Euphoria: A Gen Z Masterpiece


Mei Dotzler, Contributor

In the summer of 2019, Zendaya’s “Euphoria” aired for the first time on HBO. Euphoria addresses the challenging topics of drugs, sex, and abuse with brutal honesty. Although sometimes uncomfortable to watch, this teen drama sheds light on the heaviest of issues in the most gritty way.

The show follows its narrator, Rue (played by Zendaya), as she’s a drug addict fresh-out-of-rehab with no desire to stay clean. In addition to Rue, we also follow other key characters who are struggling with the matters of toxic masculinity, sexual insecurities, and body shaming. All of which plague a teenager’s mind, pressuring them to turn to unconventional coping mechanisms.

@euphoria on Instagram

Euphoria’s lack of censorship has caused a big controversy. On one hand, people will agree that this show is just for the aesthetics, and fits right in with the Juul generation, having only been watched because of the teen dominated app, Tik Tok. On the other hand, people will argue that Euphoria accurately highlights human struggles, and shows the dark realities of high school.

Zendaya with co-star, Hunter Schafer

So what are my thoughts? First of all, I think some of Euphoria’s popularity attests to just how explicit it is. People like watching slightly uncomfortable things when they can’t look away. This show is no stranger to shock value, and people love that. Second of all, I do think Euphoria slightly glorifies drug abuse. Being that a lot of their viewers are younger, Euphoria makes it seem like doing Molly on the bleachers is a good idea, as the characters make it look so “cool”. Young teenagers are impressionable, and this show isn’t doing them any favors by glamorizing it.

That being said, I really do like the show. I think the way it was filmed was incredible, different and very visually pleasing. I loved the character development, and by the end, I felt like I was in the show, experiencing everything with them. I don’t necessarily have a favorite character because everyone is not only extremely toxic to others, but to themselves. But if I had to choose, it would be Fez or Cassie.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed myself while watching Euphoria. No matter who you are, you can relate to someone in this hyperdramatic high school world. Would I recommend watching this with your parents? Absolutely not. But if you’re a teenager struggling with confidence, Euphoria is worth a watch, with a message of finding yourself when all odds are against you.