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Clearing the Haze from the Euphoria Craze: Why Everyone Seems to be Obsessed with the Show

If you open any of your social media accounts, you are bound to see something about the show Euphoria. The actors and actresses are wildly popular among Gen Z with all the “hype” surrounding the show, and if you make a TikTok even just mentioning the show, your video is pretty much guaranteed to get on the For You page. But why is that? Is the show really that good? Or is there a deeper reason why everyone seems to be so obsessed with the show?

On Sunday nights at 9 P.M. EST, the majority of Gen Z is parked in front of a TV so they can watch the newest episode of Euphoria. At Holy Cross, all the girls who live on my floor have “Euphoria watch parties.” I know plenty of guys who even watch the show, too. The show follows a group of high school students as they all struggle in a world filled with drugs, sex, trauma and social media. There are many who praise the creators for portraying these delicate topics in such an honest and raw fashion. There is something to be said for this review; the directors did a great job of making sure to show all sides of the ugly realities each character is facing, and they did not shy away from this one bit. However, there are also many who criticize the show for being unrealistic. Not many high schoolers are facing the problems that these characters are confronting. I can see the point that the critics are trying to make, but I think that is a very narrow vision of what the show is trying to accomplish. Focusing on the fact that the trauma these high schoolers are facing seems unrealistic is not only short sighted, but also ignorant. Many people of all ages have been affected by someone who has a drug addiction like Rue, others struggle with their body image like Kat, and many have been scared to leave an abusive relationship like Maddy. Dismissing the show for the fact that not all high schoolers have the same experience invalidates the entire point of the show. Everyone who watches can find something that they relate to, and it is refreshing to see the problems you are struggling with portrayed in such a direct way. 

That being said, why are people all across the country obsessing over this show? Surely, this cannot be the only show that is addressing the hard topics that everyone is too scared to talk about? I really started to think about why I watch the show at all after season two started. I could not really pinpoint it to be completely honest. I remember starting the show because I found out Zendaya is one of the main characters. But why do I still watch it, and how does it seem to keep everyone captivated? I asked my friends what their thoughts were, and they said that they felt that they had already invested too much time to stop watching now. Others said that they wanted to be able to understand the TikToks that start coming out right after the new episode airs. Mostly everyone I talked to seemed to share these sentiments. While I believe the show is great in its own right, I think there is something to be said about why the show has attracted such a large crowd. Nobody wants to be the only person who does not understand the joke, and this herd mentality seems to be contributing to the wild popularity of Euphoria. That is not to say that the show is not successful due to its own merit, but I think that reason explains what attracts viewers in the first place, and many stay because they want to be like the rest of their generation. The next time you find yourself watching Euphoria, ask yourself what really makes you want to watch the show.

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Bella McIntyre

Holy Cross '25

Hi my name is Bella McIntyre and I am a freshman at Holy Cross. I currently want to study Political Science in hopes of one day becoming a criminal defense attorney. I love hanging out with my friends, going to get coffee, and trying new things.
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