Loosely based on the Israeli miniseries with the same name created by Ron Leshem, Daphna Levin, Tmira Yardeni, HBO’s Euphoria follows struggling teenager Rue Bennet (Zendaya) as she fights to navigate high school life and manage her drug addiction post- rehab.
Sam Levinson’s show is a stark, contemporary portrayal of the teenage experience, a chaotic mix of hard-hitting real-life problems and wild party culture. Thus, Euphoria excels in maturely representing young people’s problems that are often not seen on screen, like drug addiction, body image, sexual fantasies, and toxic relationships.
Drama covered in glitter
The way the series tackles its subject matter makes it comparable to shows like Skins and Skam. Besides, its focus on fleshing out its characters to go beyond common tropes. Euphoria is mainly a drama, but thanks to its protagonist Rue’s deadpan humor holds on to a sense of ironic humor.
Above all else, Euphoria has had a widespread resonance primarily with its visuals. Glowing and sparkling in an LED palette of pinks, blues, and glitter, and punctuated with trippy sequences that have Rue walking on walls Inception-style or inexplicably starring in a music video, it has a distinct style that makes it feel like a turbulent fever dream. As a result, the show manages to create a visceral portrayal of the teenage experience.
Finally, the show also includes an original soundtrack to complement the visuals, in a similar vein to a show like Riverdale.