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Does The Euphoria Series Aestheticize Teenage Dilemmas?

Sam Levinson's euphoria has been the buzz of town for an extended period. "Do you wish I was different?" is a quote by Rue Bennett (played by Zendaya) in Euphoria’s HBO series. This show has been popular in today's binge-watching culture, with two seasons (16 episodes) and a third season on the way. Zendaya, Jacob Elordi, Sydney Sweeney, and Angus Cloud are among the many well-known actors in this series.


Although conceivably not in the conventional sense, this show reflects high school life, as many students haven't encountered or known such elements, which may be one of the reasons for all of the controversies. This show depicts what's wrong with the very well-known problems going on in the world of high school in a relatively heightened and extreme way. Drugs, mental health, self-harm, unconventional urges, toxic masculinity, violence, and explicit representations are all depicted. This series focuses on all of the unpleasant things and elements that surround the teens—laying little emphasis on how to deal with or overcome them. 


In the story of the character Rue, who deals with drug addiction, even after persistent relapses and manipulative endeavors to get high at any expense, she is finally shown to be changing at the end of season 2. This new change gave the audience a new perception of her character and how she faced the consequences of her deeds. Aside from that, so many characters and their stories remain negative, leaving no positive impression on the audience. Many characters continuously jeopardize themselves and others while mysteriously avoiding severe disasters or even parental involvement, which sends the wrong message.


In comparison to euphoria, most previous teen dramas appear soft and mild. The series depicts various scenarios and circumstances in which a teen's life can take a 180° turn and leave psychological trauma behind. All of that is shown as they dance their way through ethical and legally questionable scenarios to a cinematic soundtrack, primarily unharmed and always flawlessly styled, episode after episode.


In the context of growing up and attempting to identify oneself, the experience of coping with one's insecurities wrongly or being immersed in a fleeting fantasy is what leads one away from reality. In addition, not accepting and fighting one's insecurities and opting for a short-lived dream leads to more self-doubt and less self-love. As Kat, played by Barbie Ferreira, does when she deals with her insecurity and an encounter of nonconsensual capturing during sex by becoming a camgirl in a misdirected attempt to regain control of her sexuality.


Teenagers strive to look attractive, be popular, and hang out with people everyone thinks are "cool" during their high school years. Teenagers are drawn to new experiences by all the various activities of discovering their new environment and themselves physically and emotionally. Public acknowledgment of action is the basis for the appeal. They have sex to let their peers know that they did it. Or they do drugs to let their peers know that they did it. 


The terrifying threat of being left behind, growing up too slowly, or making it to graduation day with no scars to show for it seems to inspire teenagers to take that appeal. Yes, this is a part of high school, but in this world of diverse cultures, regions, and traditions, every individual has a unique high school experience, and some are unaware of these appeals. With so much confusion among teenagers, the series Euphoria only adds to it by failing to demonstrate its understanding. Euphoria appears to have no thesis outside of vivid documentation, but it is done aesthetically.


The teens are drawn to this series because of the glamour and carefree lifestyle. Youth may have already been overexposed and stultified and could have participated in these activities shown in euphoria. Still, the last thing people wanted was another platform to romanticize self-destruction.


Euphoria depicts the issues that youth experience during these days of discovery, interest, and the desire to try new things, but the point is conveyed by the way the series is portrayed. In some ways, it aestheticizes the horrors it shows. An aestheticization to which the next generation is particularly prone.


There is no doubt that everything in the show, from the director to the production to the performances and music, deserves praise. The series had a lot of nice things going for it, from the shooting of dramatic sequences to the colors, the timing, and the way the performers just went with it and provided exceptional performances. However, the critical aspect is the plot and how it appears and makes an impression on the audience. 


Season 3 of Euphoria is reportedly in production, and we all can hope for are some answers to our questions and some character development. The solutions provided will allow the audience to see how the characters will grow and develop to face the consequences of their actions and how to deal with them rather than ignoring and exacerbating them. However, the viewer can anticipate that the show's popularity will continue to grow. The show's second season ended on such a high and dramatic note, and indeed adults do enjoy drama.


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