Hello, my fellow movie goers and television viewers from across the globe! Today’s review centers around a recent hit show on HBO about a teenage girl named Rue, recently leaves rehab, relapses into drug addiction and befriends a new girl named, Jules. Besides Rue, other characters also have their own subplot. The Premise I’m referring to is “Euphoria.”
Euphoria officially aired in June 2019. (same year Doom Patrol streamed) The first season earned positive reviews from critics and viewers alike. Now that “Spider-Man: Far from Home” featuring Zendaya is currently out right now, I’d like to share what’s good or bad about this particular HBO series.
The following article does not contain any very important SPOILERS whatsoever. If you haven’t seen HBO’s recent series, feel free to read my non-spoiler article. Is Euphoria a hit or miss? Let’s find out, shall we?
The Entire Season
Positive: The Main Cast stars Zendaya, Hunter Schafer, Jacob Elordi, Alexa Demie, Barbie Ferreira, Sydney Sweeney, Maude Apatow, (Judd Apatow’s real life daughter) & Eric Dane (Multiple Man from X-Men: The Last Stand) all did an excellent job for their respective performances.
Fun Fact: Leonardo DiCaprio said Euphoria is one of his favorite shows in recent years.
Sam Levinson (son of Barry Levinson) did an excellent job as a showrunner taking full responsibility as a director, writer & executive producer. He constructed an eight-part story arc.
Rue’s drug addiction reflects Sam’s real life struggle with drug addiction.
Rue provides narration and occasionally “Breaks The Fourth Wall.”
Drake served as an executive producer of the show. He has experience working on “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”
If you’re a parent, don’t watch this with your kids and be prepared! This show contains a lot of nudie shots filled with tits and shlongs. A double standard for both genders. (God knows how many) If you’re a teen, don’t watch this with your parents! I mean it! No actual teenagers were used in sex scenes. Thank God, R. Kelly didn’t contribute as a producer and director! If you’ve seen “Surviving R. Kelly,” he’s one sick son of a bitch!
Each character has a deep fascinating backstory. Displaying their characteristics.
Primary Themes for the series are, Addiction, Sexuality, Peer Pressure, Love & Friendship. Each theme is handled maturely.
Chemistry between Rue & Jules serves as the emotional main highlight. As the series progresses, they become closer. Makes you care about them. Every time Rue & Jules are onscreen together, it gets really good. Their close friendship earns Bonus Points, because I care for them.
Rue’s drug trips are depicted as psychedelic in a beautiful environment. Seriously kids, don’t do drugs.
Jules is arguably my favorite character. Her backstory was interesting. I have to admit, she’s so hot. Don’t worry, Hunter’s over eighteen.
Fez reminds me of the late Mac Miller. God bless his soul. Why did he have to die from drugs? Fez’ younger brother also reminded me of Kid Rock’s late sidekick, Joe C. Mac’s one of my heroes.
A disc serves as a recurring plot device containing very important information. I cannot tell you the contents, because this review is classified.
The show is a character driven story involving Rue, her friendship with Jules alongside other characters linked to Rue.
Social Media plays an important part for the characters’ lives.
Nate’s father Cal, has a deep dark secret. It plays as a pivotal plot point.
Without giving too much away, a train scene in the season finale made me cry.
Negative: Product Placement featuring brands such as Lucky Charms, Apple, Chevrolet, Nike, Vizio, Samsung, Burger King, Adidas, Red Bull, Bud Light, H&M, Canada Dry, Calvin Klein & Gatorade.
Good god! The Ending of Episode 8 didn’t satisfy me. I think of it as the equivalent of the people who attended “The Fyre Festival.” I have no choice but to Double Down this con as the worst aspect of Season 1!
Cinematography rarely has a bad case of Shaky Cam.
Episode 1 – Pilot
Clear: The First Episode establishes Rue’s background about who she is and where she’s from.
A few faces attend a “social event.”
We’re also introduced to several focal characters including Fez, Nate, Christopher, Cassie, Lexi, Maddy, Kat & Jules.
Rue’s birthday is metaphor for a new decade beginning in a tragedy. This foreshadows what will happen to Rue’s life as the series progresses.
Clogged: In some scenes, the camera doesn’t stay still.
Episode 2 – Stuntin’ Like My Daddy
Healthy: A flashback is shown about an individual’s background.
A video surfaces on The Web.
Somebody is roped into a situation.
Episode 2 reveals the identity of a username.
Kat makes a big decision as her new role will play an important part.
Unhealthy: Camera has problems struggling to stay still.
Episode 3 – Made You Look
Up: A flashback reveals another character’s background.
The third episode explores the concept of fan fiction.
A character from “Game of Thrones” is referenced. HBO’s critically acclaimed series was the end of an era. Can Euphoria be a new era for HBO?
