For Millennials. By Millennials.
At the moment, Euphoria season 2 is streaming on HBO. While the creator Sam Levinson and Zendaya warned the fans about graphic content, nothing could have prepared them for the new season. Recently, the show was called out by D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) for glorifying the use of drugs. They have criticized the show for depicting violence and addiction among high school students. Meanwhile, the producers claim that their portrayal is honest.
Based on an Israeli mini-series of the same name, Euphoria premiered in 2019.
Despite being a remake of an Israeli TV show, Sam Levinson’s Euphoria has gained a massive following. Although it has received positive reviews for its depiction of difficult subjects, it is also considered a controversial show for its nudity and s*xual content. The cast includes Zendaya, Jacob Elordi, Maude Apatow, Eric Dane, Hunter Schafer, Sydney Sweeney, Storm Reid, and Barbie Ferreira. From drug use to addiction to sexual violence, Euphoria deals with all the issues high schoolers have to face. Similarly, it explores various ways how young teenagers deal with mental health issues.
According to Sam Levinson, he imagined himself as a troubled teenager while writing the show.
In an interview, Euphoria creator, Sam Levinson, talked about how he navigated the difficult issues at hand. While talking about his inspiration behind the characters, he looked within. He said:
I just wrote myself as a teenager. I think those feelings and memories they’re still extremely accessible to me. So it’s not a hard reach. I just write myself and what I was feeling and what I was going through when I was younger and I was dealing with addiction.
Similarly, Euphoria’s writer acknowledged that he understands most parents’ fear about the subject matter. Further talking about it, he shared:
I feel like this is a debate that goes on constantly throughout time, where people go, “Parents are gonna be scared,” and you go “Yeah.” And young people will be like, “Yeah, that’s my life.” I’m sure certain people will be freaked out by it and other people will relate to it. I think that’s what makes it particularly difficult is that kind of very real and big disconnect between parents and children. So if anything, I hope that it at least opens up a dialogue between the two because it’s hard being a teenager. It’s difficult, especially too if you’re struggling with addiction and battling those things. Hopefully it’ll open up those means of communication.
Recently, D.A.R.E called out Euphoria for glorifying drug use and violence.
Established in the 80s, D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) helped Ronald Reagan with his war on drugs. Continuing that tradition, the organization called out Euphoria and blamed the show for glorifying drug use. Their representative said:
“Rather than further each parent’s desire to keep their children safe from the potentially horrific consequences of drug abuse and other high-risk behavior, HBO’s television drama, Euphoria, chooses to misguidedly glorify and erroneously depict high school student drug use, addiction, anonymous s*x, violence, and other destructive behaviors as common and widespread in today’s world.”
Furthermore, they said:
It is unfortunate that HBO, social media, television program reviewers, and paid advertising have chosen to refer to the show as ‘groundbreaking,’ rather than recognizing the potential negative consequences on school-age children who today face unparalleled risks and mental health challenges.”
Although the producers of Euphoria have not yet responded, D.A.R.E has expressed their wish to help them with the accurate portrayal of addiction and drug use among teens. Let’s see what their stance will be.