Most of the series and movies that take place in the lives of teenagers tell stories with humor, romance and rivalry, which always end well. Some exceptions, however, choose to bring heavier themes, as if they entered the head of each young person who, at the height of their immaturity, believes that life will never change.
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Euphoria , the original series from HBO, is proof of that. The plot, which premiered in 2019, takes place in the life of Rue (Zendaya), a teenager who gets lost in drug addiction after her father's death. The production chooses to talk about the protagonist's universe, among many others, in a way that is even poetic, but quite dark, the way HBO likes to do it.
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Please note: this review may contain spoilers from the second season of Euphoria!
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The first season of Euphoria ended by highlighting the relationship between Rue and Jules (Hunter Schaffer), which seemed to be a sign of a lightness for the next episodes, even though it was in ruins. However, drug addiction was going from bad to worse, being an issue that shouldn't leave the protagonist's life anytime soon, as it does in real life, and we saw some of that in the special episode of the series that came out in late 2020 .
The new episodes of the series therefore delve into Rue's "rock bottom", leaving the relationship we all wanted to be light and quiet in the background. The new season, once again, aims to exploit Zendaya's talent and doesn't skimp on intense dialogues and monologues. Amidst screams, arguments and despair, the agony of being trapped in something uncontrollable "contaminates" the viewer and causes discomfort.
Just the first 11 minutes of Euphoria already shows that the creator of the series, Sam Levinson, knows very well what is his proposal with the plot and that it works. The opening scenes are easily identifiable as an HBO production, bringing a story from the past of Fezco (Angus Cloud), who plays an important role in what Rue is today. The first season became a critical and public success, making Zendaya the youngest actress ever to win the award for best protagonist in the history of the awards. This time the ambition is clearly greater.
The second season of Euphoria bets on what has already worked and does not venture into the new, which is not a defect as it is a first sequel. Because there are few episodes in each season, it's not time to reinvent yourself so it doesn't become tiring. As the saying goes, "in a team that is winning, you don't move". The differences between season one and season two are, however, in the intensity of the issues. Now that we know the characters, they can be explored without fear.
The new episodes also prepared a good space for the supporting actors to stand out as much as Zendaya did in the first season. Those who seemed average show that they deliver just as good, if not on the same level. The sequence does not hesitate, even, to bring the same intensity of the serious themes to those that, in comparison, would be more futile, thus keeping the rhythm of euphoria, a word that gives its name to the plot, which shines through from beginning to end.
Watching Euphoria is almost like witnessing an anxiety crisis in its various forms, bringing such addictive anguish that you don't want to stop. It's like any kind of addiction, when we know it's bad, but we can't stop the process, since the series was not made to be comfortable for those watching, especially for those who can identify.
So, the final episodes of the season make a slight transition between the hopelessness that Rue will never heal, that those around her will never get over her personal issues, between the lightness of seeing her own life being played out before her eyes. and perhaps bring the feeling that they are phases of life. The final moments of the season may even despel the viewer, but this time bringing discomfort to the characters themselves, perhaps as if it were a way of trying to transition them to maturity.
Euphoria 's new season is a lot about Rue and not much about Jules, which may disappoint some fans. Unlike the first episodes, the character, one of the most interesting, seems to have spent all her potential and become a supporting role. Perhaps, if this perception is broader, it will be something to be considered in a possible third season. Still, Jules' participation in the series is crucial to Rue's fate, and could soon be indispensable.
Euphoria returns to HBO comfortable in his mission to unsettle us, and his breathtaking scenes are sure to earn more recognition for the production, especially Zendaya. The first episode of the second season opens this Sunday, the 9th , with the episodes being released weekly on HBO Max .
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