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The Fall Down Of “Euphoria” Female Leads in Season Two

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The second season of "Euphoria" is already over, with eight episodes that were extremely commented on social media over the weeks. The series broke records and became the second most-watched series on HBO, behind only "Game of Thrones". Besides that, the first episode surpassed 2.4 million viewers across all platforms, and the number has only been growing throughout the season.

Even with all this success, the plot, written and directed by Sam Levinson, disappointed fans with the lack of continuity in the script and especially with the fall down of most of the female characters, who had all the development of the first season left aside.

The first season

"Euphoria" was born from the adaptation of an Israeli series and won over thousands of people in 2019 with the release of its first season. The series tells the story of a group of teenagers in high school who go through various conflicts and traumas, with Rue, played by Zendaya, as the protagonist.

During the first season, several debates were put on the agenda, complex stories were told, each character had their own narrative and within it several layers, it was not just a Manichaeism with a struggle between good and evil. The female characters were well written and each had its own internal struggle. Over the course of the second season, this was getting lost for some of these characters, they were left aside and everything that was built and shown to us in the first season did not have continuity or the story became poorly written.

the fall down

The character who had the worst development in the season was Kat Hernandez, played by Barbie Ferreira.

In the first season, we observed Kat's entire journey towards self-acceptance and conflicts related to pornography. However, this season the character disappeared, having few lines in the episodes and no development at all. The entire story previously told was not resumed, which brought a supporting tone to the actress this season.

Jules, played by Hunter Schafer, also had her development stunted. During the first season and especially in her special episode, we saw a huge internal conflict from the character about her femininity and how she used it as a mask. We were also introduced to her entire journey as a trans woman and the trauma related to her mother, who was an addict. But this season, her path didn't show much of the layers we were presented with.

Even characters who received major prominence this season, like Sydney Sweeney's Cassie Howard, had their downfalls. The character's sexualization was something strong in the first season and that was part of her story, however, in this one, we had moments of sexualization that were not necessary and did not add to the development of the character. The actress felt comfortable during the recordings and because of a greater affinity with the character, she talked with the director about some nudity scenes that weren't necessary.

Even with these problems, all the actresses managed to deliver engaging performances to the audience, which made the series a success. In addition, characters that we didn't have so much contact with before received more screen time, as is the case of Lexi Howard, played by Maude Apatow, who gained a special space this season and won over the fans of the series.

Already, the two characters who have had a greater development journey are Rue (Zendaya), who had her arc of surrender after moments of great tension and relapses due to drugs. Zendaya's character building was spectacular this season, some ups and downs fascinated viewers and critics. And Maddy Perez (Alexa Demie), who has become a very different person from last season, even with the conflicts established with her best friend Cassie, the character had great development and also became even more beloved by fans.

The female characters of "Euphoria" are very plural, with a plot that involves everyone and that makes you get closer to the stories and characters, the lack of development was a huge loss in the second season. But, as the series has been renewed for a third season, there is still hope that the stories left in the first season will be picked up again.

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The article above was written by Isadora Costa and edited by Marina Fornazieri. Liked this type of content? Check Her Campus Cásper Líbero's home page for more!

Isadora Costa

Casper Libero '24

Journalism student passionate about any form of art. Telling stories fascinates and that's what I'm trying to do here.
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