Euphoria
File:Euphoria intertitle.png
GenreTeen drama[1]
Created bySam Levinson
Based on
Euphoria
by
Written bySam Levinson[a]
Directed by
Starring
Narrated byZendaya[b]
ComposerLabrinth[c]
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes18
Production
Executive producers
  • Sam Levinson
  • Kevin Turen
  • Ravi Nandan
  • Drake
  • Adel "Future" Nur
  • Ron Leshem
  • Daphna Levin
  • Hadas Mozes Lichtenstein
  • Gary Lennon
  • Mirit Toovi
  • Tmira Yardeni
  • Yoram Mokadi
  • Jim Kleverweis
  • Zendaya
  • Will Greenfield
  • Ashley Levinson
Producers
  • Tyler Romary
  • Philipp A. Barnett
  • Jamie Feldman
  • Kenneth Yu
  • Harrison Kreiss
Cinematography
  • Marcell Rév
  • André Chemetoff
  • Drew Daniels
  • Adam Newport-Berra
  • Rina Yang
Editors
Camera setupSingle-camera[3]
Running time48–65 minutes
Production companies
  • The Reasonable Bunch
  • A24
  • Little Lamb
  • DreamCrew
  • HBO Entertainment
Original release
NetworkHBO
ReleaseJune 16, 2019 (2019-06-16) –
present (present)

Euphoria is an American teen drama television series created and written by Sam Levinson for HBO. It is based on the Israeli television miniseries of the same name created by Ron Leshem and Daphna Levin. The series follows a group of high school students through their experiences of identity, trauma, drugs, family, friendships, love, and sex. It stars Zendaya, who also serves as the series' narrator, alongside an ensemble cast consisting of Maude Apatow, Angus Cloud, Eric Dane, Alexa Demie, Jacob Elordi, Barbie Ferreira, Nika King, Storm Reid, Hunter Schafer, Algee Smith, Sydney Sweeney, Colman Domingo, Javon "Wanna" Walton, Austin Abrams, and Dominic Fike.

The series premiered on June 16, 2019. In July 2019, the series was renewed for a second season, preceded by two one-hour specials broadcast in December 2020 and January 2021. The second season premiered on January 9, 2022, and in February 2022, the series was renewed for a third season. The show is the second most watched show in HBO history, behind Game of Thrones.[4]

Since its debut, Euphoria has received positive reviews, with praise for its cinematography, plot, score, performances of the cast (particularly Zendaya and Schafer), and approach to its mature subject matter, though it has been considered controversial for its nudity and sexual content, which some critics found excessive considering the characters' ages. It was nominated for the British Academy Television Award for Best International Programme and the TCA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Drama. For her performance, Zendaya won a Primetime Emmy Award and a Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series.

Cast and characters

Main article: List of Euphoria characters

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
18June 16, 2019 (2019-06-16)August 4, 2019 (2019-08-04)
Specials2December 6, 2020 (2020-12-06)January 24, 2021 (2021-01-24)
28January 9, 2022 (2022-01-09)February 27, 2022 (2022-02-27)

Season 1 (2019)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byFeatured character(s)Original air dateU.S. viewers
(millions)
11"Pilot"Augustine FrizzellTeleplay by : Sam LevinsonRue BennettJune 16, 2019 (2019-06-16)0.577[7]
In her childhood, Rue Bennett struggled with a number of issues (among them mental disorders and her father's death from cancer), which led to drug addiction in her teens. Now 17, Rue returns home from rehab and immediately buys drugs from her friend and drug dealer Fezco ("Fez"). Jules Vaughn, a transgender girl who is new in town, is invited by Kat Hernandez, a classmate, to a party hosted by popular college freshman Christopher McKay. Jules decides to first meet up at a motel with an older man from a hookup app. She lies about her age and they have sex. At the party, Kat loses her virginity. McKay and his girlfriend Cassie Howard have an uncomfortable sexual encounter, but discuss it tenderly. Maddy Perez, who recently broke up with star quarterback Nate Jacobs, has public revenge sex with a partygoer named Tyler. Angered by this, Nate drunkenly harasses Jules, who threatens Nate with a knife before cutting herself. Jules leaves the party, accompanied by Rue, who introduces herself and goes home with her. As Nate returns home, he encounters his father, Cal, who was Jules's hookup.
22"Stuntin' Like My Daddy"Sam LevinsonSam LevinsonNate JacobsJune 23, 2019 (2019-06-23)0.574[9]

At 11, Nate discovers his father's collection of homemade videos featuring him having sex with young gay men and transgender women. Upon entering high school, Nate becomes a successful quarterback who struggles with anger issues and sexual insecurities. In the present, Nate breaks into Tyler's house and severely beats him, accusing him of raping Maddy at McKay's party after Maddy falsely tells him she blacked out. On the first day of school, Rue breaks down after being asked to talk about her summer. Cassie's sister Lexi attempts to comfort her, but Rue lashes out at her. Rue reminisces about trying oxycodone for the first time at 13, stealing from her father's prescription. Kat discovers that a video of her having sex at McKay's party is circulating online and realizes she can make money as a camgirl. Jules starts messaging with an anonymous male high school student. McKay spends time with Cassie and accuses her of being too sexually forward. Mouse, Fezco's intimidating supplier, coerces Rue into trying fentanyl. It is revealed that the man Jules is texting is Nate, using the name "Tyler".


