Euphoria has been talked about to death. And here I am, about to write another article on this insanely popular TV show. And why? Because it’s a perfect TV show to talk about. It is designed stir up as much controversy and discussion as possible. It’s designed to split people. So lets dive in.
Now I started watching this Show when season 2 had finish so my experience was very different to other people. I watched the show very spaced out over 2 months, mainly because I found it so boring. But there were a couple things that really stood out to me about season 1. The opening of each episode is a perfect way to start a show. It launches you into this world instantly and makes you care about each of these characters in 12 minutes. People are not appreciative of how hard that is to do. For all his faults, Sam Levinson smashes that opening. To me, it reminds of me of the Good Fellas opening – something I know has been done 1000 times before. But essentially, its so effective because it launches you into their lives instantly. You know these characters like a close friend in a way that can take some shows 4 seasons to crack. Big tick from me.
I also think the acting in this show is amazing. A standout for me is Jacob Elordi as Nate Jacobs – and that’s not just because he is from Brisbane. He plays a psychopath perfectly. That calm quiet demeanour with fits of rage is horrifying. As a great villain does, he really makes you hate him. The comparison is always how Delorse Umbridge is he out of 10? Nate Jacobs is a solid 8. He even makes some of the shitty writing sound less shitty. Everyone else is very good as well, no one stands out in a bad way. I do feel sorry for how much crying Sydney Sweenie has to do… every single scene, all the time.
Speaking of cast, the side characters are what make this show good. Personally, I just didn’t care about Rue. Maybe I’m heartless or biased because I haven’t experienced these things, but her story was just so fucking boring. It feels like everything that happens with her character takes place in the first two episodes, and then its just on repeat for the rest of the season. Her story with Jules is good and I like the “will they won’t they get together” aspect (an easy way to keep fans watching) but after about episode 4 I just didn’t care for either of them. Once again, maybe I am an asshole but their relationship just feels dry and yet also over the top. Also, they take up way too much screen time when you have characters like Fez, Chris, Kat and Nate carrying this show. There stories are the only part of the show that kept me watching. Every scene with Rue just felt like a distraction from this amazing ensemble.
I know it’s not controversial but hey guess what, season 2 is absolute garbage. I hate shitting on movies and tv because I know how hard people work, but season 2, fuck me what a miss. Nevertheless, the show grabbed me straight away. With Fezco and Cal’s story it hooks you right in. They are honestly the two best character openings of the whole show and the highlight of all of season 2. In particular Cal. He is such an interesting and engaging character that I am so glad they explored more. Obviously, Fez is top tier. He is charismatic in such a natural way, and I think that’s because he just isn’t acting. I mean seriously this man is the exact same in real life.
So where does this season go wrong? I think there are two reasons this second season is such a flop.
Number one, Sam Levinson had not idea where to go with this show. If someone can honestly watch this season and tell me he knew where to take it I will give you a sticker. This season is completely lost. We are exploring things we have seen completed in the first season. We are watching scenes on repeat – episode after episode. We are spending time with none of the engaging character from the first season. We are dragging simple stories out just to fill up episodes. We are forcing over the top soap opera drama every single second. Just imagine for one second that this show ended on season one. Think of how effective it would be, how critically acclaimed Sam would be. Just like Fleabag, and every great British show, if you don’t have anything better to follow up with MAYBE JUST STOP.
Number 2, the editing. This point has been talked to death, so I will just briefly mention it. In this season, there is a captivating scene where Rue does a eulogy for her fathers’ death. Her performance is great, the writing (of this scene) is good, and it looks incredible. But you know what’s not so incredible? SEEING THIS SAME SCENE 5 TIMES ACROSS THE SEASON. I have now idea what Sam Levinson was going for but it was not effective. It was so predictable that I knew the next words coming out of her mouth. It felt like Levinson watched Christopher Nolan for the first time and wanted to experiment with some time shit. No tick from me.
Also, this season dives way to much into Lexi Howard. I know she was a big hit in the first season and appealing but in the second she’s the writing of her character is weird. She has this stupid naivety to her about the play that makes no sense. Hear me out, this character is supposed to be extremely clever and yet she does realise this play is going to offend people? WHAT???
The play is also just a complete mess. How the fuck did Sammy think it was a good idea to spend an ENTIRE EPISODE about a play recapping a season we have witnessed. It is just showing us scenes we have already seen but done worse? If it was me, I would have had the play happen completely off screen. Thereby, you see the devastation it causes and the audience kind of creates this monstrosity in their heads. Almost like reading a book. Maybe in the after-credit scene you release a 20minute special that shows the whole play, like in Hawkeye. But hey, that’s just me.
Before I wrap up, I need to talk about the cinematography and lighting. It is… flashy. Its over the top and distracting but still kind of cool. Some scenes pull you out of the drama because of how unrealistic it looks. Honestly there’s only one way to describe it, a music video. The whole show looks like a music video and ultimately it comes down to whether you like that style or not. For me, not so much. Also, the music is very good. Not my taste but clearly effective as it appeals to a younger audience (which is what this whole show is trying to do ((be as cool and edgy as possible)).
So the final question…
SHOULD YOU WATCH EUPHORIA INSTEAD OF REWATCHING THE OFFICE?
Maybe just the first season, then jump right back into that sweet sweet comfort show.