Euphoria Season Two: A mixed bag


Courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes

HBO’s hit show Euphoria finishes its second season, leaving viewers with mixed feelings.

The world has been waiting since 2019 for a new season of Euphoria, ever since the first one created a shockingly immense impact on younger generations, but did the new season live up to the hype? Short answer, yes, but long answer, there’s a lot to unpack––both good and bad.

Due to some complications, Sam Levinson, the creator of Euphoria allegedly needed to rewrite the script in order to accommodate actors Hunter Schafer (Jules), and Jacob Elordi’s (Nate) request to not film with each other. The second season originally centered around a love story between the two of them, so working around this might possibly be a factor in some of our critiques.

Season two was obviously centered around Rue, but the season would be incomplete and not enjoyable without the presence of some other characters: Maddy, Lexi, and Fez carried the season on their backs. Rue made herself unlikable for the majority of the season, remaining selfish, unable or unwilling to break her habits, and hurting the lives of those close to her possibly more than her very own. While Rue lacked personal growth until the very end of the season, basically every other character took on a new identity. Cassie going behind her best friend’s back and getting together with Nate, Maddy finding out and seeking the utmost revenge, Lexi writing the killer play about those around her from her eyes, Fez’s and Lexi’s sudden bond and attraction to each other despite being what seems like completely different in terms of lifestyles and character traits, and the struggle of Nate continuing to figure himself out and grappling with an extreme identity crisis.

Although the characters were extremely enjoyable, one thing that stood out was the overall lack of character development. Rue remains trapped in the cycle of substance abuse and Jules remains infatuated by Rue even though Rue wants nothing to do with her for the majority of the season. There’s something to be said about how the mother figures in this show practically define pushover. Rue’s mom, Lexi and Cassie’s Mom, Nate’s mom, it’s unclear whether they’re all naive to their kids repetitive behavior or choose to just not do anything impactful or combative to it, but regardless, they all have the potential to be powerful women in this show, yet they just get walked all over. Honestly, Faye was such a missed opportunity in this show. She was immersed with pivotal characters on a day-to-day basis, yet basically remained a waste of space in every scene she was pictured in.

This season left viewers with a lot of questions and a lot of confusion.

— Lyons, Weber

This season left viewers with a lot of questions and a lot of confusion. What was Kat’s role this season? Where’s McKay? What happened to the whole suitcase full of drugs scenario? What role did Maddie’s babysitting client play? How did Nate get a flashdrive of Cal? What happened to Fez and Ash? How did Lexi find a budget for her school play? It’s almost like each episode didn’t really connect with one another, as the tone of each episode felt so completely different. Some episodes broke the fourth wall, some episodes had paralleling storylines, and one followed only a singular character the entire episode. The randomness of the episodes, however, did make every Sunday exciting by surprising viewers with the unexpected. Season one on the other hand was very cohesive, each episode was structured similarly with a brief character introduction tied to the rest of the episode’s plot. It feels like this season started off similarly with Fez’s grandmother’s backstory and Cal’s backstory, but then the rest of the episodes didn’t follow this trend.

Without a doubt the cinematography of this show was groundbreaking. They nailed the set design for each scene…think the school bathroom, Fez’s apartment complex, Elliot’s attic bedroom, and beyond. Major accuracy points for the set design, as well as costume and makeup design.

Overall, we can all agree this is a show that captivates multiple generations. From its talented cast to complex plot, Euphoria keeps you guessing and always looking forward to next week’s episode––those seven days can’t pass quick enough. My main complaint of the season would have to be the fact that considering Euphoria knew it was going to get signed for another season, they chose to leave a lot of critical junctures unanswered. Call it a cliffhanger, but I call it laziness and annoying, however, we’re going to need a third season ASAP.