The Creation and Inspiration Behind Euphoria

Euphoria follows a group of High School students as they navigate love and friendships in a world of drugs, sex, trauma and social media.

The series is executive produced by Drake, along with manager Future the Prince, and created by Sam Levinson. The cast includes famous actress and singer Zendaya and other well known actors such as Angus Cloud, Alexa Demie, and more.

According to HBO, Euphoria Season 2 episodes are now averaging 16.3 million viewers, which is the best performance for any season of an HBO series over the past 18 years, other than Game of Thrones, which pulled in an average of 44.2 million viewers across its eighth and final season in 2019.

Many critics feel that Euphoria is too raw, too graphic, and too provoking for a young audience. Many have actually declined watching the show based on its trigger warnings and level of nudity.

Samuel Getchew stated for Vogue, “My criticism of Euphoria… is not that it’s inaccurate; on the contrary, I find it horrifyingly on target. My criticism lies in the way it aestheticizes the traumas it depicts, an aestheticization that my generation is particularly vulnerable to.”

At the same time, the show is almost meant to be this way: an honest, raw, and thought-provoking depiction of the experiences that teens go through today with drugs and alcohol, with mental health struggles and with the pressures of social media.

On Rotten Tomatoes it states, “Though at times hard to watch, Euphoria balances its brutal honesty with an empathetic — and visually gorgeous — eye to create a uniquely challenging and illuminating series, held together by a powerfully understated performance from Zendaya.”

Although it is extremely dramatized, it brings a lot of awareness to a lot of issues that teens are dealing with in today’s new age.

Fans (or the complete opposite) of Euphoria praise it for its rawness and honesty, while also being kept on their toes by the exaggerated themes on the show. It is this excessiveness which keeps viewers drawn to see the next episode, which now may come sometime in 2024.

What is important here is that young adults viewing the show understand that Euphoria takes everyday events and dramatizes it for commercial purposes.

Nonetheless, there is still truth to the events that appear on the show. Sam Levinson, the creator of Euphoria, had a goal in mind with Rue’s character who is played by Zendaya.

He wanted to create more awareness and empathy around tough topics like substance addiction and mental health. Levinson was a former addict himself, he felt it was important to show the relief that drugs can bring to someone who suffers from anxiety or depression as well as the pain and grief that they can create.

Levinson spoke to Associated Press news and said, “Portraying drug abuse in an honest way is the best way to create empathy for addicts and their families, because I believe empathy is the only way that we can communicate.”

The pain that comes with drug abuse, and the constant need to continue using drugs despite that pain, is portrayed very accurately in Euphoria.

Drug addiction is a disease of the brain. It takes over a person’s ability to make rational decisions, to control impulse, and to think about long-term consequences. It changes the brain’s chemical make-up, especially in teens and young adults whose brains are still developing. Already, many teenagers will do what they can to feel good, to feel better, or to fit in, without thinking so much about the negative consequences that might occur.

Euphoria capitalizes off of real life scenarios knowing it’ll draw in a large audience. Therefore, viewers must watch with discretion, and take what is portrayed on TV with a grain of salt.