The title of this episode is a reference to the 2006 Birdman and Lil Wayne song "Stuntin' Like My Daddy".[8]
33"Made You Look"Sam LevinsonSam LevinsonKat HernandezJune 30, 2019 (2019-06-30)0.493[10]

A young Kat abruptly gains weight on a family vacation. Her middle-school boyfriend, Daniel, breaks up with her. She retreats into the world of romance and becomes a popular online fan fiction writer. In the present, Kat starts to work as a camgirl, catering to a series of submissive men with financial domination fetishes. Jules tells Rue she will not remain friends with her if she keeps using drugs. At her Narcotics Anonymous meeting, Rue says she is 60 days sober; another attendee, Ali, tells her he knows she is lying. Rue helps Jules take nude photos of herself after Nate sends her a dick pic. Rue steals pills from Jules's kitchen. Maddy is shocked to find dick pics on Nate's phone. Rue and Jules argue after Jules reveals her plans to meet "Tyler" alone at night. Shortly thereafter, Rue goes to Jules's house to apologize and ends up kissing her. Panicked at the thought of alienating Jules, Rue visits Fez to get drugs, but, afraid for her well-being, he refuses to sell her any and locks her out of his house. Upset, Rue blames Fez for her addiction. She calls Ali for help.


The title of this episode is a reference to the 2002 Nas song "Made You Look".
44"Shook Ones Pt. II"Sam LevinsonSam LevinsonJules VaughnJuly 7, 2019 (2019-07-07)0.609[11]

Aged 11, Jules is admitted to a psychiatric hospital because of her gender dysphoria and issues with self-harm. Later, she begins transitioning. In the present day, at a carnival, Nate and Maddy have an argument, and Nate grabs her by the throat after she insults his family. McKay upsets Cassie by refusing to acknowledge her as his girlfriend. Cassie and Maddy take MDMA. Cassie flirts with a classmate, Kat's childhood sweetheart Daniel. Jules recognizes Cal as her hookup. Kat hangs out with a classmate, Ethan (who has a crush on her), but becomes jealous when she incorrectly assumes he is flirting with another girl and ends up having sex with an older boy. Rue looks for her sister, Gia, and finds her high on marijuana. Cal confronts Jules, begging her not to reveal their secret; she assures him that she will not tell anyone. After the carnival, Jules meets up with "Tyler" and discovers he is Nate. Nate then threatens to report the nudes Jules has sent him as child pornography unless she keeps quiet about her relationship with his father. Jules goes to Rue's house and they kiss.


The title of this episode is a reference to the 1995 Mobb Deep song "Shook Ones (Part II)".[8]
55"'03 Bonnie and Clyde"Jennifer MorrisonSam LevinsonMaddy PerezJuly 14, 2019 (2019-07-14)0.579[12]

As a child, Maddy lost interest in the idea of working after her mother stopped her from participating in beauty pageants. She eventually found herself in a toxic relationship with Nate, culminating in his attack on her at the carnival. In the present day, Rue tells her mother that she is dating Jules. Maddy tries to hide the injuries on her neck, but they are discovered after she passes out at school and a police investigation begins; Maddy's mother presses charges against Nate. Jules gets frustrated when Rue dismisses her situation with Cal. Ali does not believe that Rue's and Jules's relationship will last, scaring Rue. Cassie reconciles with McKay, who apologizes for his behavior at the carnival. Kat is cold toward Ethan, who does not understand why. Kat has a sexual encounter with a clothing store clerk about whom she had previously fantasized. Rue apologizes to Lexi for having been a bad friend and invites her to go roller skating with her and Jules. Cal questions the effects his secret sexuality has had on his children. Maddy meets Nate at a motel. After rollerskating, Jules takes Rue home with her, but cannot sleep.


The title of this episode is a reference to the 2002 Jay-Z and Beyoncé song "'03 Bonnie & Clyde".[8]
66"The Next Episode"Pippa BiancoSam LevinsonChris McKayJuly 21, 2019 (2019-07-21)0.569[14]

Growing up, McKay is coached by his father to become a successful football player. When he reaches college, he realizes he has little chance of being recruited by a professional team. In the present day, Nate is suspended from school and socially ostracized. Nate breaks into Tyler's apartment and coerces him into confessing to choking Maddy. He also blackmails Jules into telling the police that she saw Tyler attack Maddy. Cassie attends a Halloween party with McKay, where he is violently hazed[13] by his fraternity brothers. He then has aggressive sex with Cassie, which leaves her in tears. The next night, Daniel hosts a party. Rue worries about Jules, who is drinking heavily and expresses uncertainty about her relationship. Rue apologizes to Fez for lashing out at him. Kat hooks up with Ethan but ditches him when he visits the bathroom. When Cassie refuses to have sex with Daniel, he insults her. At home, Cassie realizes her period is late. Nate and Maddy arrive at Daniel's party and are applauded by the partygoers. Rue becomes suspicious when she sees Jules's reaction.


The title of this episode is a reference to the 1999 single "The Next Episode" from Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg.
77"The Trials and Tribulations of Trying to Pee While Depressed"Sam LevinsonSam LevinsonCassie HowardJuly 28, 2019 (2019-07-28)0.549[15]
Cassie's parents get divorced when she is in her early teens. After a car crash, her father descends into drug addiction and poverty and abandons their family. She frequently enters exploitative sexual relationships with her peers until she meets McKay. In the present, Rue falls into a manic depression after Jules grows distant. After she and Lexi figure out what Nate did to Jules, Rue asks Fez to intimidate him. He does so, but Nate retaliates by anonymously reporting Fez to the police, forcing Fez and Ashtray to dispose of their stash when the police come to their home. Maddy confronts Kat over her new, assertive persona. Kat ends a cam session with a high-paying client when it makes her uncomfortable. Cassie tells McKay she is pregnant. He is overwhelmed and suggests she get an abortion. Jules visits TC, a friend from her old town, and meets TC's roommate, Anna. Jules and Anna go clubbing, take psychedelics, and share a sexual experience, during which Jules hallucinates about both Nate and Rue. She texts Rue the next morning to tell her that she misses her.
88"And Salt the Earth Behind You"Sam LevinsonSam LevinsonRue BennettAugust 4, 2019 (2019-08-04)0.530[16]
Rue and Jules reconcile as Rue recovers in the hospital after a kidney infection. Nate is unable to sexually perform with Maddy, who confronts him about his sexuality, after which Nate attacks her. Maddy steals the video of Cal and Jules that Nate has in his possession, later watching it in shock. Nate wins his final high-school football game, but Cal criticizes his performance. Nate attempts to fight him, but after being subdued, begins to hit himself, leaving Cal shaken. Cassie terminates her pregnancy with her family's support. Fez breaks into Mouse's supplier's house and robs him in order to pay Mouse. At their school's winter formal, Kat seeks out Ethan and apologizes for her behavior. Rue confronts Nate, threatening to expose Cal. Nate taunts her about Jules's loyalty. After spending the night trying to make each other jealous, Nate and Maddy decide to peacefully end their relationship. Jules tells Rue that she is in love with both her and Anna. Rue and Jules decide to run away from their town together, but Rue backs out at the last minute and Jules leaves on a train alone. A heartbroken Rue returns home and relapses, before experiencing a vivid, musical hallucination.

