Becoming the first TV series from acclaimed author studio A24, in an unprecedented partnership with HBO, the audiovisual industry’s most respected channel for its iconic productions, Euphoria surprised everyone with its debut season fascinating and bucolic in 2019. Today starring Hollywood star Zendaya (the GM of the new Spider-Man film series) as the protagonist, the show viscerally exposes several delicate and recurring themes among young Americans and, why not, from a global context. Poignant topics ranging from the struggle against chemical dependence and the discovery and ecstasy of sexuality to certain internal conflicts and toxic and harmful relationships; besides, of course, the way transgender people live in an extremely hypocritical society unable to deal with others.
Due to the cast of the actors and also the new work of the creator of the series, Sam Levinson – like the Netflix movie Malcolm & Marie (2021), with John David Washington and Zendaya herself – we take with new episodes of Euphoria (which won multiple awards and reached unexpected audiences) was postponed and left on standby. The pandemic also played a role. Although, in late 2020 and early 2021, he received two short but equally powerful specials; where in Trouble Don’t Last Always we see that in the middle of Christmas, Rue (Zendaya) discusses, for more than an hour, with Ali (Colman Domingo), a former drug addict who recounts his surreal experiences and contextualizes them through the prism of those who lived on the streets. Fuck Any Who’s Not a Sea Blob, meanwhile, is starring Jules Vaughn (Hunter Schafer) the fascinating and passionate trans character who ended up becoming one of the show’s protagonists. This time, the special brings Jules’ point of view on this situation with Rue.
Three years later, the long-awaited second season of Euphoria is finally arriving to stream on HBO Max with a worldwide release. Must please and at the same time shock all fans. Taking an even more artistic direction, Sam Levinson opens the opening episode in Quentin Tarantino style, with a sequel that features an armed woman exiting her car and entering a nightclub until she is comes face to face with a disgusting man in the middle of sex. . After cursing him until his tenth generation, the girl shoots the guy’s legs and then returns to the car in the greatest calm in the world, then being accompanied by her grandson – this is the child version of Fezco (Angus Cloud), Rue’s dealer friend. Levinson shows how Fezco and his younger brother (11-12), who is even more violent, came to this situation of selling drugs naturally. In other words, immediately we already know what awaits us.
But, trust me, among the different moments of conflict, this is the lightest thing you will have in this comeback episode, because on every occasion the series presents dilemmas that not only lead to physical violence, but also psychological violence; like the pace at which everyone has to get naked in front of psychopathic drug dealers. Or quite simply in the clash where everyone looks at each other without even knowing what will follow. These are desperate and embarrassing cases, deliberately designed to insert the viewer in the midst of those extreme situations that young people like them face on a daily basis.
In addition to Rue’s recurring dilemma, romance and breakup with Jules and all of his drug involvement, the plot gives way to a fresh take on the story of playboy Nate Jacobs, played by handsome actor Jacob. Elordi. It was then properly explored, especially in the wake of what happened to Jules and his father, Cal Jacobs (Eric Dane) – as well as himself. Due to the most brutal and gory moment that ends this first chapter of the second season, the following episodes bring a total sense of tension, as if a time bomb is about to explode at any moment. With Nate, Cal, and Fezco representing the colored threads of the explosive, and a single action symbolizes the pliers that will cut one of those threads and trigger disaster.
This tension is sown for other characters, like the new romance that emerges between Nate and Cassie (Sydney Sweeney), which follows the modus operandi of Maddy’s (Alexa Demie) relationship with Nate himself. In fact, this relationship with Maddy is far from over, as all of this madness trickles down to Cassie herself as well and brings a new mental conflict, leaving the girl upset. Something that will obviously affect her still insecure boyfriend, Chris (Algee Smith). In other words, it all seems to intersect, making these people suffer in the midst of relationships that, yes, are sexually pleasurable, but sentimental disastrous. However, for us spectators, everything ends up becoming more complex, arousing and arousing our curiosity to know what will be the outcome of these figures.
In terms of storytelling and style, Sam Levinson, once again, brings Rue into scenes that shatter the Fourth Wall, simulating lessons to explain the particular situations he finds himself in, such as the clash between her and her. younger sister. By the way, in that same tempo, Levinson also offers Zendaya an absolutely sensational musical number, where the actress dances and rocks onscreen, seeming more and more comfortable with her role. Much like Jules almost paraded on stage, passing internal sensations through his eyes, still in silence, with Hunter Schafer showing why he’s one of Euphoria’s greatest highlights. Sydney Sweeney is another who does not take long to demonstrate the size of her talent; first in the bathtub scene, then when she explodes emotionally with her friends. Sweeney lends her sensuality to create moments that only her character Cassie is able to generate.
Moreover, if there is something that deserves to be highlighted in Euphoria, it is this palette of curious and fascinating characters. It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t deserve their stories explained, or even the background doesn’t grab the viewer’s attention. Finally, the second season of Euphoria comes to prove, once again, why the creation of A24 is currently one of the most thematically rich and interesting productions to watch. Only rivaling Netflix’s excellent achievement, Sex Education, in terms of exquisite treatment of the coming-of-age subgenre. And even if the two address different cultures, since the work of rival streaming takes place in England, and that of HBO in the United States, in the end we understand that the individual is like that everywhere in the world.
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