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“Euphoria” exposes the harsh realities of addiction


Euphoria. Just another example of an overhyped, over-exaggerated teenage show revolving around sex, drugs and abuse.   

For those interested in watching a completely unrealistic depiction of high school, filled with drama-queen teenagers and abusive boyfriends, this show is for you.  

While mildly interesting, this show is constantly using inappropriate themes and scenes, like statutory rape, underage cam-girling, drug abuse, self-harm, underage drinking and domestic abuse. You’d think they’d have a trigger warning before each episode. 

The show details Ruby “Rue” Bennett’s high school journey after being released from rehab and experiencing a drug overdose. In the first episode, we witness Rue spiral into the world of drugs after self-medicating with her dad’s Xanax pills from when he was battling cancer a few years prior.  

Throughout the first and second season, Rue dances close to death, while placing little value on her own life. Her addiction consumes her, leading her to lie and steal from her friends and harm relationships with those she loves.  

Many parts of this show are hard to watch, especially scenes showing what it’s like to struggle with mental illness. However, the show did a great job of depicting what depression looks like by showing it’s more than just feeling sad all the time.  

Rue struggled to leave her room during a depressive episode and ended up contracting a urinary infection. She shows how little motivation one can have in a depressive episode to complete basic tasks, such as using the bathroom.  

Zendaya’s acting was incredible in the second season as her drug addiction worsens, and she becomes completely unrecognizable. Her own mother even admits to her, “You’re not a good person Rue,” as Rue smirks maniacally in her face. It’s almost terrifying to see what she has become at that point.  

Her rollercoaster of emotions and blatant obsession to find her suitcase full of drugs is hard to watch as she nearly destroys her relationship with her family, friends and her girlfriend, Jules Vaughn, over an addiction. 

Thanks to Zendaya’s incredible acting, Rue’s fight with addiction is heart-breaking as she becomes increasingly terrifying and manipulative, using people’s secrets and insecurities against them to get what she wants.  

In a fit of rage, she trashed her house and physically breaks down her sister’s door, as her family cries, trying to hide from her unstoppable rampage.  

Watching Rue finally hit rock bottom and realize she needs to get better and overcome her addiction was heartbreaking, especially having to watch her struggle through withdrawal. Zendaya’s acting makes the audience truly empathize with her character, although I was terrified and disgusted with her behavior at times.  

It’s hard because you understand why her character is the way she is, and you just want her to get clean, but it’s not that easy in real life.  

Just like those who know a drug addict in real life, this show takes the audience on a rollercoaster of ups and downs with Rue, giving and taking away hope that she will get better until we don’t trust her anymore. Until we give up hope.  

I think this series took the most creative and beautiful approach to showing people the ugly reality of drug addiction and how it can destroy a person’s life, not just their health. However, I seriously doubt Rue was able to snort and inject herself with every drug under the sun and not die. That was a little too unrealistic for me.  

Euphoria seemed like it went all out on Rue’s character development and storyline, while flaking for the rest of the show’s characters’ storylines. 

I mean, Katherine “Kat” Hernandez’s journey of gaining confidence through cam-girling and becoming a dominatrix was quite empowering…until she started dating Ethan Daley. In season two, Kat’s entire character development diminishes and all her progress from season one is lost. She even goes so far as to blame her boredom and lack of character development on Ethan, when he liked her in season one as her powerful dominatrix self. Her character’s story in season two is entirely confusing and uneventful until she gaslights Ethan into dumping her after pretending she has terminal brain cancer. Yeah… 

Or how about Jules and Rue’s weird relationship dynamic? Jules is too busy cheating to notice that Rue is doing drugs again, while Rue is too high on drugs to notice her girlfriend, Jules, cheating on her.  

This entire show has gone off its rockers and weirdly enough… it’s JUST crazy and confusing enough to keep me glued to my TV screen and impatiently waiting for the next episode to release. 

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Cambrie Eckert, News Editor
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