Euphoria Season Two: An Intoxicating Watch

PHOTOS COURTESY/ Youtube HBO Max

PHOTOS COURTESY/ Youtube HBO Max

Season two of “Euphoria” is complete. No more patiently waiting every Sunday for the show to air. No more watch parties and speculating what will happen next. This season has been quite a rollercoaster and creator Sam Levinson always has a trick up his sleeve. This season picks up where the first season ended. All of the characters continue to deal with the same problems, but they somehow all manage to become more outrageous. The show has the same premise of teenagers dealing with problems ranging from sex and drugs to cheating on boyfriends and finding yourself. 

The eight-episode season aired on Jan. 9, 2022, and does not hold back on the dreamy shots that draw you in and grab your attention. HBO took advantage of the first season’s success and used it to bring in new advancements, such as solely using 35mm film when filming. This change, along with toning down the colorful and eye-catching makeup, made this season feel closer to the characters and the plot. This season also features new original songs by Labrinth, “Yeah I ****** Did It” and “I’m Tired” feat. Zendaya. 

Unlike season one, season two brought new characters to the foreground. Instead of focusing on a few main characters, audiences learn more about the heart of East Highland High. We learn more about Lexi Howard (Maude Apatow), a character audiences begged to see more of. She is more than Cassie’s (Sydney Sweeney) younger sister and plays a larger role in the drama of EHS. Another welcome addition to the cast was Elliot (Dominic Fike) who becomes quick friends with Rue (Zendaya) as they bond over the wrong things. We caught up on fan-favorites Maddy (Alexa Demie), Nate (Jacob Elordi) and Jules (Hunter Schafer) as they dealt with last season’s consequences and even bigger problems this season. 

Acting powerhouse Zendaya gave a spectacular performance, especially in the fifth episode, “Stand Still like the Hummingbird.” Audiences see Rue’s true emotions and how drug addictions affect family and friends. It was truly heartbreaking but an amazing watch. Another performance I felt was overlooked was Eric Dane’s Cal Jacobs. From being a character with a tough exterior last season, audiences got to look into his past and learn what makes him tick. 

Audiences had many concerns with the season, saying that many episodes lacked action and aesthetic was prioritized over plot. I think this qualm is valid, and many times after finishing an episode I found myself asking, “what did I just watch?” Most of the season felt like a collection of moments rather than a full fluid show. That is always a problem when you have a talented ensemble cast who audiences adore. Shirley Li of The Atlantic agrees: “Euphoria has become an aimless show — even though it remains a hypnotizing one. In the disarray of Season 2, the series’ sense of nihilism is magnified.”

Although the show has a few issues, “Euphoria” makes for a great watch that carries some level of truth. We all have our problems, no matter how big they are. But without the support of friends or family we could not succeed. Season two of “Euphoria” gets this right, and it is the core of that story. 

Seasons one and two of “Euphoria” are now streaming on HBOMax.