Specials (2020–21)

No.
overall
No. in
specials
TitleDirected byWritten byFeatured character(s)Original air dateU.S. viewers
(millions)
91"Trouble Don't Last Always"
"Part 1: Rue"
Sam LevinsonSam LevinsonRue BennettDecember 6, 2020 (2020-12-06)[e]0.236[18]
On Christmas Eve, after her relapse, an intoxicated Rue sits at a diner with Ali to reflect on her addiction. Rue admits that she willingly relapsed; Ali reminds her that addiction is a disease, and emphasizes the importance of committing to a cause greater than herself. Rue attempts to blame Jules for her relapse, but Ali points out that Rue had been saving the pills she took, suggesting that she was never serious about staying clean. He also notes that Rue never officially acknowledged her relationship with Jules. Rue eventually admits that she feels guilty about her treatment of her family (particularly her mother) and that she is suicidal. Ali argues that drugs fundamentally change a person; he reveals that he grew up with an abusive father for whom he harbored deep hatred, only to become violent with his wife after developing a drug addiction, estranging his daughters. Ali tells Rue that a refusal to forgive oneself for one's mistakes is what prevents personal growth, and that he has faith in her ability to improve.
102"Fuck Anyone Who's Not a Sea Blob"
"Part 2: Jules"
Sam LevinsonSam Levinson & Hunter SchaferJules VaughnJanuary 24, 2021 (2021-01-24)[f]0.109[20]
On Christmas Eve, after leaving Rue behind at the train station, Jules attends her first therapy session. She says Rue is the only person she believes loved her for who she truly is, but admits resenting the burden of having to preserve Rue's sobriety by being constantly available to her. Flashbacks reveal that Jules's mother was recovering from addiction during the events of season 1, but was hospitalized as the result of a relapse after overhearing Jules admit she cannot forgive her for abandoning her as a child. Jules's therapist observes that Jules's complicated feelings about Rue closely resemble those she has about her own mother. Jules further confides that she is still in love with "Tyler", the fake online persona Nate used to communicate with her, despite knowing that their relationship is a fantasy. Jules tells her therapist that she is contemplating going off her hormone replacement therapy due to her evolving notion of her own femininity, which she believes she has expressed only to please men. Upon returning home, Jules receives a surprise visit from Rue, who says she is on her way to meet Ali. Jules tries to apologize to Rue for leaving her, but an emotional Rue simply wishes Jules a merry Christmas before abruptly leaving. Jules breaks down crying in her bedroom.

Season 2 (2022)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byFeatured character(s)Original air dateU.S. viewers
(millions)
111"Trying to Get to Heaven Before They Close the Door"Sam LevinsonSam LevinsonFezcoJanuary 9, 2022 (2022-01-09)0.254[22]

As a child, Fezco was taken in by his grandmother, who introduced him to the drug trade. In a continuation of a scene from the season one finale, Ashtray kills Mouse with a hammer. On New Year's Eve, an intoxicated Rue accompanies Fez and Ashtray to an intense drug deal before attending a large house party. At a convenience store, a drunken Cassie runs into Nate, who offers her a ride to the party; upon arriving, the two have sex in a bathroom and are nearly caught by Maddy, forcing Cassie to hide in the bathtub. Rue takes a concoction of drugs with a boy named Elliot and nearly enters cardiac arrest before taking Adderall to stabilize her heartrate. Outside, she and Jules reunite, where Rue tells Jules that she relapsed the night Jules left her at the train station. Later, the two confess their feelings for each other and kiss. Fezco has a conversation with Lexi and they exchange phone numbers. He then confronts Nate and viciously beats him until the other partygoers intervene and stop him.


The title of the episode is a reference to "Tryin' to Get to Heaven" by Bob Dylan.[21]
122"Out of Touch"Sam LevinsonSam LevinsonNate JacobsJanuary 16, 2022 (2022-01-16)0.279[24]

Nate recovers from his beating in the hospital and refuses to tell his father who attacked him. He finds himself strongly attracted to Cassie, who has been undergoing a depressive episode since her abortion and feels uneasy without a boyfriend. Cassie continues to see Nate despite the guilt she feels for supposedly betraying Maddy, who still loves Nate. One night while riding her bike, Rue witnesses Nate and Cassie kissing in his truck. Jules becomes insecure about Rue's friendship with Elliot, unaware that the two are regularly taking drugs together. Kat begins losing interest in Ethan, fantasizing about more stereotypically masculine men and briefly becoming consumed by an online culture of toxic positivity. Cal begins investigating Nate's assault and pressures Cassie into naming Fezco as the perpetrator; he and Fezco have a tense standoff at Fez's convenience store, which Lexi witnesses. Cal then confronts Nate, who reveals that he is aware of Cal's secret sexual exploits, including the video of him and Jules. Cal asks Nate whether he has the recording; Nate smiles without answering.


