HBO's "Euphoria" Captures a Dark Side of Being a Teen
HBO recently premiered their new gritty and raw teen drama, "Euphoria." The storyline makes popular coming-of-age shows like “Degrassi” and “My So Called Life” tame in comparison, but it’s a heavy and real depiction of what younger generations are facing today. Rue, played by Zendaya Coleman, is battling drug addiction while living with bipolar disorder. We also witness her navigating new friendships, social media, and sexual experiences.
Before Sunday night’s premiere, Zendaya shared a warning to fans on Instagram about the show’s mature content. She wrote, in part, “It's a raw and honest portrayal of addiction, anxiety, and the difficulties of navigating life today. There are scenes that are graphic, hard to watch and can be triggering. Please only watch if you feel you can handle it. Do what's best for you. I will still love you and feel your support."
Show creator Sam Levinson hopes that the show produces a space for teens to feel understood. He emotionally explained at a show screener, “If you keep your heart open, there are people who could change your life. It’s about love. It’s a show about being seen, heard, and known. It doesn’t cure everything, but it sure helps.”
So far, fans have had positive reactions to the show’s graphic and no no-sense approach to telling this teen’s truth.
While it may be too intense for some viewers, the show could open up opportunity to talk to teens about these issues and create a space at home where they could feel more seen and heard, too.