Euphoria: Entertaining or Encouraging?

Euphoria has been continuously gaining popularity and it may be spreading harmful ideas to some teens.


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Scenes from HBO’s hit TV show Euphoria seasons one and two.

Euphoria season two hit HBO Max on January 9, bringing a wave of excitement to fans at Liberty for the new episodes.  If this TV-MA show does not sound familiar, the premise consists of a group of high school students navigating high school. That doesn’t sound too bad, right? Until it appears that the plot is premised around drugs, sex, trauma, abuse, and social media. Strong viewer discretion is advised because of the glorification of more risky activities in everyday teenage life. 

High schoolers watching these groups of teens interact can be very persuasive. Having parties, tons of friends, glittery makeup, revealing clothes, all draw kids into a fascination with the “euphoria lifestyle”. It’s important to put stress on the “mature audiences” since it has the rating for a reason. 

But what makes this show so different and more appealing than other shows of the same rating?

Reese Anderson, freshman, is a fan of the show and commented on how it stands out. 

Anderson said: “Obviously all of these shows [teenage dramas] have lots of similarities but watching euphoria just feels like a dream, the wildest things happen that have me thinking about it for days”

A deadline article included words from the show’s creator about why the cinematography is so appealing: “Levinson explained that he wanted the show to look the way teenagers imagine their lives to be”. Teenagers may feel a projection about how they should act.

The scenery can feel almost perfect to the viewers; maybe because people feel they wish their life was more like the show. Gracie Hennings, sophomore, has a concern about what lessens the plot may be teaching.

“It gives kids a false narrative of how we are supposed to live,” she said. 

Sometimes, it can bring a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) to viewers. It may feel like this is the way life is supposed to be lived, with pretty experiences and VERY difficult challenges to overcome, but that is not true. 

The way people interpret the show depends on the person; some can clearly see it’s a make-believe show, but others may feel attracted to the lifestyle the characters live. 

Chloe Oppelt

Cooper Davenport, sophomore, believes Euphoria can be extreme, therefore too extreme to be considered a reality. 

Davenport said: “It definitely glorifies some of the riskier aspects of teenage life, but I think as long as you don’t try and live a television life then you’re fine. It’s fake, and everyone knows that.” 

Other than some clearly exaggerated portions in the episodes, Euphoria still has been praised to shed light on teenage life that is not talked about a lot. 

Davenport also said: “I think that the show can demonstrate maybe some hard things that teens might have to go through in real life. Obviously not every high schooler suffers from these same issues, but I think it’s a real eye-opener to what struggles some have to go through.”

Anderson also praised this aspect of the show but acknowledges that the concern is who is watching it. 

Anderson said: “The show does show a lot of inappropriate and bad things that you wouldn’t think typically happen a lot at high schools, but they really do. It brings awareness to it, but it could really emotionally or mentally affect someone who relates”.

A red flag of Euphoria is it’s glorification of drugs, romanticizing unhealthy relationships, and abundance of violence. 

Hennings said: “ It glorified drugs and activities that really aren’t that important or are bad for you.”

It is crucial to remember that this is a television show, it is nice to watch, but trying to replicate the lives of the characters is not ideal. 

Davenport said: “So I hope people don’t try and live out their euphoric dreams. Stay safe.”

As he said, stay safe and remember if the show feels triggering or makes you feel like you need to participate in some of those activities, you can reach out to someone and talk to them. In addition, if you are having any of these feelings, remember that it is not necessary to watch the show, it will be alright if you don’t. 


-SAMHSA helpline: 1-800-662-4357.

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