Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

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

Euphoria by Sam Levinson has taken the world by storm following the release of its second season after a two-year wait. Infamously coined “Euphoria Sunday” by its devoted fans, viewers across the globe would religiously tune in at 9:00 p.m. EST on Sundays and conquer every social media platform to exchange ideas, spoilers, offer elaborate theories and post hilarious memes.

Despite the first season’s immense success, this season has proven to be an entirely different experience as it reached new heights, garnering an astounding 2.4 million viewers for the premiere alone. According to HBO, approximately 6.6 million viewers tuned in for the long-anticipated finale, while the entirety of season two is currently averaging 16.3 million viewers across all HBO services. In addition to receiving 34 million tweets since its revival in January, Euphoria has also become the most tweeted show of the decade.

There is no doubt that the fan base has grown since the show’s inception as people from all walks of life are joining together to celebrate this work of television. It’s impressive how Euphoria has achieved such record-breaking success, but how much of it can be attributed to social media?

It was back in 2019 when I finally succumbed to the internet pressure and decided to watch the show. Even though I enjoyed the first season, I wasn’t blown away like everyone expected me to be. I thought it was a decent show with good acting, but nothing that deserved the insane amount of hype it received. Fast-forward to three years later with the launch of season two, and it’s gotten worse. I can understand why some people might have initially enjoyed it because it was something different and hello, it’s Zendaya. Of course people are going to watch. But I’m not sure the same can be said anymore. Having already become so invested in the storyline, I continued to watch every week. The previous season left off with too many outstanding questions, and I wanted answers. 

Yet I was still left disappointed as I watched the show. Even in the midst of all the hype surrounding Euphoria, I was never able to overlook the major plot holes and inconsistencies. It attempted to cover up its lack of storytelling with pretty lights and impressive cinematography, but it failed miserably. It wasn’t enough to distract me. Despite the overwhelming and deafening online praise, I’ve always been critical of the plot and characters of this show. While these elements initially attracted me, ultimately it was the hype that kept me intrigued. Euphoria was all anyone ever talked about, and I wanted to be kept in the loop. In some cases, I found myself getting excited again, only to be disappointed by the terrible payoff, and I was caught in a vicious cycle of disappointment. 

Director Sam Levinson employs a variety of artistic approaches in regards to how episodes are presented, but it never quite does it for me. It is truly amazing how he can create all of this excitement and energy only to completely deflate the continuity and flow. One of his signature moves is to reach the apex of a storyline only to cut to a completely different arc.

Although there were times when he had me by the hook as I eagerly waited in anticipation, the execution was so disappointing. Consider the Maddy and Cassie storyline. Maddy finding out her best friend is sleeping with her ex-boyfriend was one of the most highly-awaited episodes of the season. We waited weeks and weeks for what was expected to be an insanely satisfying brawl between the girls yet their storyline just …pauses. Maddy finds out, yells for a minute, runs after Cassie, and then Levinson decides that’s all we get. Just a crumb. But don’t worry, they return to the action a couple of episodes later once most of us are over it, and yet it magically still manages to disappoint. Let’s be real, was that single scene in the finale truly sufficient following a whole season of Cassie being a horrid friend and an absolute lunatic? 

In addition to what we’ve already discussed, there are still a lot of unanswered questions that season two failed to discuss. Whether it was due to behind-the-scenes drama or simply an oversight, this is a professional setting that fans have been waiting for for over two years. To be honest, things should have been planned out a little better. Like, what happened between Nate and Jules? Why did they just completely drop that storyline? What happened to Kat’s storyline? Heck, even Ethan had more screentime than her this season. Where was BB up until the finale? Who’s the second child in the Jacobs family? Where did McKay disappear off to? What about Laurie? Are we expected to believe that this seemingly-ruthless drug mogul just forgives Rue and waves her fees? How did Rue have enough time to sober up and start living her best life when she has this tycoon after her? What about the cameras in Samantha’s (Minka Kelly) and Maddy’s houses? Will Cal Jacobs be exposed to the public? I personally believe that storylines and the corresponding elements should be addressed within the same season that they are introduced. Otherwise, it’s just lazy and frustrating. And in order to end a season successfully, there has to be a glimmer of hope or foreshadowing of what is to come. 

Another thing that really turned me off from the show is the irony of it all. Euphoria is a show about teenagers meant for teenagers. It highlights the dangerous reality of drug abuse, along with a plethora of other topics, yet it is advertised for mature audiences (ages 19 and up). This is due to both the heavy subject matter as well as the excessive amount of nudity, which has been a complaint from several actors on the show such as Sydney Sweeney and Minka Kelly. While I understand wanting to normalize the human body and our desires, there is absolutely no need for actresses such as Sweeney to be bare-naked in almost every episode. Sexuality can definitely be explored and depicted within boundaries without resorting to soft-core pornography. It seems counter-productive to compromise the integrity of the show to add some nudity. Come on, Sam. Let’s be a little more creative and a little less creepy, thanks. 

I thought I was the only one who was disappointed by the season because everyone got sucked into the craze. The show would get really hyped during Euphoria Sundays, and people would sing its praises all week long until the next episode was released. It wasn’t until the show ended that I finally saw people agreeing with me. There was a lull in the craze, and everyone settled down. People began to think clearly and noticed the inconsistencies. They weren’t blinded by social media anymore, nor did they fall victim to the herd mentality.

Even though I have my fair share of complaints about Euphoria, it is still one of the most visually appealing shows I have ever seen. The cinematography is absolutely breathtaking, and you can tell every single scene is meticulously planned (visually, that is). All the actors are talented, and the performances provide an extremely accurate and heart-wrenching portrayal of drug addiction among other topics. I hope that the storylines are more organized and the natural order of events doesn’t get skewed next season so that viewers can have a better experience.

Yes, the fact that I’m so invested in the show makes me eager to watch it. My weeks were enriched by Euphoria Sundays, and I had a great time participating. Although COVID-19 has stripped us of a physical sense of community, social media never fails to welcome us with a warm embrace. It was beautiful having this unified experience where everyone on the internet was essentially having a giant watch party, and everyone was invited to take part. Despite my mixed feelings towards the season, it was a wonderful adventure.

Aishah Ashraf is a second-year journalism student at Ryerson University whose hopes to pursue a career as a talk-show host are fuelled by her passion to remedy the absence of female Muslim representation in the entertainment industry. When she isn’t writing, you can find her rambling on about pop culture, searching for new adventures to embark on, or binge-watching programs on Netflix like the television fanatic she is. 
Similar Reads👯‍♀️