Why aren’t you watching season two of ‘Euphoria’?

Gracie Cox, Editor-in-Chief

Following the release of its first season over two years ago, season two of the hit HBO show, “Euphoria” is now ready to be devoured by its highly eager audience. The show, created by Sam Levinson, follows the stories of several East Highland High School students as they navigate the tumultuous waters of adolescence, addiction, identity and sexuality. Featuring a cast combining well-known actors, such as Zendaya and Eric Dane, and hidden gems like Barbie Ferreira, the show has been a hit from the start, infatuating its viewers with glittery eyeshadow and punchy storytelling. But considering the first season’s success and infamous reputation, will season two live up to the hype?

So far, my answer is yes. After having seen the first five episodes, I’ve been impressed with season two. Not only did Levinson keep the magic of the first season alive, but he also improved upon it in many ways, delighting loyal viewers and drawing new ones to the world of East Highland.

Although “Euphoria” was received well in its early days, it has also faced a great deal of backlash concerning its raunchy subject material and portrayal of addiction. Following its protagonist Rue, played by Zendaya, “Euphoria” submerges its audience into the world of a drug addict. The show has been criticized by many for its supposed glamorization of drug culture and addiction. This argument is common and easy to make considering the many glitter-plastered scenes of Rue and other characters taking drugs at parties and losing themselves in their effects. But, when juxtaposed to scenes showing the effects of Rue’s addiction, these scenes lose their glamor. While its portrayal of addiction gets “Euphoria” in hot water, I think it’s one of the most well thought out aspects of the show. As a former addict himself, Levinson does an excellent job at portraying both the ugly and the beautiful aspects of drug culture. We see Rue climbing on ceilings in an opioid-laden fog one moment and choking on her own vomit as a result of an overdose the next. When it comes to its portrayal of drugs, like with many other topics, “Euphoria” is raw, which some people just can’t appreciate.

Now, moving on to focus on just season two, let’s talk about filming. In an attempt to replicate the feeling of a party at five A.M, when everyone should have already gone home, Levinson decided to film season two all on film. The difference is noticeable and gives the season a nostalgic feel. I personally love the change, and I appreciate how the film’s yellow undertones and unique capture of light display the characters’ emotions from episode to episode. It was a brave choice to make, and I think that it delivered a whole new experience.

“Euphoria” has done an amazing job in attaching its audience to the characters. They are all so inherently flawed and unique, from their backstories to their fashion senses, making them more loveable than they should be. Truth be told, everyone in the show is a terrible person. They lie, hurt others and are extremely self-obsessed (except for my girl, Lexi, of course). That’s what makes them realistic and what makes me nervous to watch their stories develop. They leave me wondering just how many terrible things one person can do, especially Nate.

I clearly am impressed with “Euphoria’s” second season; however, I am disappointed to see one of my favorite aspects of the first season being largely ignored. British musician, Labrinth, composed an electrifying soundtrack for season one. Each song fits a specific incident or emotion that was occurring at the time. Each song was unique and the soundtrack added so much to the show. Labrinth put his heart and soul into the soundtrack for the first season, and I can’t help but notice that it has fallen flat for the second. I have heard a few songs repeat from the first season’s soundtrack and a handful made for season two, but other than that, Labrinth has been wiped from “Euphoria” completely. His work made the show what it is recognized as today, and it feels that something is missing without him being used to his full potential.

Although season two is almost over, don’t despair, as I expect that a third season is on its way due to the show’s massive popularity. And for those who have not seen “Euphoria,” I recommend you give it a try. It can be intense and graphic at times, but the experience is overall worth it. If you need to “feel something” and enjoy wasting your time watching T.V. as much as I do, “Euphoria” is available on HBO Max for your enjoyment.