Euphoria – a worldview through the lenses of our current youth.

1/1 · Por HBO · Reading 3 min.

It’s difficult to grasp how much the landscape of our youth has changed in the last twenty years. Since the new millennium arrived, no other demographic group has diversified and molded into its own generational identity than those born after 2000. Through the introduction of mobile devices, social media, and the adultization of our youth – we have entered a time in which now creative forces have come together to project and show the world that indeed something euphoric is happening.

Euphoria is just that and more; a wild ride of a show that brings the viewer into the drug and sex crazed lives of high school students as they navigate the pressures and constraints of social media in a faster and more digital world than they initially grew up with.

            Euphoria, originally an Israeli teen drama mini-series conceptualized by Ron Leshmen, hits the small screen on HBO as a television program airing on Sundays at 10pm ET. Penned by American screenwriter, actor, and director Sam Levinson, Euphoria takes a deep dive into the difficult lives of teenagers as they battle through the ups and downs of life as a teenager in our modern era; an era that has facilitated the use of drugs, alcohol, sex in a more open way through the rampant usage of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Levinson teams with HBO again as he was a writer on HBO’s The Wizard of Lies (2017), the film about the convicted Ponzi scheme criminal Bernie Madoff; a film which he co-wrote with his father and director of the HBO film, Academy Award winner Barry Levinson.

Leading the Euphoria cast is actor and singer Zedaya, as Rue Bennett, a recovering drug addict who is struggles to get clean as she returns from rehab. The program wonderfully allows the viewer to travel through different times of Rue’s life as she is portrayed as a young child and pre-teen – giving the viewer access to her past in different characterizations and situations. Fans may know Zendaya as Michelle “MJ” Jones in the 2017 reboot film, Spider-Man: Homecoming and as K.C. Hooper from Disney Channel’s K.C. Undercover. Joining Zendaya is Maude Apatow, who viewers may remember as one of the young daughters in the hilarious comedy Knocked Up (2007) directed by her father, the very funny and talented Judd Apatow and co-starring with her mother, the equally funny and talented Leslie Mann. Maude Apatow can also be seen in HBO’s hit series Girls. The ensemble cast rounds out with Angus Cloud, Eric Dane, Jacob Elorid, and Hunter Schafer who was cast as a trans girl who becomes great friends with Rue (Zedaya) after moving to her town. Schafer is a transgender woman herself and a leading LGBT rights activist.

           

            The series, which bears the rapper Drake as one of its executive producers, adds a different layer to existing diversity of HBO’s programming. The show appeals to both young and older audiences as it interacts both worlds; as told through the prism of a young point of view. Euphoria is perfectly placed in the summer’s line up as millions of young people are out of school in the summer and can connect and learn from the struggle that many of their own face today. Levinson wastes no time in injecting drama to the story as Rue is immediately challenged in her return home after rehab. It’s the choices that she makes and the consequences that arise from them that weave the story with the characters. The story, set in 8 episodes, has gathered great initial reviews from critics as it has also gathered criticism from parental organizations. However, given HBO’s history of raising the stakes of television and challenging viewers alike, we are nevertheless treated to a forceful drama that will surely encapsulate the minds and hearts of viewers every Sunday night for the next eight Sundays.

 

            Be sure not to miss Euphoria, on HBO and HBO GO.

           

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