Zendaya stars in the second season of “Euphoria” on HBO. (Eddy Chen / HBO)

Arts and Entertainment

Review: Viewers misunderstand the purpose behind HBO’s ‘Euphoria’ season 2

"Euphoria" viewers praise the show's actors, but the characters they play are a poor influence on teenagers.
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/mia-tiano/" target="_self">Mia Tiano</a>

Mia Tiano

February 7, 2022
“Euphoria” is notorious for its dark tone, covering an array of heavy topics like sex, drug use, sexuality and abusive relationships. With season 2 currently being released every Sunday, the show continues to spark uncomfortable conversations amongst viewers, while also being an inspiration to the makeup community. 

With season 2’s slogan being “REMEMBER THIS FEELING,” the positive slogan contradicts the serious topics portrayed in the show. The title of the show itself is a paradox, with the word “euphoria” misrepresenting the depression and mental illnesses that the characters undergo. 

“When it comes to ‘Euphoria,’ it’s just people being able to have empathy for others and to take a second to understand that everybody’s dealing with battles that we could not know anything about,” Zendaya, lead role in “Euphoria,” told Deadline Magazine in 2020.

Even though “Euphoria” was first released over a year ago in June 2019, the impact of the show is still talked about to this day. From bold, “Euphoria”-inspired makeup looks that are still trending on TikTok, to a soundtrack with over 1 billion streams, the show has never lost its prevalence on social media. However, what social media does not highlight are the issues that the show is really based on: Mental health and addiction.

Social media users have created a glamorized idea of the show, ignoring the message and purpose behind the show. Viewers praise the infamous actors, but the characters that they play are a poor influence on teenagers.

Maddy, played by Alexa Demie, is idealized by viewers, despite her sexual violence and abusive relationships that were shown in “Euphoria,” viewers have even gone as far as dressing as Maddy for Halloween, and the #maddyperez hashtag on TikTok has over 500 million views. Viewers have shown all over social media that the show’s characters are becoming role models, creating a misleading idea of the purpose of the show. 

“It’s not a show to emulate,” Zendaya said to Interview Magazine in 2021. “The show’s intention, for all of us who make it, is to open up the door to empathy for another person’s experience.

Episode seven will be released on Feb. 13 on HBO Max, and new episodes are being released weekly.