HBO’s ‘Euphoria’ Is More Than Just a Teen Drama
The new sensation in web series and a show worth thousands of emotions, Euphoria streamed through HBO discusses the hardships of teens in the 21st century. The problems this show focuses on include drug abuse, the pressure placed on teens, the over-sexualization of women, body image issues, toxic/abusive relationships, absent parents, struggles with sexuality as well as the hardships transgender individuals go through.
Most adults would say Euphoria is not a proper depiction of high school life owing to its fancy dresses, mature theme, and unrealistic looks of teenagers. However, it does depict our high school experience on point! People might not be able to relate to all the characters but at least one. Therefore, the show sticks with GenZ.
The character analysis of Euphoria
Played by Zendaya, Rue is the lead of Euphoria. Battling drug abuse, Rue has many troubles with her recovery and personal life. She tries to be better but fails a lot of times in turn distancing farther away from her friends and family. Most teens today struggle with addiction, therefore, many can relate to Rue with her battle with drug abuse. Rue is a character that can help people see the bad in drug addiction and maybe can help people discover they may need help. She is introverted, outwardly sarcastic yet resilient making her the perfect heroine for this show.
Rue had obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention deficit disorder, anxiety, and bipolar disorder as a child. Over the years, they developed into anxiety attacks, concentration issues, and depression in her early childhood leading her to depend on drugs. When her father passed away from cancer, she was left unsupervised therefore her dependency on drugs grew even more. All her moves are authentic and the things she does are often motivated by a backstory, validating her actions. All these qualities with a troubled self, make Rue a character with whom many teenagers can relate to.
Maddy is perhaps the most famous character in and out of the show. She is confident and outspoken with a mind of her own. Her bold style and quirky looks are well carried by the actor that played her- Alexa Demie. Alexa and Maddy are both very similar when it comes to beauty with brains; however, she has her own share of problems. She is dating Nate Jacobs, who is a controlling and abusive boyfriend, but Maddy doesn’t realize this because she thinks this is what love is. She is relatable because some teenagers do go through abusive relationships but realizes that way too late.
After Maddy, it’s probably Cassie that is the highlight of the show. The stellar performance by Sydney Sweeney stole the show single-handedly. She is a beautiful young girl who has her own share of troubles. Her father was a heroin addict who left his family and Cassie was unable to accept this fact. Being unloved by her own father was a big trauma for her and therefore to heal herself her own way- she became popular among the boys. But this popularity was based on slut-shaming and disrespect. Even her own boyfriend McKay was not in love with her. Cassie’s life surrounds around male- validation, which is the saddest part of her story. Though being innocent, kind, and respectful towards others, Cassie never received the same from others. Kids who faced a lack of affection at home can easily relate to this character.
Though initially portrayed as one of the darker characters of the show, over the season’s audience realizes that Nate has his own share of problems. The major one comes with his gender identity. Being an antagonist of the show, he is not entirely a PROBLEM, in fact, to summarize his character in a single phrase- he is a ‘roller coaster of emotions.’ His father is the most prominent person in the town, but back at home, he is nothing more than trouble himself. Just like Nate, his father too struggles with his gender identity thus Nate’s character was able to show how denying who you are can lead to anger and sadness. People with similar issues especially members of the LGBTQ+ community can connect with Nate.
A plus-size girl who always struggles with body issues, Kat is perhaps the boldest, most daring, and most inspiring character of Euphoria. In the first season, she is seen hiding in the shadows of Cassie and Maddy, believing that being with the popular girls can stop people from body shaming her. However, that wasn’t the case. She was criticized almost in every episode and thus she began seeking male validation online. Which wasn’t so bad at first but later she realized how deep she has thrown herself in the pool of body shaming. But nevertheless, she learned that true beauty is all about what is inside, and it doesn’t really matter how you look on the outside. Kat’s character isn’t what youngsters can connect with but inspire and learn from.