In 2022, it’s effectively established that tv doesn’t need to be good as a way to maintain our consideration. The “guilty pleasure” of consuming reality television and cleaning soap operas has proved as a lot. Plus, with the expertise of live-tweeting and meme-sharing, it’s by no means been extra enjoyable to bond over abhorrent writing, spot errors in continuity, and roast annoying characters. Just take a look at the discourse round HBO Max’s And Just Like That… and the internet’s response to Che Diaz or the streaming platform’s different sloppy reboot Gossip Girl.
In a not-so-surprising flip of occasions, the already polarizing Euphoria has turn out to be the goal of intense Twitter mockery and memes midway into its sophomore season. From its abandonment of certain character arcs to creator Sam Levinson’s clunky dialogue to its bombastic social commentary, the teenager drama has given its viewers lots to be confused and borderline upset about. Vulture movie critic Alison Willmore summed up viewers’ reactions to the brand new season the most effective, tweeting, “I don’t watch EUPHORIA but I love EUPHORIA Twitter because it’s so hard to tell who’s hate watching and who’s watching the show because they actually like it.”
Either earnestly or jokingly, I’ve seen many individuals examine the expertise of watching Euphoria’s first season to the state of being excessive, which arguably works for a present informed partially by means of the lens of a drug addict. Its startling visuals, harsh rating and frenetic digital camera work—along with the present’s darkish subject material and exaggerated feelings—all felt like purposeful stylistic selections meant to supply an awesome sensory expertise. But past all of the frills, the sequence launched us to a deeply fascinating set of characters carried out by good, up-and-coming actors who’ve turn out to be beloved celebrities over the brief span of two years. Likewise, many followers don’t really feel like they’re being rewarded for his or her funding within the present’s topics this second time round, as Levinson has struggled to evenly showcase the ensemble.
Season 2 began off with two thrilling developments: a surprising hookup between Cassie and Nate and a flirtation between fan-favorites Fezco and Lexi. Levinson has been largely taken with depicting the previous, notably Cassie’s obsession with Nate and express intercourse scenes of the 2 of them. This affair has outweighed different storylines, together with the central character Rue and her struggles with sobriety. It is sensible that Levinson would indulge on this specific subplot over the remainder contemplating his penchant for constructing suspense for awful outcomes. But followers have seen the dearth of story and lowered display time for different intriguing characters—primarily Kat, performed by Barbie Ferreira, who’s appeared briefly in episodes to precise discontent about her relationship with Ethan earlier than disappearing into the background. (I’ve speculated that Levinson doesn’t know what to do with a wholesome, healthful relationship, whereas the web rumor mill is saying that Levinson and Ferreira have had a falling-out).
On the opposite hand, Lexi has had an elevated function this season, however Levinson nonetheless hasn’t given her a lot of an inside life past being a foil to Cassie. Additionally, the much-anticipated romance between her and Fez has not come to fruition but, although we nonetheless have a number of extra episodes to go. Most surprisingly, Zendaya’s Emmy-winning efficiency as Rue has been slightly tedious to look at, as she primarily reveals as much as perfunctorily remind us that she’s not sober or to snort an extreme quantity of medication. In the primary season, her drug use and skill to search out herself in different harmful conditions was genuinely irritating, saddening, and nerve-wracking. But watching her stoop round in the identical oddly practical state episode after episode, with little to do past that, has lessened the nervousness of observing her dependancy.
Season 2, notably the final two episodes, has additionally taken a bizarre curiosity in its least empathetic character, Cal Jacobs. In an try and infuse Nate’s menacing father with some humanity, Levinson gave him an undeserved out for his predation on different queer folks by revealing that the delivery of his oldest son was unplanned and derailed his budding romance with a male classmate. His backstory, whereas unlucky, was not uniquely tragic or ample in explaining his behavior of filming intercourse companions with out their consent. Yet he obtained to exit the present in a triumphant method that has some viewers unusually applauding his boldness for popping out and overtly hating his household.
It’s honest to imagine that a number of the present disdain for Euphoria is born out of leftover hatred for Levinson’s 2021 Netflix characteristic Malcolm & Marie and the fame the filmmaker constructed for himself within the aftermath. The poorly obtained, dialogue-driven two-hander highlighted Levinson’s weak spots as a screenwriter and ill-informed concepts about movie criticism, Hollywood and race, subsequently making him the goal of ridicule on Film Twitter. Hence, Euphoria followers don’t have any reservations about mentioning the overwrought dialogue and poor directing this season, going as far as to label Levinson “the white Tyler Perry.”
Despite its present season disappointing followers, “Euphoria Sundays” and the next Mondays on Twitter, overflowing with memes, stills and response tweets, have turn out to be their very own vacation. Considering the pandemic has given us much less and fewer to look ahead to, it is sensible that consuming the present, no matter high quality, has made for a enjoyable communal expertise on the very least. Additionally, people have additionally been arguing that the sequence is less complicated to digest when consumed as a comedy or perhaps a reality show slightly than a “prestige” drama.
From the seems of the web, to like Euphoria is to hate it whereas loving the characters however eager to rewrite it whereas additionally being deeply invested in its storylines—an expertise as chaotic because the present itself.