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Is Euphoria’s Season 2 Really Euphoric?

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

Recently, I have been anxiously awaiting Sunday nights to watch Euphoria at 9:00 p.m. And I know a lot of you are with me. Euphoria season 2 premiered on January 9th, and garnered 8.3 million viewers on HBO and HBO Max combined, almost three times the viewership of their season 1 premiere in 2019. Euphoria is one of the most highly critiqued and talked about shows in the country right now. As a new fan, I’ll be reviewing the first four episodes of Season 2 of HBO’s iconic Euphoria. (**Also, there’s a lot of spoilers below!!)

First, let’s talk about none other than Sydney Sweeney. Sweeney’s character, Cassie, has garnered tons of hate this season over her secret rendezvous with her best friend Maddy’s (Alexa Demie’s character) on-again off-again boyfriend, Nate Jacobs, portrayed by Jacob Elordi. Cassie’s controversial, messy behavior this season has included many scenes of her portrayed in the nude. Zandaya’s character Rue, is the only actress in the show with a non-nudity clause in her contract. The numerous scenes consisting of nudity from most of the cast like Sweeney and Demie have critics asking if the immense amount of nudity is necessary or warranted. 

Euphoria’s Maddy (Alexa Demie, left) and Cassie (Sydney Sweeney, right)

When asked about the nudity in the show in an interview with The Independent, Sweeney said, “There are moments where [my character] Cassie was supposed to be shirtless and I would tell Sam [Levinson, the director and producer] ‘I don’t really think that’s necessary here.’” Like Sweeney, and many others, I am of the opinion that much of the nudity in Euphoria is unnecessary and many times especially confusing in the context of the scene. The more concerning part about the nudity in the show is that the characters are portraying teenagers who are still in high school. 

In an interview with Vogue, Demie stated, “The nudity was — it was tough for me because I’m, you know, I’m not really… I’m just not comfortable like that publicly. So it was hard for me. But it definitely, like I said, pulled me out of my comfort zone, and after I did it, I watched it and it’s just…it’s not that serious.”

Since the show premiered almost a month ago, many people feel that the show’s plot has not advanced enough over the span of four episodes. Many original characters, like Kat (played by Barbie Ferreira) have had very little screen time with almost no storyline. It is rumored that Ferreira and Levinson were at odds over Ferreira’s character Kat, so Levinson has begun to write her out of the show. Since episode 4 aired this Sunday, there seems to be more storylines, but a lack of developing ones that were already there, with the exception of the Maddy-Cassie-Nate love triangle. 

Kat – played by Barbie Ferreira

While we have pieces of many other storylines— like Fez killing Mouse, Maddy having Cal’s tape, Elliott and Jules’ affair, Kat’s relationship with Ethan, Rue’s suitcase of illegal drugs, and so much more— it seems like the writers keep adding storylines with dramatic effect rather than adding substance to the show by developing the original storylines. 

One of Euphoria’s biggest storylines surrounds the narrator, Rue, and her battle with addiction. Many viewers have expressed their negative opinions about how the show ‘glorifies’ drug addiction, when in reality it is anything but euphoric. Many creators on the app TikTok have voiced their disappointment in the show, including clips and videos of struggling addicts in their lives depicting how difficult and heartbreaking the disease is. In the preview for episode 5, airing next Sunday, February 6, Rue’s addiction seems to get more complicated, and if imaginable, even worse.

Sadie is a sophomore at the University of Connecticut double majoring in Journalism & Gender Law and minoring in Women's studies. She’s a raging feminist and iced chai tea latte extraordinaire.
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