The title of the episode is a reference to the 1984 Hall & Oates single "Out of Touch".[23]
133"Ruminations: Big and Little Bullys"Sam LevinsonSam LevinsonCal JacobsJanuary 23, 2022 (2022-01-23)0.264[26]

As a teenager, Cal felt a budding attraction to his friend Derek while dating his future wife, Marsha. Eventually, Cal made his feelings known to Derek, who reciprocated them, but Marsha's unexpected pregnancy compelled Cal to stay with her and keep his sexual orientation hidden. Rue develops a plan to keep her drug use hidden from Jules and Gia while repairing Jules's and Elliot's relationship, covering up her other drug use with cannabis. When Rue runs out of drugs, she convinces schoolteacher turned drug supplier Laurie to give her a large stash, ostensibly for her to sell. Ali becomes suspicious of Rue, who insults him, leading him to cut ties with her. Cassie becomes obsessed with her covert romance with Nate, distancing herself from friends and family in the process. Lexi channels her frustration with Cassie, Rue, and her own introversion into writing a play, which she prepares to stage at school. Assuming that Fez has the video, Cal visits his house and is beaten and humiliated by Ashtray into admitting his indiscretions. He also learns of Jules's and Nate's relationship; Fez lets him leave on the condition that he ceases to pursue revenge against him and keeps Nate from further antagonizing Rue and Jules. One Friday night, Nate cancels his plans to see Cassie to rekindle his relationship with Maddy.


The title of the episode is a reference to a Robert Rauschenberg artwork of the same name.[25]
144"You Who Cannot See, Think of Those Who Can"Sam LevinsonSam LevinsonJanuary 30, 2022 (2022-01-30)0.318[28]

Jules kisses Elliot while Rue reflects on her love for Jules. Cassie ends her relationship with Nate after he admits to having resumed talking to Maddy. The Howards host a birthday party for Maddy. At the party, Kat admits to Maddy that she doesn't love Ethan, and Maddy advises her to follow her feelings. Cassie gets excessively drunk; when Nate unexpectedly arrives and discusses his ongoing involvement with Maddy, Cassie changes into a revealing swimsuit and eventually vomits in front of the guests. Rue, Jules, and Elliot entertain themselves by playing Truth or dare? After narrowly escaping apprehension for a petty theft, Rue begins drinking in front of Jules; after Jules asks why she's drinking, Rue grows angry and lashes out at her. After abandoning the group and returning home alone, Rue takes drugs and hallucinates her father in a church. Cal gets drunk and drives recklessly to the bar where he kissed Derek. After getting thrown out, he returns home and comes out to his family, scathingly criticizing them for their perceived hypocritical hostility to his closetedness. He abruptly chooses to leave them. Elliot confesses to Jules that Rue is not sober and that the two have been taking drugs together. Jules is devastated but sleeps with Elliot anyway.


The title of the episode is a reference to a phrase often reproduced on leaflets distributed by French Surrealists.[27]
155"Stand Still Like the Hummingbird"Sam LevinsonSam LevinsonRue BennettFebruary 6, 2022 (2022-02-06)0.353[30]

Jules tells Leslie that Rue has relapsed, prompting her to destroy Rue's drug stash. Leslie, Jules, and Elliot confront Rue, causing her to have a violent breakdown during which she damages her house and angrily cuts ties with Jules and Elliot. Leslie attempts to take her to rehab again, but Rue flees her car while in traffic. While on the run, Rue begins to suffer the effects of withdrawal. As night falls, Rue flees to the Howard household, where Leslie stages an intervention with the help of Suze, Lexi, Cassie, Maddy, and Kat. Backed into a corner, Rue tells the group about Cassie's relationship with Nate, initiating a fight between Maddy and Cassie that allows Rue to escape in the chaos. She turns to Fezco for help, but he throws her out after she tries to steal his grandmother's medication. After being kicked out by Fez, Rue burglarizes a house, stealing drugs and jewelry. After being caught in the act by the homeowners after they arrive home, and escaping a police chase, Rue reaches Laurie's residence. Laurie gives her morphine and, although she empathizes with Rue's pain, insinuates that she will force her to become a prostitute to pay her debts. After dreaming about her father, Rue wakes up the next morning and escapes back home. Leslie sees Rue open the front door.


The title of the episode is a reference to a book of the same name by Henry Miller.[29]
166"A Thousand Little Trees of Blood"Sam LevinsonSam LevinsonFebruary 13, 2022 (2022-02-13)0.283[32]

A few days after returning home from Laurie's, Rue makes progress in recovering from withdrawal. She calls Ali and apologizes for what she said to him, and Ali comes over and cooks dinner for the Bennett family. Kat attempts to break up with Ethan in a foolish manner, leading him to decide to pull the plug on their relationship. Maddy ponders what to do after finding out the truth about Nate and Cassie, and discusses it with Samantha. As Cassie and Nate grapple with their secret being out, they fight with their respective mothers. After seeing the stress Cassie is under, Lexi wonders how her play is going to be received while hanging out with Fez. While taking out the trash, Faye sees Custer, who tells her that he is being forced to work with the cops to take down Fez and Ashtray for Mouse's murder. Nate decides he must take matters into his own hands to protect his future and the Jacobs family business by threatening Maddy with a gun to hand over the disc. Nate gives the disc to Jules, and they reveal to each other they were not lying about their feelings when Nate was catfishing her the previous year. Nate calls Cassie and tells her she can stay with him while the drama blows over. Leslie finds out that no inpatient rehab facility has room for Rue and breaks down, fearing that she'll kill herself without it.


