Euphoria Season 1 & 2 – HBO Max

Trigger warning: Nudity, drug consumption, physical, emotional & sexual abuse.

So this last week I decided to binge both seasons of Euphoria and I was surprised with how much I enjoyed this show. I grew up watching Degrassi and Skins, but this next generation in the teenage angst, drug addiction genre was done with much higher production quality than the former. There was also a lot more emphasis on the dark sides of drug addiction rather than showing it in a purely fun light. Instead of going into episodes that I liked, I want to dig deeper into analysis on some characters that I feel like I relate to in the show.

Rue (Zendaya): The main story in Euphoria revolves around Rue, a teen who is addicted to drugs and doesn’t want to stop her indulgence. I got introduced to alcohol when I was 12 years old and started experimenting with drugs shortly after. I used many forms of addiction throughout my life to try and escape the terrible feelings inside myself. Sometimes it feels like there is a hole inside of me that makes me feel empty and depressed. No adult around me could help me navigate my feelings because they were all empty and depressed too. After 6+ years of therapy, I am just now starting to learn to navigate putting space between my feelings and my actions. I am just starting to be nicer to myself and learning to use positive coping skills rather than all of the negative ones that I’ve collected throughout the years. Rue carries a deep hurt with her and I relate to that. I relate to wanting to feel okay if even for a short amount of time. The problem is that when we lean on our addictions to make us feel better, we are stepping closer and closer to the edge.

Cassie (Sydney Sweeney): Cassie’s character is very complex. Her dad left her family when she was an early teen and then went on to form a drug addiction that kept him from ever seeing her again. I see myself a lot in Cassie, mostly in the way that we respond to the hurt we have faced. My dad left me for a very long time due to drug addiction and it affected me in ways that I am just barely able to put words to. My dad’s absence led me to seek approval from the guys around me. I also fell into a similar love addiction behavior that Cassie depicts in the show. I couldn’t stand to be alone, so I always defaulted to being in a relationship. When you’re a child and your parent treats you like you’re worthless, you tend to start treating yourself the same way. I craved attention from others who didn’t treat me well, because I thought that I needed to win the favor of people who treated me bad… I thought that was love. Now I know that is not the case and I am healing from this narrative that I lived throughout my teens and early 20s. I am giving myself the worth that my dad should have instilled in me. I am re-parenting myself.

Kat (Barbie Ferreira): Kat is a character who is really just finding out who she is and what she likes/doesn’t like. When asked to tell someone about herself, she is flustered because she has no idea who she is. I relate to her because I feel like I am in the same boat in a lot of ways. A lot of getting comfortable with yourself is trial and error. Sometimes you go into a situation thinking you will like something and change your mind half way through. This is more than okay and a natural process in a relationship with self. I think that Kat is really brave for experimenting with her life and trying new things. Throughout her experimentation, she learns how much power she has and it’s really inspiring to watch her character grow throughout the show.

Who are your favorite characters in the show? 🙂

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