An “edutainment segment” is a bizarre R-rated version of “The Magic School Bus.” As if Master Shake from “The Aqua Teen Hunger Force” filled in Ms. Frizzle’s role as a teacher.
Kat embarks on her “new career.”
DMX’s “X Gon’ Give It to Ya” is played in one key scene. The song was also used in “Deadpool” and an episode of “Rick and Morty” when Rick and his granddaughter Summer beat up random people.
Down: Some scenes suffer from Shaky Cam.
Episode 4 – Shock Ones Pt. II
Yay: A flashback reveals yet another character’s background.
This episode features the characters attending a carnival. “Us,” “Toy Story 4,” “Stranger Things: Season 3,” “Spider-Man: Far from Home” and the upcoming “It: Chapter 2.” I guess fairs are becoming trend in 2019. I’m gonna predict “Joker” will also feature a carnival. Arthur Fleck/Joker might trap his captors in a funhouse and proceeds to open up his laughing gas causing his victims to literally laugh to death.
Someone encounters a familiar face.
Each character has a good time at the fair. As the episode progresses, tensions escalate.
Two people have a heartwarming moment.
Nay: I couldn’t identify no issues with this episode.
Episode 5 – ’03 Bonnie And Clyde
Beautiful: Episode 5’s title is named after a song by Jay-Z & Beyoncé.
We get to see another character’s background in a flashback.
Two figures are interviewed for legal purposes.
A Martin Scorsese film is shown on a laptop. Marty’s film, “The Irishman” will soon be out on Netflix. He also contributed to the upcoming Joker movie as an uncredited producer.
Rue & Jules continue their friendship.
Ugly: I couldn’t spot any con with my own two eyes.
Episode 6 – The Next Episode
Forward: Episode 6’s title is named after Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg’s song from the album, “2001.”
Episode 6 takes place on Halloween, as the focal characters attend a Halloween party.
We see another flashback of a character’s background.
Someone dressed up as a character from a Quentin Tarantino movie. I’ll give you a hint, he only wrote the script, but didn’t direct. Quentin’s ninth film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is currently out in theaters.
I gotta love a specific character’s costume.
Nate confronts a pivotal individual. Thus, The Stakes are increased both externally and internally.
Delay: No flaws were discovered.
Episode 7 – The Trials And Tribulations Of Trying To Pee While Depressed
Smart: Another flashback shows a character’s background.
This episode shifts into a detective story. Think of it as “The Departed” meets “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”
Jules pays a visit to an old friend.
Cassie struggles with a revaluation.
Something shocking happened to one of the main leads. I refuse to tell you.
Rue suffers from emotional and internal pain.
Stupid: Camera suffers from a bad case of Shaky Cam yet again.
Episode 8 – And Salt The Earth Behind You
Intelligent: The Season Finale wraps up an eight-part story-arc. Until Season 2 continues a new path.
Rue is given a “new look.”
Seth Rogen is mentioned. Maude’s father Judd frequently collaborates with Seth. They’re known for being “weedheads” in real life.
Rue & Jules’ friendship continues to flesh out.
The lead characters attend a party.
Nate competes in a football game.
Fez embarks on a dangerous mission.
Cassie goes for a “check-up.”
I got teary eyed over one sad moment. It deserves a truckload of points, because I haven’t cried since the end of “Avengers: Endgame.” If you payed attention to the characters’ dilemmas, you’ll understand why.
Unintelligent: The Ending wasn’t merciful. I wanted to see what happens next, not that one “big number.” So many questions are left unanswered. My god! This is The Sopranos’ series finale all over again!
The Final Verdict: A-
Even though the finale ended with no resolution or proper set up, Euphoria’s first season is an entertaining series capturing characters reflecting like real life people struggling with addiction, sexuality, & peer pressure. I never felt uncomfortable, I was highly glued to my flatscreen. Sam Levinson perfectly executed Rue & Jules’ close friendship. Zendaya & Hunter Schafer’s performances definitely deserve” a nomination for Best Actress” & “Best Supporting Actress” at “The Golden Globes,” “The Primetime Emmy Awards” & “The Screen Actors Guild Award.” If you’re interested in watching Euphoria, I highly recommend it. Zendaya & Hunter are officially two of my favorite actresses in recent years.
I hope Sam Levinson learned from his mistakes. I’m counting on him not to screw up a future storyline. Especially the final scenes of Season 1. As a viewer, I’ll have to see what’s in store for Euphoria’s future. Better not be on the same level of disappointment as in The Fyre Festival.
P.S. Hunter Schafer if you’re reading this article? Congratulations on advocating transgender rights. You are a beautiful young woman. I hope to see you in future projects based on your career. If I were your agent, I suggest recommendations on working with highly acclaimed filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan, (my idol) Peter Jackson, James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino & Paul Thomas Anderson. Trust me, all of them are professional.
Good Luck on your career as an actress.
– Sincerely, Nick Kohler (Nick The Movie Critic)