After a long wait, season two of Euphoria is finally here. But if you immediately hit play on episode one, you may have been left feeling a bit queasy. The show is not for everyone, as Zendaya so beautifully explains.
For those new to the show — and without giving away major spoilers for now — Euphoria centres around Rue (played by Zendaya) as she struggles with her drug addiction and tries to find her place in the very rough world of East Highland high school.
Each of the characters is dealing with major issues. Yes, they are teenagers, but the issues they confront are very much adult content — episode one of the new season is rated R18+ on Binge. There’s assault, explicit drug use, sex scenes, and all kinds of emotional turmoil.
Ahead of the season two premiere, Zendaya warned fans that Euphoria is for “mature audiences” and the subject matter can be “triggering and difficult to watch”.
The show also challenges your perception of the actors who play the gritty roles. Zendaya, for starters, is a long way away from her Disney days. But it’s Jacob Elordi’s portrayal of Nate that has completely changed how I look at him.
If you were first introduced to Elordi through his role in The Kissing Booth trilogy, his character in Euphoria will leave you feeling nothing short of ill. My skin crawls every time Nate appears on the screen.
So, after all that trauma, is Euphoria worth watching? For me, yes — it’s one of those shows that’s not enjoyable to watch but is still a must-watch even though every episode leaves me emotionally exhausted. Zendaya’s performance alone is just incredible. But it is incredibly confronting, and if you’ve personally dealt with any of the issues addressed by the characters then I would probably give it a miss.
Season two of Euphoria is streaming now on Binge.