The title of the episode is a reference to a line in Federico García Lorca's poem "The Martyrdom of Saint Eulalia".[31]
177"The Theater and Its Double"Sam LevinsonSam LevinsonLexi HowardFebruary 20, 2022 (2022-02-20)0.350[33]

"Our Life" is performed for East Highland students, parents, and faculty. Lexi's peers come to the realization that the play is based on their lives with their names changed. Earlier, Lexi is seen talking to Fezco as she worries that people will be upset by the play; he later promises to attend her play. The episode traverses between the present and past as the play depicts significant events and relationships from Lexi's perspective: Rue's father's wake and her descent into drugs; Cassie going through puberty; Rue's and Lexi's friendship; Lexi's relationship with her father; Cassie's and Maddy's friendship; and Maddy's and Nate's relationship. Custer arrives at Fezco's house before the play starts and Ashtray is suspicious of him. Cassie and Nate continue their relationship despite his sustained feelings for Maddy and Jules. Leslie tells Rue she is done looking out for her and plans to focus on Gia. Jules destroys the disc Nate gave her. Feeling betrayed, Maddy vows to leave East Highland. Fezco fails to make it to Lexi's play. The episode ends with a rendition of "Holding Out for a Hero", depicting Nate's character, played by Ethan, and other male students working out in a suggestive manner. Nate angrily calls the scene "homophobic", leaves the play early, and breaks things off with Cassie.


The title of the episode is a reference to a book of the same name by French playwright Antonin Artaud.
188"All My Life, My Heart Has Yearned for a Thing I Cannot Name"Sam LevinsonSam LevinsonFebruary 27, 2022 (2022-02-27)0.625[35]

Custer tries to get Fezco to reveal his role in Mouse's murder before Faye signals him to keep quiet. Realizing he is a police informant, Ash stabs Custer in the neck, much to Fezco's dismay; Fezco suffocates Custer to keep him quiet as he dies and submerges his phone in a drink. Earlier, Lexi and Fezco discuss their plans for the future; they are both glad to have become friends. Rue visits Elliot to forgive him for snitching on her as she believes he might have saved her life. They agree they are not good for each other. In the present, Cassie disrupts the play to insult and mock Lexi, but flees when Maddy chases her off the stage. Supported by her crew and the audience, Lexi continues the play and dedicates it to Fezco (without referring to him by name). The play concludes with Rue's speech at her father's wake and a heartfelt conversation between Rue and Lexi about life and loss; Rue later thanks Lexi for showing her a version of her life that she didn't hate. Fezco pleads with Ash to surrender to the police, allowing Fezco to take the fall for Custer's murder. Instead, Ash locks himself in the bathroom with several guns and engages in a shootout with the police, who shoot him and arrest a wounded Fezco. Nate confronts Cal with a gun and a flash drive containing all of Cal's explicit videos, revealing his trauma from viewing the videos at a young age. Tipped off by Nate, the police arrive to arrest Cal. Cassie tells Maddy that Nate broke up with her before she lashed out on stage. Maddy tells Cassie that it's just the beginning. After the play, Jules tells Rue she loves and misses her. Rue responds by kissing her on the forehead before leaving. As she walks out of the school, Rue narrates that she managed to stay clean for the rest of the school year and that she is cautiously hopeful about the future.


The title of the episode is a reference to Mad Love (L'amour fou) by André Breton, as quoted by Hunter S. Thompson in his book about the Hells Angels motorcycle gang.[34]

Production

Development

Creator, writer, director, and showrunner Sam Levinson in 2018

On June 1, 2017, it was announced that HBO was developing an adaptation of the 2012 Israeli television series Euphoria created by Ron Leshem, Daphna Levin, and Tamira Yardeni. The production was expected to be written by Sam Levinson, who was also set to executive-produce alongside Leshem, Levin, Yardeni, Hadas Mozes Lichtenstein, Mirit Toovi, Yoram Mokadi, and Gary Lennon.[36] In 2019, Levinson stated HBO executive Francesca Orsi liked the "raw and honest" portrayal of drug use and other teenage issues in the Israeli series.[37] Levinson based the series on his own experiences as a teenager, including his struggles with anxiety, depression, and drug addiction.[38][39] He said, "There is this consistent anxiety that I think exists in this generation that I think informed the whole filmmaking process".[40]

On March 13, 2018, HBO programming president Casey Bloys announced at the INTV conference in Jerusalem that the network had given the production a pilot order. It was further announced that A24 would serve as a production company for the pilot.[41] In a press release, Orsi described the series "as Kids meets Trainspotting" with no parental supervision.[42] On March 27, it was announced that Augustine Frizzell would direct the pilot and serve as co-executive producer.[43] On July 30, it was announced that HBO had given the production a series order and that Levinson would write every episode. Additional executive producers were to include Drake, Future the Prince, Ravi Nandan, and Kevin Turen, while production companies involved included A24 Television.[44] On July 11, 2019, the series was renewed for a second season.[45]

HBO ordered two special episodes to air before the second season. The first, "Trouble Don't Last Always", premiered on December 6, 2020, and follows Rue as she deals with the aftermath of leaving Jules at the train station and relapsing.[46] The second, "Fuck Anyone Who's Not a Sea Blob", premiered on January 24, 2021, and follows Jules's side of the story.[47] The second episode was both co-written and executive produced by Levinson and Hunter Schafer.[48] HBO announced that the special episodes will air two days early on HBO Max.[49] On February 4, 2022, HBO renewed the series for a third season.[50]

Casting

On June 7, 2018, it was announced that the pilot would star Zendaya, Storm Reid, Maude Apatow, Astro, Eric Dane, Angus Cloud, Alexa Demie, Jacob Elordi, Barbie Ferreira, Nika King, Hunter Schafer, and Sydney Sweeney.[51] On October 31, it was reported that Algee Smith had been cast to replace Astro as McKay, and that Austin Abrams had also been cast.[52] In April 2020, it was announced that Kelvin Harrison Jr. had joined the cast, but in May 2021, it was announced that Harrison had dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.[53][54] In August, it was announced that Dominic Fike, Minka Kelly, and Demetrius 'Lil Meech' Flenory Jr. had joined the cast.[55]

Filming

Confirmed locations include Sony Studios in Culver City, Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, and Ulysses S Grant High School in Valley Glen.[56] Production for season 2 was scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2020, with the first table read on March 11,[57] but was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.[58][59] Production of season 2 began in March 2021, with filming following from April to November.[60] Unlike the previous season, which was shot digitally, season 2 was shot on Kodak Ektachrome film stock, which cinematographer Marcell Rév attributed to a desire to invoke "some sort of memory of high school."[61][62]

Music

Euphoria's score is by English singer, songwriter, and record producer Labrinth. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he said, "When you look back to your teenage days, it feels semi-magical but semi-crazy and semi-psychotic. I wanted to make sure the music felt like those things."[63] The song "All for Us", performed by Labrinth and Zendaya, is hinted at throughout season 1 before being performed as a large musical number at the end of the season finale.[64] In season 2 episode 4, Labrinth makes his first onscreen appearance in the show alongside Zendaya to perform their song "I'm Tired".

