried to do,” Atkas said. “It talked about a lot of the same issues but in a much more realistic and entertaining way. I also enjoyed the personalities and style of each character in ‘Euphoria’ which made it much more interesting to watch. Nothing felt forced or cheesy like it did in ‘Thirteen Reason Why.’”

The way the show is organized also kept viewers interested. At the beginning of each episode a character is introduced along with their backstory. Because the episodes are not arranged traditionally, the events unfold in non-chronological order. This causes viewers to want to keep watching in order to understand more details about the characters and their lives. 

“I think the way the episodes are organized is very effective because each and every episode you wonder who is next,” Doud said.  “The first episode is about the main character, Rue and in the episodes following you find out more information about her and her friends which really kept me interested.”