“Every time I feel good, I think it’ll last forever, but it doesn’t”
- Title: Euphoria
- Creator: Sam Levinson
- Release date: 16th June 2019
The most aesthetically pleasing TV show that you will ever watch!
In light of Zendaya winning ‘Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series’ at the 2020 Emmy awards, and social media footage suggesting that Season 2 is well and truly underway, I thought now would be a perfect time to publish a post about this exceptional series.
Described as an ‘American teen drama’, this is so close yet so far from the truth.
When you hear the words “teen drama”, synonyms such as cringey kissing scenes, high school romance, mean girls and jocks spring to mind. However, when you watch Euphoria, any preconception you have about teen drama series goes right out of the window.
Everyone knows that life as a millennial teen is far from what it was like a decade ago, with the presence of social media playing a big part in this change. Yet every teen TV show or film I see seems to portray it in the same monotonous way. Lucky for us, Sam Levinson decided he wanted to be the one to break the cycle, and in doing so, showed people a very dark and explicit (you may want to keep your TV remotes at the ready) portrayal of young adulthood which we were not expecting.
Through Levinson’s own personal battles with teen addiction, he decided to create Euphoria, and in doing so, he brought something truly spectacular to our screens. Teaming up with entertainment companies such as A24 (Midsommar, Hereditary, The Last Black Man in San Francisco), and musicians such a Drake and Labrinth, Levinson created this sense of hyperreality unlike anything ever seen before. Eccentric in its style (ranging from the makeup to the costumes) Levinson’s idea was to tell the true story of what it’s like for a millennial teen but in a non-traditional manner.
Each episode hones in on different characters in the show who are all dealing with different issues (ranging from drug addictions to their sexuality) whilst trying to navigate through high school life. A key focus is always kept upon main character Rue (played by Disney’s very own, Zendaya) and her own personal battle.
Although the story feels real, the mise-en-scene that surrounds it doesn’t. Throughout the series, we follow Rue’s story through her state of mind. As Rue is high throughout a large portion of the series, we are made to feel as though we are living this experience with her. One thing you will notice about the show is that the camera hardly ever stays still. Whip pans, dolly shots, swoops, you name it, Euphoria has it! As viewers, we feel as though we are in this state of hyperreality, and this is what makes the show so good!
My favourite example of this from the series was the ‘rotating room scene’. This was created due to Levinson’s decision to create an entire room on a rotating gimbal, whilst strapping the extras to the floor.
These elements combined with the astonishing soundtrack which includes music from the likes of Billie Eilish, Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion and Labrinth, adds to the edgy and stylish theme of the series which helps to bring everything together.
As a millennial myself, I would encourage anyone, young or old, to watch this outstanding series. Although dark and explicit in its portrayal, it truly does give a realistic insight into life as a millennial teen whilst giving you some beautiful cinematography to enjoy in the process.