The Dysphoria of Euphoria: A Look at Season 2

*Spoilers, duh.*



Hanna Brick and Sonal Sharma

Euphoria is one hell of a show: graphic opioid overdoses, satirically explosive catfights, and messy trauma flashbacks. Featuring a distinguished cast of Hollywood familiars such as Jacob Elordi, Hunter Schaefer, and Zendaya, this series has garnered notoriety among Hollywood and audiences of all ages. Premiering its second season after a staggering three years (darn pandemic!) and a cryptic cliffhanger, Euphoria shocked audiences with its second season debut on January 9, 2022. However, by the finale, many viewers had conflicted feelings over the show. As Euphoria fanatics ourselves, it is hard for us to admit this—we didn’t like it.


Though, we have to admit that season two did begin with a bang. Fez’s origin story began with his grandmother. And let’s just mention—this is not the kind of grandmother you pictured when you read the word. Cable sweater, big glasses, maybe a cat? No. She’s a drug dealer, and a very violent one at that. So, this is how Fez gets his taste of the real world: through violence. The series’ aesthetic of purple and blue neon glitter has faded out in this season. “I think the cinematography of the show is really good,” THS senior Laila Biberica said. “The last episode was super cathartic.” So why is the popular aesthetic of season one fading out? People have their theories. Some believe that it is because the first season was supposed to be the high of being on drugs; the rush and the fun Rue felt. The second season is explosive and climaxes upon both: the addiction, the struggling, and the pain. 

It’s funny – the little outfits they wear to school: a tiny purse that a pencil can’t even fit in.

— Laila Biberica '22

The eight-episode-long show tries to fit many aspects into it, but some think it’s a bit cramped. “Some of the stuff felt like an afterthought,” said THS senior Max Selver. “Cassie’s character arch seems super incomplete. They like to do eight-episode seasons [because] people don’t like to commit to shows with more than 10 episodes.” The more people progressed into the show, the less interested they seemed to get. The first three to four episodes were extremely well-executed,” Selver said. And this seems like a common theme on social media as well: people loving the first couple of episodes, then starting to despise it. 

Many viewers criticized the show’s level of drama considering the age of these students. “In high school, every [problem] feels like it’s the end of the world, and [it feels] so consequential,” Biberica said. And this is true. Maybe the show’s drama is a direct result of how the teens see the world, not how it is in reality. And the outfits? Crazy. “It’s funny [to see] the little outfits they wear to school: a tiny purse that a pencil can’t even fit in,” Biberica said. Set in high school, the show’s graphic and dramatized nature left viewers wondering how truly realistic it is for the age group. And maybe this is what Levinson was going for: the overdramatized feeling of high school.

Whether you love or hate it, the show has definitely made quite the impact on Gen-Z. Whether it seems pretty realistic or completely overdone, it does highlight the drama and intense feelings of teenage-hood. The intense feelings of love and loss are prominent in this series. The third season will air in 2023, so until then, let’s try and figure out what in the world we just watched.