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HBO's Euphoria Speaks to Generation Z

Updated: Jun 18



Millennials and others alike had shows like 90210, Degrassi, and One Tree Hill. These teens show portrayed storylines that teens could find themselves in and could enjoy because of the dramatization. These storylines and characters spoke to teens during that time in more ways than one. A couple months back, it was announced that Drake and A24 would produce a teen show starring Zendaya which would be aired on HBO.


Euphoria aired its first episode on June 16th of 2019, with expectations of explicit content, including a scene where there were “30 penises.” Euphoria follows a group of teens as they navigate life in the age of social media, it follows: 17 year old Rue (played by Zendaya), a drug addict who just gets out of rehab, Jules, who is a transgender girl who just moved to town, Nate, a jock with anger issues, and others. This show was perceived with positive reviews, especially the writing and depiction of Zendaya’s character, as she struggles with addiction. This show was created by Sam Levinson, who wrote and directed the black comedy thriller, Assassination Nation.


As said before, Levinson has been getting praise for the depiction of drug addiction in the main character, Rue. The pilot episode begins with Rue getting out rehab, but a couple scenes later Rue is seen buying drugs. Based off the experience of Levinson as a teen who struggled with drug addiction, he told the audience at the Arclight Cinerama Dome, “Sometime around the age of 16, I resigned myself to the idea that eventually drugs would kill me and there was no reason to fight it. I would let it take me over, and I had made peace with that.” Euphoria has aired four episodes so far and through those episodes, we have seen what the teens go through as apart of Generation Z through the narration of Rue.


Many have said that the show is too explicit for audiences. In reality, it is simply honest and raw. Older generations were able to relate to the teen shows they watched because it was similar to what they were feeling and going through. Today, Generation Z has to struggle with more social pressures especially with the increase of technology and social media outlets. Rue’s drug addiction and what the other characters go through is just honesty that speaks to our generation.

Euphoria airs every Sunday at 10PM Eastern Time

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