Review: Season Two Of “Euphoria” Shatters Expectations

Conflict explodes in episode one


Photo courtesy of HBO

In the school hallway, the characters of Cassie and Maddy catch up before class. Episode four will be released on Jan. 30, 2022.

After a two-and-a-half-year gap in between seasons, “Euphoria” returns, continuing to give its audience a feeling of angst.
Ever since season one ended, I have been waiting for years until the next season returned, and the season opener not only met all my expectations, it left me shocked.
Episode one of the second season is rooted, as the series has always been, in the amazing performances of the cast. For all the glamor, glitter and dream sequences, the cast never forgets their characters are walking nightmares.
When the beginning of season two of “Euphoria” opens, Rue is too deep in her addiction that she accompanies her drug dealer friend, Angus Cloud’s Fez, to a high-risk meeting with a local drug lord.
The dangerous encounter enchants Rue instead of traumatizing her. Worse, it subtly sets up an insidious subplot that will follow Rue and Fez throughout the season.
Elsewhere, the majority of characters are celebrating New Years at one of their trademarked parties. New lovers find themselves entangled, sparks fly between unlikely friends, and of course, violence ensues. An entire season worth of future fights, betrayals and heartaches are already set up in the first episode.
The HBO series remains unsparingly dismal and cynical and is defined by how far creator Sam Levinson will push boundaries on subjects like substance abuse, domestic abuse, sexuality, toxic relationships, friendship and deep rooted trauma.
The creators of “Euphoria” wanted to differentiate the show to other soapy, romantic and feel-good TV shows such as, “Gossip Girl” and “Gilmore Girls.” The creators imagined “Euphoria” to be a raw, controversial show.
Levinson organized the season as a series of stories from individual characters. There’s a repetitive quality to the issue at hand, which is mostly along Rue’s romantic relationship with Jules (Hunter Schafer) and the trio of Cassie (Sydney Sweeny), Maddy (Alexa Demie), and Nate (Jacob Elordi). Each romantic relationship is damaged in their own way.
The tension between the show’s aspirations and nuanced characters is what makes “Euphoria” a show worth watching.
So far, the show has met my expectations with the shock value I loved from season one and the stand-out performances the cast brought. Without seeing the final pieces of “Euphoria,” so far, the series is as masterful as it is messy. “Euphoria” remains an imperfect gem that works best as a showcase for the next generation of acting talents.