Earlier this year, fans of the hit HBO show “Euphoria” were tuning in every Sunday to watch new episodes of the captivating drama.
After mass hype from season one, many viewers were looking forward to the new season, especially after almost over two years of waiting for it.
The Emmy winning show gained its popularity and fanbase for its captivating storylines, cast and its fashion and makeup that created an entire aesthetic. “Euphoria” is a show that was meant to be talked about.
With that being said, the attitude towards the newest season and the culture built around the show is very different compared to the first season. Chloe Morris, second-year LMC, would consider herself more of a casual fan of the show and got into the series much later.
Morris became interested in the show during quarantine and at first enjoyed the plot and appreciated the aesthetic of the show, but her reasoning behind watching the second season changed.
“I was watching more for the plot back then,” Morris said. “Now, especially as the season went on, I was watching it because I wanted to be able to critique the characters with friends or talk about it and be able to relate to things that were said on social media.”
Social media played a major part into the widespread discussion of the show, and it was especially present with season two. Memes and theories circulated throughout Twitter and TikTok, creating a sense of community between fans.
Many fans are within the teen to young adult demographic, and this also plays into the popularity of the show.
“I think especially since the characters are close in age to us, watching the show is almost like you have a friend telling you a crazy story,” Morris said.
Like many others, Morris would often discuss the events of the show with friends and classmates the day after.
Another factor that added onto the show’s appeal would have to be its release schedule.
Episodes were released weekly, allowing for theories to grow throughout the week. This created a routine for many fans to watch with their friends.
“I have not seen or felt a connection amongst a large group of people in a while about a TV show,” Morris said.
“I feel like there hasn’t really been any other recent show like that with the rise of streaming and how they will release a whole season at once.”
The plotline of season two sparked a lot of debate amongst fans with some feeling as though they were watching a completely different show compared to the first season.
The focus of the show is on the main character Rue, played by Zendaya, as she struggles with addiction and finding herself, and as a high-school drama, the anxieties and struggles that the young people face are also very present.
Relationships, substance use, self-discovery, trauma, friendship and betrayal are all covered in the show, but the shift in season two included more soap-opera style subplotines, unanswered plot holes and some characters having less screen time.
Sive Lowell, second-year CS major, used to consider themself a fan of the show but towards the end of the season, their attitude changed.
“I thought season one was very impressive TV, and it was really artfully done,” Lowell said. “I cared about all the characters, and it felt comprehensive as a show, but then in season two, it just felt very disjointed.”
Lowell noted that they appreciated that the characters were flawed, but at a certain point they stopped caring about any of them and found themselves disliking the show more and more as it went on.
As a fan of the high school drama genre, Lowell thought that “Euphoria” fit into that concept but took it up to the max. They felt that the different stylistic elements that they had, like cutscenes or fourth wall breaks, were really artfully done.
“It was also really nice to see a very queer relationship on such a wide scale and that it was just queer without a second thought,” Lowell said.
“Euphoria” has been renewed for a third season, and currently, Lowell is unsure if they will be tuning in as the elements of the show they enjoyed were no longer present in the most recent episodes.
The season finale ended with a massive cliffhanger with the wellbeing of some beloved characters still in question, which left many fans emotional and questioning the show’s writing.
Fans anxiously waiting for the third season will hopefully have their questions answered and see their favorite characters return with more concise storylines.
Fan or not, “Euphoria” has a massive influence on pop culture and the show has created a sense of camaraderie that extends beyond the screen.