The show also makes unusually extensive[65] use of popular music, including hip hop, trap, R&B, experimental, indie rock, standards and doo-wop, with some episodes featuring over 20 songs.[66][67] For their work on Euphoria's first season, music supervisors Jen Malone (who also supervises Atlanta) and Adam Leber won the 2020 Guild of Music Supervisors Award for Best Music Supervision in a Television Drama.[68]

Season 1 score

Main article: Euphoria (Original Score from the HBO Series)

The score album for the first season was released by Sony Masterworks through Milan Records on October 4, 2019, for digital download.[69] It was also released on vinyl on January 10, 2020.[70]

Season 1 soundtrack

Euphoria Season 1 (An HBO Original Series Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
various artists
ReleasedMay 14, 2021 (2021-05-14)
Length42:33
LabelInterscope
Producer
Euphoria chronology
Euphoria (Original Score from the HBO Series)
(2019)
Euphoria Season 1 (An HBO Original Series Soundtrack)
(2021)
Euphoria Season 2 (An HBO Original Series Soundtrack)
(2022)
Singles from Euphoria
  1. "All for Us"
    Released: August 4, 2019
  2. "Love Me Low"
    Released: June 24, 2020
  3. "Lo Vas a Olvidar"
    Released: January 21, 2021

A soundtrack album featuring a selection of songs from the first season and specials was released by Interscope Records digitally on May 14, 2021, with vinyl copies released on September 3, 2021.[71][72]

Euphoria Season 1 (An HBO Original Series Soundtrack) track listing
No.TitleArtist(s)Length
1."All for Us"Labrinth and Zendaya3:12
2."Mount Everest"Labrinth2:37
3."Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words)"Bobby Womack2:08
4."Even the Nights Are Better"Air Supply3:52
5."Work"Charlotte Day Wilson3:44
6."Champagne Coast"Blood Orange4:52
7."Taking Responsibility"Kilo Kish3:29
8."Run the Road"Santigold4:22
9."Hot"The Last Artful, Dodgr3:10
10."Be Mine"Amandla Stenberg3:40
11."My Body Is a Cage"Arcade Fire4:47
12."Lo Vas a Olvidar"Billie Eilish and Rosalía3:23
13."Love Me Low"Ai Bendr2:29
Total length:42:33
Chart performance for Euphoria Season 1 (An HBO Original Series Soundtrack)
Chart (2022) Peak
position
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[73] 73
US Top Soundtracks (Billboard)[74] 8

Season 2 soundtrack

Euphoria Season 2 (An HBO Original Series Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
various artists
ReleasedMarch 4, 2022 (2022-03-04)
Length47:25
LabelInterscope
Producer
Euphoria chronology
Euphoria Season 1 (An HBO Original Series Soundtrack)
(2021)
Euphoria Season 2 (An HBO Original Series Soundtrack)
(2022)
Singles from Euphoria
  1. "Watercolor Eyes"
    Released: January 21, 2022
  2. "How Long"
    Released: January 26, 2022
  3. "(Pick Me Up) Euphoria"
    Released: January 28, 2022
  4. "Sad4Whattt"
    Released: January 28, 2022
  5. "Yeh I Fuckin' Did It"
    Released: February 6, 2022
  6. "I'm Tired"
    Released: February 28, 2022
  7. "Elliot's Song"
    Released: March 4, 2022

The soundtrack to season 2 was released digitally by Interscope Records on March 4, 2022, with CDs releasing on May 13, 2022, and vinyl on July 29, 2022.[75][76][77] The album's release was preceded by seven singles, "Watercolor Eyes" by Lana Del Rey, "How Long" by Tove Lo, "(Pick Me Up) Euphoria" by James Blake featuring Labrinth, "Sad4Whattt" by EricDoa, "Yeh I Fuckin' Did it" by Labrinth, "I'm Tired" by Labrinth and Zendaya, and "Elliot's Song" by Dominic Fike and Zendaya.[78][79][80][81][82]

Euphoria Season 2 (An HBO Original Series Soundtrack) track listing
No.TitleArtist(s)Length
1."I'm Tired"Labrinth and Zendaya3:07
2."Don't Be Cruel"Billy Swan4:13
3."Dead of Night"Orville Peck3:59
4."Live or Die"Noah Cyrus and Lil Xan3:14
5."Right Down the Line"Gerry Rafferty4:27
6."Yeh I Fuckin' Did It"Labrinth2:11
7."Never Tear Us Apart"INXS3:06
8."Watercolor Eyes"Lana Del Rey3:31
9."(Pick Me Up) Euphoria"James Blake featuring Labrinth3:15
10."How Long"Tove Lo3:19
11."Call Me Irresponsible"Bobby Darrin2:05
12."It Ain't Over 'til It's Over"Lenny Kravitz4:02
13."Elliot's Song"Dominic Fike and Zendaya2:30
14."Sad4whattt"Ericdoa1:58
15."U Could Tëll"Yeat2:28
Total length:47:25

Reception

Critical response

Season 1

The first season was met with a positive response from critics, with much of the praise going to its acting, story, visuals, and approach to mature subject matter. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has a positive score of 80%, with an average rating of 7.3/10 based on 97 critical reviews.[83] The website's critical consensus summary states, "Though at times hard to watch, Euphoria balances its brutal honesty with an empathetic – and visually gorgeous – eye to create a uniquely challenging and illuminating series, held together by a powerfully understated performance from Zendaya."[83] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 68 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[84]

