The HBO teen drama series Euphoria became an instant hit in 2019, bringing awareness to the dangers of drug abuse, substance abuse, and physical abuse.
After airing Part 1: Rue in December 2020, producers of Euphoria finally released Part 2: Jules solely focused on exploring her psyche, her thoughts of detransitioning, and her relationship with Rue and her mother.
In the new special episode Part 1: Rue, Zendaya who plays the part of ‘Rue’ talks to her sponsor about how drugs have changed her and how hard it is to let go of something that’s keeping her alive. Just as Rue is struggling with drug and substance abuse, each character’s story in Euphoria is centered around prevalent issues.
“I definitely think teens today can relate to Euphoria,” Asif Karim, 12th-grade drama student at Edison said. “I think it really shows the struggles of stress and anxiety and always feeling like you’re not doing the right thing, and when you’re feeling stressed or just like in a box, you tend to go for things that help you escape your troubles of reality. However, sometimes those things might be a lot more harmful than you think, just like with Rue who went after drugs.”
Euphoria is known for the dramatic makeup looks and clothing given to the characters to bring out a part of their personality.
“Most of the Euphoria cast wears intricate makeup. What Jules wears is more abstract makeup compared to the rest of the characters,” Lisa Bedessie, a former fashion club member at Edison said. “I think this is because she is an abstract person. She had a traumatic childhood and she’s transgender. When we first met Jules, she was really girly. As the show continues, she starts to dress more edgy when she becomes confident and finds herself. Rue doesn’t go through a fashion transformation, but when she does, it’s this teary glitter look. I feel like this shows her emotions when she’s on drugs.” Bedessie stated that Rue wears an oversized maroon hoodie throughout most of the show because it belonged to her father who passed away.
As the episodes have gone by in the past, we see drastic changes in every character’s development, especially involving Rue and Jules, and for the first time ever, we have separate episodes focusing on both lead characters without the other being present throughout the majority of the show.
“After watching the special episodes, I expect to see changes in both Rue and Jule’s character development,” Karim said. “I feel like Rue and Jules are great together, but they need to focus on themselves. Rue needs to properly get over her addiction and Jules needs to get her life together as well.”
Viewers have been anxious for season 2 of Euphoria ever since Drake (season 1 executive producer) stated on social media that “Euphoria picked up for Season 2 OBVIOUSLYYYYYYYYYY.” Since then, fans of Euphoria were expecting it to air sometime in 2020, but due to the coronavirus, plans shifted.
“We might end up doing like a little bridge episode with a limited amount of people in a safer environment. That will kind of give people just something, because we all miss Euphoria,” Zendaya said, giving viewers insight on the in-between special episodes during an interview last August on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
While in lockdown, Hunter Schafer who plays the part of ‘Jules’ co-wrote and produced her special episode as a way to cope with her mental health issues.
“I had taken it upon myself to research mental hospitals in North Carolina, but all of them had terrible reviews on Google Maps,” Schafer said last Thursday on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. She stated later that day that the creator of the show, Sam Levinson, called her telling her that no one was going to leave good reviews on mental hospitals. From that conversation, they shifted gears, talking about new ideas for upcoming episodes. “I wrote the episode instead of going to that kind of institution,” Schafer said. “It was just really nice to put my energy into something.”
The cast and crew of Euphoria have done so much to keep its viewers invested in the series even during the quarantine. Fans have high hopes for what’s to come in season 2 after having watched both special episodes and season 1.