“Euphoria” Season Two Brings Back Trademark Thrills

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A24

Viewers returned to the messy, complicated world of “Euphoria” this January after a three year hiatus.

Kara Horne, Staff Writer

In 2019, the world was introduced to Rue Bennet (Zendaya) and the world of “Euphoria.” The HBO Original Series focuses on the lives of high school teens, and how they manage drugs, parties, identities and complicated relationships. Although controversial, it is one of the most well-received TV shows among teenagers and young adults, with 2.4 million viewers tuning in for the season two premiere.

After almost three years, “Euphoria” returned for a highly anticipated season two on Jan. 9.  At the end of season one, viewers saw Rue watching Jules (Hunter Schafer) leave on a train. Throughout the premiere, Rue attempted to navigate a New Year’s Eve party, working hard to avoid Jules. 

At the party, there were interactions between characters that viewers never would have expected, such as Lexi and Fez. Maude Apatow, who plays Lexi Howard, is a fan-favorite, and her acting was feels true-to-life. She seems to be the most sane character, and with that, the most relatable.

Additionally, the show introduced a handful of new characters. For example, Elliot (Dominic Fike), does not know about Rue’s past issues with drugs, and she sees that as an advantage. Fike is known best for his musical abilities, so it was shocking to see him step out of the box. He gave an amazing performance and continues to do so in further episodes. 

One thing about this show that people struggle with is how likeable Zendaya is, and how unlikeable Rue can be. Rue continues to destroy her life and lie to everyone around her. It is extremely frustrating to witness time and time again. However, this can be a test of Zendaya’s acting skills, and how great she is at portraying different personalities. Many fans would agree that Rue needs to focus on healing herself before jumping back into a relationship with Jules. However, what kind of show would it be if Rue was taking care of herself?

As always, there is much to do with the father-son duo that is Cal (Eric Dane) and Nate (Jacob Elordi). Nate has gotten himself involved in a huge secret that, if revealed, would ruin up his and Cassie’s (Sydney Sweeney) budding relationship. Nate threatens to blackmail his father, which would forever destroy Cal’s life. These two have a complex relationship, and it seems they may never work it out. Dane, known best for his work on “Grey’s Anatomy,” gives a stellar performance of a disturbed man with a complicated mind. The start of episode three gave viewers some backstory on Cal and his high school self to explain his adult behavior.

The music, composed by Labrinth, is one of the most standout elements of the show. From the classic “Still Don’t Know My Name,” to “Nate Growing Up,” the balance of songs with lyrics and without is perfect, and fits into the show seamlessly. Another thing that makes the show so special is how the show is shot on film. Using film gives it that grainy, warm feel that makes it seem like your own memory, and it is really beautiful. Without the art of the music and cinematography, “Euphoria” would have a completely different feel to it.

Season two has been enjoyable so far, and viewers are anxiously waiting to see where future episodes take them next. Whether it is more to do with Rue’s rocky road, the series of lies between Maddy (Alexa Demie) and Cassie, or the future of Elliot, season two is sure to be full of surprises.