Ben Travers of IndieWire praised the show's authenticity, how HBO "grounds itself in stark reality", and Zendaya's performance and narration.[85] Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter praised Zendaya's performance and the handling of the subject matter.[86] Pilot Viruet of Observer praised the show as visually stunning, as well as the ensemble performance, but criticized the writing as "shaky, filled with clunky lines", and recommended that the show "keep its focus narrow".[87]

Specials

The first of the two special episodes received widespread critical acclaim for its writing, performances, and shift in tone and content from the first season. On Rotten Tomatoes, the episode has a score of 96%, with an average rating of 8.44/10 based on 23 critical reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Euphoria slows down the tempo without losing the beat in a special episode that pairs a raw Zendaya with a steady Colman Domingo to create small screen magic."[88] On Metacritic, the episode has a weighted average score of 84 out of 100, based on 10 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[89]

The second of the two special episodes also received critical acclaim, with particular praise for Schafer's performance and writing, as well as the episode's distinct directorial approach, emotional resonance, and exploration of trans identity. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a score of 95%, with an average rating of 7.9/10 based on 22 critical reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "By centering on Jules' journey, Fuck Anyone Who's Not a Sea Blob adds welcome depth to her character and gives Hunter Schafer plenty of room to shine."[90] On Metacritic, the episode has an average weighted score of 78 out of 100, based on 10 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[91]

Season 2

The second season has received positive reviews, with critics praising the performances and visuals, but criticizing the season's pace and characterization. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the second season received a "Certified Fresh" score of 82%, with an average rating of 7.2/10 based on 114 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "As willfully provocative as ever in its second season, Euphoria still isn't for all tastes—but when its addictive ingredients are mixed just right, the results remain intoxicating."[92] Metacritic assigned the season a score of 74 out of 100 based on 19 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[93]

IndieWire's Ben Travers criticized the sexual content but praised Zendaya's performance, writing, "After seven of the eight episodes, Season 2 is exactly what a drama seeking to spark conversation fears most: It's skippable."[94] Rebecca Nicholson for The Guardian gave the second season two out of five stars, writing, "this long-awaited second season has decided to lean into its crueller instincts."[95] USA Today's Patrick Ryan praised the performances of Zendaya, Schafer, and Fike, but wrote that "the new episodes are much less captivating when they shift their focus away from Rue and Jules."[96]

Criticism and controversy

Some commentators and organizations have criticized the show's explicit content, including self-harm, excessive drug use, and sexual material.[97] The conservative media advocacy group Parents Television and Media Council called the series "dark, depraved, degenerate and nihilistic" and asked HBO and AT&T to end it.[98][99] Common Sense Media, which provides information relating to media's suitability for children, also noted the strong adult themes and advised against teenage viewership.[100] One scene involving more than 30 shots of penises was criticized by both critics and supporters alike, with Esquire calling it "pointlessly gratuitous".[101] The Guardian wrote that writers and producers should find new and different ways to shock audiences.[102] In 2022, Minka Kelly said she felt discomfort at the quantity of nude scenes in the show.[103]

Sam Levinson acknowledged the controversies about the show's content, saying that some parents will be "totally fucking freaked out".[104] Augustine Frizzell, who directed the show's pilot episode, said that the explicit content should help foster a conversation between parents and teenagers.[105] Levinson also said that he hopes the show "opens up a dialogue" due to the "disconnect between parents and teenagers".[106] Zendaya issued a warning both before the show and season 2 premiere about its "deeply emotional subject matter".[107] Although HBO did voice objections to some sexually graphic scenes, the network said it would not interfere with the show's "creative process".[104] The show includes viewer discretion warnings and a website for mental health and other support group resources.[108][109]

Ratings

The show's premiere averaged 577,000 viewers in its time slot, a number that increased to one million after the same-night linear replay and preliminary viewing on HBO Go/Now. The hashtag #EuphoriaHBO trended number one in the United States and number three worldwide on Twitter after the premiere.[110] The first season was the most watched of HBO's series in the 18–49 demographic.[111] The season 2 premiere drew 2.4 million viewers across all HBO platforms, which was a series high. It also marked the strongest digital premiere night performance for any episode of an HBO series since HBO Max's launch.[112] At the end of its second season, it became the second most watched HBO show of all time (behind Game of Thrones), with episodes averaging 16.3 million viewers.[4] It is also the most tweeted show this decade so far with over 30 million tweets.[113]

Season 1

Viewership and ratings per episode of Euphoria
No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "Pilot" June 16, 2019 0.17 0.577[7] 0.08 0.225 0.25 0.802[114]
2 "Stuntin' Like My Daddy" June 23, 2019 0.20 0.574[9] 0.07 0.200 0.27 0.774[115]
3 "Made You Look" June 30, 2019 0.19 0.493[10]
4 "Shook Ones Pt. II" July 7, 2019 0.21 0.609[11] 0.10 0.218 0.31 0.827[116]
5 "'03 Bonnie and Clyde" July 14, 2019 0.21 0.579[12] 0.13 0.289 0.34 0.868[117]
6 "The Next Episode" July 21, 2019 0.20 0.569[14] 0.12 0.266 0.32 0.835[118]
7 "The Trials and Tribulations of Trying to Pee While Depressed" July 28, 2019 0.19 0.549[15] 0.13 0.297 0.32 0.846[119]
8 "And Salt the Earth Behind You" August 4, 2019 0.21 0.530[16] 0.12 0.273 0.33 0.803[120]

Specials

Viewership and ratings per episode of Euphoria
No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "Trouble Don't Last Always" December 6, 2020 0.08 0.236[18]
2 "Fuck Anyone Who's Not a Sea Blob" January 24, 2021 0.02 0.109[20]

