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‘Euphoria’ season two is a long-awaited disappointment

‘Euphoria’ season two is a long-awaited disappointment

‘Euphoria’ season two is a long-awaited disappointment
March 10
08:00 2022

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Let me just say this now, I love “Euphoria.” I love the story. I love the music. I love the characters. With that being said, Sam Levinson’s writing in season two made a dumpster fire of the plot he so carefully orchestrated in season one.

Don’t worry yet, because it may not be a bad thing. More on that later, though.

From the opening scene of episode one, this season feels familiar, yet completely removed from previous episodes. The main reason is a change from digital format to 35mm cinematography. Where season one relied on heavy editing for lush visuals, season two relies purely on light.

Personally, I loved the change to film. It made each episode feel as if it were a memory playing back in my head. The filming style also seems more based in reality this time, which I think is intentional on Levinson’s part.

The main critique of Euphoria leading up to this season was its glorification of teenage drug use and partying. Season one’s unique filming style lent itself to this as many of the scenes were rich and dream-like, but it made sense because it mirrored the plot. The characters, despite their bad behavior and choices, remained relatively unscathed.

This time around, with more realistic cinematography comes a more realistic plot.

For example, this season we see Zendaya‘s Rue Bennet finally start to feel the repercussions of her rampant drug use. Throughout the first five episodes, Rue spirals, doing any drug she can get her hands on. In the process, she almost overdoses and narrowly escapes a human trafficking situation.

As a viewer, you can clearly see where Levinson is trying to take the plot, but he missed the mark. I agree that season two needed to reality check Rue and others, but not in exchange for linear character development.

One of the larger tragedies of the season is Cassie’s descent into madness. In a disturbing manner, Cassie Howard, played by Sydney Sweeney, falls for the ever-toxic Nate Jacobs. Cassie saw Nate and Maddy Perez destroy each other in the previous season. For that reason, it’s unbelievable that Cassie could ever desire Nate.

Overall, “Euphoria” season two came off as underdeveloped and confused. Some characters were unrecognizable, while others, like Jules, lacked plotlines of their own. Meanwhile, Barbie Ferreira‘s Kat was left out of the story almost entirely. With his writing this season, I think Levinson attempted and failed to recontextualize the consequence-free façade of season one.

I’d like to highlight one character whose plotline, in my opinion, was flawless. Ethan Daley rose from the ashes of his breakup with Kat and the revelation of her “terminal brain disorder” to become the star of the seminal play “Our Life” by Lexie Howard. His performance as Cassie and Lexie’s mom was touching and beautiful.

Final Rating: 3.5/5

Featured Illustration by Erika Sevilla

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Connor Patterson

Connor Patterson

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