“Euphoria” season one in review

Arts & Entertainment

Nolen Kelly, Staff

“Euphoria” is the television equivalent of putting your hands on your head and saying “Oh my God” every five minutes and each time in a different tone. In June 2019 the first season of “Euphoria” was released onto the world and centers on Rue, played by Zendaya Coleman, a 17-year-old drug addict who attempts to return to her normal habits after a summer-long stint in rehab. The show is as funny as a hernia and features 11 hour-long episodes of pure adrenaline and anxiety. Through crazy editing techniques, gut wrenching performances and excellent writing, Euphoria finds several ways to break you and your spirit and it is only the first season.

For those that are like me and are hesitant to view former Disney Channel stars as serious actors, then I implore you to at least try. I don’t love Zac Efron, but “Neighbors” was a great departure for the former “High School Musical” star and put him on my radar as someone to look out for. Same for Zendaya. I was never really a fan of hers even on the Disney Channel but just after the first episode I immediately fell in love with her acting. She was lovably fun in “Spider-Man: Far from Home” but I shed actual tears for her watching “Euphoria.” It is not just Zendaya that I could gush over because I could gush over almost every character this show features. Each episode begins with a six-minute segment that focuses on a character and details why they are the way they are. Each character is so well-written and is given so much time to breathe, they all just break your heart in different ways. Rue’s story is just one constant punch in the stomach after another. When she experiences her highest highs, it is worth celebrating and when she hits her lowest lows you feel like this. Rue’s rollercoaster of a story is the rollercoaster no one should ever experience but it is so hard to not watch as it all unfolds. My personal favorite character is one of the most indescribably evil, manipulative and slimy characters who deserves to burn in hell, Nate Jacobs. The main antagonist of the show is just the absolute worst, man, I love to hate this guy every chance he is on screen. All the love I have for Rue is doubled in the amount of disdain I have for Nate. 

Not only is this show acted great, but it also looks absolutely insane. The gorgeous lighting and camera work of each scene is trance-inducing goodness. There is a frequent use of purples and blues giving a lush and calming feeling to the insanity happening all around. There are quite a few party scenes that feature a lot of flashing lights and it really helps to make the energy of the scene feel very manic. Lighting and coloring both have multiple uses besides making a room look pretty. They serve as flashes for camera transitions and indicate how a character is feeling based off of the colors. There are several moments where the conversations and happenings are crazy, but they are heightened by the frantic and quick camera work. There are frequent quick cuts that mesh the days certain characters spend together and it has potential to become confusing but with the seamless transitions and flow they make it very clear what order of things you are watching. It is all just so admirable how well-crafted the editing and visual storytelling is in just this first season alone. 

The series has two new side story episodes on streaming now.
HBO

“Euphoria” season one is full of so much great detail and character development it would be a crime against television history to not renew it for a second season. It has been renewed for a second season, thankfully, but I cannot stress enough just how great this show is and how badly the world needs more “Euphoria.” There was a lot that I left out and did not talk about but hopefully this was enough of a nudge to give the show a watch for those who have not seen it. Watch “Euphoria.” Warning: this show is very dark and may be very intense for some people. There is a ton of drug consumption, extreme situations and some disturbing acts of violence. Without giving too much more away, “Euphoria” is a show that easily is one of the best on television right now and should be watched by anyone who is curious what emotional and painstaking TV looks like. On a scale of awful to perfection, I would describe season one of “Euphoria” as incredible. 

kellyf4@lasalle.edu

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