Euphoria is a popular drama series rated TV-MA that first aired on June 16th, 2019, and was created by Sam Levinson. The show follows a group of teenagers in the 90s who all deal with their own issues while going to every party they can and engaging in activities that would greatly affect them later in life.
This show brings light to sensitive real-life issues such as mental illness, drug abuse, toxic/abusive relationships, and sexual assault. It showcases the real emotions of the characters and gives the viewer a sense of what people with these issues really go through. Each character in this series seems to represent and bring attention to an important issue. Rue Bennett, played by Zendaya, is a teen who deals with bipolar, anxiety, and OCD disorder. In the show, she was recently discharged from rehab for her drug addiction but doesn’t have any interest in getting better. This show follows Rue and her friends while she narrates the story, providing insight into all their lives.
This show presents other complex characters such as Jules Vaughn, played by Hunter Schafer, who deals with struggles such as gender dysphoria, depression, and self-harm. Along with these issues going on in her head, she was also forced into a mental hospital at the young age of eleven years old. Jules’ problems are first mentioned in Episode 4, Season 1 “Shook Ones Pt. II.” This episode shows what it was like for Jules during a group therapy session while in this mental hospital; this brings light onto the serious topic of how people in mental hospitals are viewed and what people in these situations think of themselves.
Another main character that is brought up in this show is Maddy Perez, played by Alexa Demie. Maddy loves to party and get dressed up accompanied by her boyfriend Nate Jacobs, played by Jacob Elordi. From a quick glance, you would think they are a happy couple but in reality, they have many issues. Maddy deals with getting physically and mentally abused by Nate throughout the show, and in Episode 4, Season 1, Maddy goes to a carnival wearing a revealing party outfit which frustrates Nate who then starts screaming and putting his hands on Maddy leaving marks on her body. Then again in Episode 5 Season 1, Maddy faints during school and the cops come to handle the situation. They notice all the bruises along her body and start an investigation questioning her and taking pictures of all these wounds. Maddy’s character goes out of her way to protect her abuser and hide all proof of injuries that were caused by her partner which is something people in these situations in real life often do. Many people lie about the situation because they are scared of what their partner might do to them or the possibility of losing them.
Nate Jacobs, who is also Maddy’s on and off boyfriend in this series, deals with anger issues and is described as a psychopath. He abuses Maddy throughout the series and continually hurts everyone around him, both physically and mentally. He blackmails other characters in the show including Tyler Clarkson and Jules Vaughn and causes them harm and exposes their personal secrets. In his relationship with Maddy, he often gets very aggressive when upset and his solution to his anger is to hurt Maddy, leaving marks on her body and constantly screaming and fighting with her. Nate doesn’t only physically abuse Maddy, but he also beats up Tyler Clarkson after breaking into his house to get information to be able to blackmail him.
This show is very interesting and beloved by many because it has so many layers but with the show’s availability to anyone with an HBO max account, it can be seen by people who likely aren’t mature enough to see this content. This show brings up many sensitive topics but shows them in a great and realistic way; however, many viewers watch this show and, rather than taking in the message, they decide to romanticize these issues and situations. After this show was aired, many highschool aged people began to wear revealing outfits just like these characters, on the popular dancing app TikTok. Many young people are posting videos of themselves in these revealing outfits while underage drinking with clips from Euphoria playing in the background and captioning videos saying they wished they had a life like the characters in the show. The show presents many relevant themes and issues but some might idealize the problems faced by the characters.