Grace O’Connor ’22
HBO’s Euphoria is well-known for its fantastic character development and incredible set design, both of which led to a wildly successful first season. Season two of the hit show, which premiered last month, has once again pulled in a large audience—viewership is up nearly 100 percent from season one. According to Variety, the premiere, which first aired Jan. 9, has drawn 13.1 million viewers on HBO and HBO Max, with the rest of the season set to see similar numbers. This growth represents an increase of approximately 100 percent from the nearly 6.6 million people who tuned into Season 1 of Euphoria when it aired in 2019. These statistics affirm the audience’s loyalty to this beloved show and its hugely talented cast.
Season two of Euphoria dives deeper into its characters’ struggles and relationships with one another. Nate, for instance, is notorious for his abusive behavior, and his unhealthy relationship with Maddy in season one kept fans at the edge of their seats. Given his problematic history, fans were surprised and unsettled to see a budding romance form between Nate and Cassie early on in season two. This troubled love triangle is just one of the unexpected developments in Nate’s story. Season two also explores his father Cal’s hidden past, which Cal had long tried to conceal from his wife and children.
Another character who must grapple with secrets and lies is Rue, who is on the verge of exposing the fact that she has resumed her use of addictive drugs to Jules and her family. Notably, Euphoria portrays Rue’s battle with drug addiction in an authentic way. According to Forbes, “The tragic irony is that Rue has spent so many episodes striving for [a] relationship [with Jules], only to reduce herself to a state of dissociation, unable to feel what she desperately wants.” Season two masterfully brings Rue’s struggle in her personal relationships to light: she slowly learns to be vulnerable with others and upfront about what she is going through.
Despite the differences in the characters’ lives that make them individuals, there is one common denominator between them. As Forbes explains, “the characters strive to break free from the chains of morality and consequence, embracing their sinful desires, spilling secrets like body fluids.” The characters each risk their well-being to hold onto their secrets, and their struggle to do so makes for a narrative that is intriguing and entertaining.
Season two of Euphoria is currently airing on HBO and available for streaming on HBO Max.