‘Euphoria’ exhilarates audiences

HBO’s newest show, “Euphoria,” premiered June 16. It’s an American teen-drama series created by screenwriter and director Sam Levinson. The show features actress and singer Zendaya. 

“Euphoria” follows a group of high school teens as they explore the world of sex, abuse, social media, identity, trauma, friendship and love. Viewers get insight into how drugs can affect the body and the mind, how social media can change lives, how abuse can ruin relationships and how some teens are developing their own identities whether it be mental change or changes in physical appearance.

Zendaya plays Rue. She narrates the show and gives viewers insight into how being in drug rehab failed to change her mind about staying clean. As the show develops, Zendaya introduces the characters, their family backgrounds and how they arrived at this point in their lives. 

The cast puts on a great show. The first season received so many positive reviews that HBO announced an upcoming second season in July. Musician Drake and manager Future the Prince have been added as executive producers of the show. 

Hunter Schafer, left, and Jacob Elordi navigate high school in “Euphoria.”

Hunter Schafer, left, and Jacob Elordi navigate high school in “Euphoria.”

Zendaya’s performance is very authentic. Viewers have said they could feel the reality of her character. “Euphoria” has some hard-to-watch scenes that include graphic content. The scenes are brutal and honest and the producers handled the content with sensitivity. 

“Euphoria” is an adaption of a 2012 Israeli television show of the same name. It was created by Ron Leshem, Daphna Levin and Tmira Yardeni. Levinson based the HBO series on his own upbringing as a teenager and his struggle with drug addiction – hence the word ‘euphoria.’ 

The first season Euphoria ends with a heartfelt message to viewers encouraging them to reach out if they or anyone they know is enduring a crisis. Viewers are encouraged to text E-U-P-H-O-R-I-A to 741741 for help. It’s a message to the audience that they are not alone when it comes to struggling with addiction. Resources are available to help those in need get through a crisis.