Why I Will Never Watch Euphoria
Released: June 16, 2019
Writer: Sam Levinson
Network: HBO / HBOMax
Genre: Teen Drama
I want to preface this by saying that I have nothing against the actors or creators of this show. It looks like this show was a big break into the entertainment industry for a lot of actors and I think that is awesome. From the few clips I have seen floating around social media, the acting is phenomenal and it is visually stunning. Zendaya, who stars as the main character of Euphoria, seems to have finally been given an opportunity to show off her acting chops more than she has in prior roles. It’s definitely a jarring jump from her Disney days.
This show is simply not my cup of tea and I have a few concerns about its popularity.
What is Euphoria’s target audience?
I have been grappling for an answer to this question since I first heard of the show. Creator Sam Levinson has said that Euphoria is intended for teens 17 and older. This makes sense to me since it is a very dark drama filled with heavy topics. I would argue 17 is still a tad young for the themes of the story. While an older audience makes sense for the themes, it still confuses me that the characters are so young. It feels creepy to have a show made for adults that is centered around a group of high school students / minors. It makes me feel ill just thinking about it. The graphic sexual themes of the storylines would fit better in a college / adult setting.
Reading about the journeys the main characters go on was emotionally draining. If I have a hard time reading summaries, I know there is no way I could watch it play out on screen. There seems to be very little light in contrast to the traumatic experiences happening to the characters. I understand keeping it dark to make a more authentic story for people going through bad times, but it does not make for the kind of show I would watch on Sunday night to get in a good mindset for a new week.
Maybe I am a prude, but I do not like to watch shows or movies with nudity in them, so I could never watch this show. It always makes me feel uncomfortable and is unnecessary to the overall arc of the story.
Giving each character a vice is concerning when I see so many teenagers watching this show online. I am concerned they are seeing the behavior as “normal” and feel encouraged to act in a similar way. If you are a parent reading this, there is a site called commonsensemedia.org that has a lot of reviews on Euphoria and other shows.
All in all I am glad I did my research before buying into the hype and watching Euphoria. I was expecting this series to be a Gen Z version of Pretty Little Liars or Gossip Girl, but it is far more mature than that. I’m content rewatching Gilmore Girls and New Girl on Netflix.
Have you seen Euphoria? What did you think about the mature messages? Do you think it is appropriate for teenagers? Let me know in the comments!