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Euphoria is HBO’s hit show that has continuously reached milestones and raked in millions of viewers every Sunday, the question here is how. Premiering in 2019, not many people knew what to expect from Euphoria, but they definitely were not expecting what the show delivers. The initial draw to Euphoria for many people came from Zendaya and the overall aesthetic. Zendaya was someone we all knew; she was the Disney Channel actress and singer many members of our generation grew up with. The aesthetic of the show also drew in the teenage audience with visions of glitter, neon, and high-school parties that seemed not as lame as the ones that exist in reality.

Many expected a slightly more grown-up version of Zendaya, but no one was expecting the glitter-coated, explicit, mature show that she presented us all with. The show was most definitely shocking to say the least. It plunges into deep issues such as mental health, sexuality, death, addiction, depression, and the troubles of teenage love. Euphoria presented us with not the Zendaya we expected, but perhaps the one she wanted to show us. Zendaya has repeatedly expressed the passion and love she holds for Euphoria and how important of a project it was to her. 

With characters such as Rue, an addict who feels hopeless, depressed, and is surrounded by enablers; Cassie, the insecure girl who relies on the men around her to feel valid and worthy in the absence of her father; Maddy, the seemingly tough ‘it-girl’ who keeps her walls up to protect herself; Kat, the body-conscious girl who sets out on a mission to build her confidence and reputation; Nate, the mysterious jock who mistreats girls due to the damage his father caused; Jules, the new girl who has a backstory of trauma surrounding her sexuality, gender-presentation,  and mental health; and plenty of other major players, the show gives every audience member a chance to perhaps form a personal connection with one of them. 

The allure of Euphoria most definitely comes from its relatability, don’t get me wrong, the show is intense, dramatic, and can get very ugly at times, but that’s part of what draws people in. The extensive range of characters that portray a variety of issues and backstories leaves almost every viewer with some part of themselves that they can see on screen. 

The fascination of Euphoria started with the glitter, the lights, and the idealism, but what kept and continues to keep the viewers coming back is something much deeper. The show does not shy away from showing the ugliest parts of each character, reminding us that even on television, everyone is far from perfect. 

Grace Kelly

St. John's '25

Grace is a freshman at St. John's University majoring in Adolescent Education with a concentration in English. She enjoys reading, writing, exploring the city, and watching rom-coms in her free time.
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