Euphoria is a dark series, but it’s also downright mesmerizing in its darkness.
This is an exceptionally bleak story about the trials of young adulthood, and it can be difficult to watch. The show tackles everything from drug abuse to anxiety and sexual orientation, but through it all, Zendaya grounds it with an understated performance that’s oozing with depth. Her Rue Bennett is a 17 year old drug addict who can only find solace in the illicit substances she gets her hands on. Rue’s friendship with Jules, a trans girl she befriends, is also very heartwarming – two very misunderstood women coming together in an increasingly aggressive world. The show is definitely on to something with regards to their budding friendship.
Cleverly enough, Euphoria has little bits of humor to break the tension, and they’re delivered through Rue’s intriguing voiceover. The show uses the device well, which is refreshing as so many series are a flop when it comes to using this narrative tool to highlight certain emotions and developments.
A warning that yes the show is very graphic, particularly when it comes to nudity, but it also feels right with regards to the story. It helps that the show has a distinct visual style, particularly when Rue gets high. The colors and the cinematography blend together beautifully to bring that “euphoria” to life.
Also, be on the lookout for Grey’s Anatomy‘s very own McSteamy (Eric Dane). His character is definitely an unexpected one.
Euphoria can be an uncomfortable watch, but pops of humor and riveting themes make this a solid pilot.