Season 2

Viewership and ratings per episode of Euphoria
No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "Trying to Get to Heaven Before They Close the Door" January 9, 2022 0.08 0.254[22] TBD TBD TBD TBD
2 "Out of Touch" January 16, 2022 0.09 0.279[24] TBD TBD TBD TBD
3 "Ruminations: Big and Little Bullys" January 23, 2022 0.09 0.264[26] TBD TBD TBD TBD
4 "You Who Cannot See, Think of Those Who Can" January 30, 2022 0.13 0.318[28] TBD TBD TBD TBD
5 "Stand Still Like the Hummingbird" February 6, 2022 0.11 0.353[30] TBD TBD TBD TBD
6 "A Thousand Little Trees of Blood" February 13, 2022 0.11 0.283[32] TBD TBD TBD TBD
7 "The Theater and Its Double" February 20, 2022 0.14 0.350[33] TBD TBD TBD TBD
8 "All My Life, My Heart Has Yearned for a Thing I Cannot Name" February 27, 2022 0.24 0.625[35] TBD TBD TBD TBD
Euphoria : U.S. viewers per episode (thousands)
Graphs are unavailable due to technical issues. There is more info on Phabricator and on MediaWiki.org.
SeasonEpisode numberAverage
12345678
1577574493609579569549530560
Specials236109173
2254279264318353283350625340
Audience measurement performed by Nielsen Media Research[121]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2019
People's Choice Awards Favorite Drama TV Star Zendaya Won [122]
Satellite Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Zendaya Won [123]
2020
American Cinema Editors Awards Best Edited Drama Series for Non-Commercial Television Julio C. Perez IV (for "Pilot") Nominated [124]
Art Directors Guild Awards One-Hour Contemporary Single-Camera Series Kay Lee Nominated [125]
Black Reel Awards for Television Outstanding Actress, Drama Series Zendaya Won [126]
British Academy Television Awards Best International Programme Sam Levinson, Ravi Nandan, Kevin Turen and Drake Nominated [127]
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actress in a Drama Series Zendaya Nominated [128]
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Drama Series Euphoria Nominated [129]
Guild of Music Supervisors Awards Best Music Supervision – Television Drama Adam Leber and Jen Malone Won [130]
Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Best Contemporary Make-Up Doniella Davy and Kristen Coleman Nominated [131]
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Contemporary Costumes Heidi Bivens, Danielle Baker and Katina Danabassis (for "The Next Episode") Nominated [132]
Outstanding Contemporary Makeup (Non-Prosthetic) Doniella Davy, Kirsten Sage Coleman and Tara Lang Shah (for "And Salt the Earth Behind You") Won
Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score) Labrinth (for "'03 Bonnie and Clyde") Nominated
Outstanding Music Supervision Jen Malone and Adam Leber (for "And Salt the Earth Behind You") Nominated
Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics "All for Us" – Labrinth (for "And Salt the Earth Behind You") Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Zendaya (for "Made You Look") Won [133]
TCA Awards Outstanding Achievement in Drama Euphoria Nominated [134]
2021
American Cinema Editors Awards Best Edited Drama Series for Non-Commercial Television Julio C. Perez IV (for "Trouble Don't Last Always") Nominated [135]
BET Awards Best Actress Zendaya (also for Malcolm & Marie) Nominated [136]
Casting Society of America Television Pilot and First Season – Drama Mary Vernieu, Jessica Kelly, Jennifer Venditti and Bret Howe Won [137]
Costume Designers Guild Awards Excellence in Contemporary Television Heidi Bivens (for "Trouble Don't Last Always") Nominated [138]
Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards Best Actor in a Limited Series, Anthology Series or Television Movie Colman Domingo Won [139]
Best Actress in a Limited Series, Anthology Series or Television Movie Zendaya Nominated
Best Broadcast Network or Cable Limited Series, Anthology Series or Live-Action Television Movie Euphoria Two-Part Special Nominated
Hollywood Music in Media Awards Best Original Song in a TV Show/Limited Series "All for Us" – Labrinth Won [140]
Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Best Contemporary Hair Styling Melanie Smith and Kaity Licina (for "Trouble Don't Last Always") Nominated [141]
Peabody Awards Entertainment "Trouble Don't Last Always" Nominated [142]
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour) Marcell Rév (for "Trouble Don't Last Always") Nominated [143]
Outstanding Contemporary Costumes Heidi Bivens, Devon Patterson and Angelina Vitto (for "Fuck Anyone Who's Not a Sea Blob") Nominated
Outstanding Contemporary Makeup (Non-Prosthetic) Doniella Davy and Tara Lang Shah (for "Fuck Anyone Who's Not a Sea Blob") Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Zendaya (for "Trouble Don't Last Always") Nominated [144]
Writers Guild of America Awards Television: Episodic Drama Sam Levinson (for "Trouble Don't Last Always") Nominated [145]
2022
American Cinema Editors Awards Best Edited Drama Series Julio C. Pérez IV and Nikola Boyanov (for "Fuck Anyone Who's Not a Sea Blob") Nominated [146]
Costume Designers Guild Awards Excellence in Contemporary Television Heidi Bivens (for "Fuck Anyone Who's Not a Sea Blob") Nominated [147]

Notes

  1. ^ Hunter Schafer is credited as writer with Sam Levinson in "Fuck Anyone Who's Not a Sea Blob".[2]
  2. ^ Also narrated by Maude Apatow in "The Theater and Its Double".
  3. ^ Gustave Rudman Rambali is credited as composer with Labrinth in "Shook Ones Pt. II".
  4. ^ Smith only appears in the first two episodes of season 2 although credited as a main cast member.
  5. ^ "Trouble Don't Last Always" was released online on HBO Max as early as December 3, 2020, ahead of its broadcast on television.[17]
  6. ^ "Fuck Anyone Who's Not a Sea Blob" was released online on HBO Max as early as January 21, 2021, ahead of its broadcast on television.[19]

References

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