After a grandiose first season, Euphoria is back on OCS for a new round of episodes. Does this season 2 live up to expectations? Our opinion, guaranteed to be free of spoilers.
For its first series for teens, HBO hit hard in 2019 with Euphoria. This free adaptation of the Israeli miniseries of the same name, co-produced by Drake among others, is also based on the youth of its creator Sam Levinson. Driven by his film Assassination Nation, which already sketched the outlines of what Euphoria would be, the screenwriter and director had put a shattering kick to the genre of teen drama.
Vitriol portrait of Generation Z, the first season of Euphoria (and its two special episodes) had seduced by its cast, its subjects treated with glaring truth and its inspired artistic direction. No wonder she was acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, and that her lead actress and co-producer, Zendaya, received an Emmy Award for her masterful performance as Rue Bennett, a high school addict and narrator of the bits of life of adolescents in distress and in the grip of dangerous neuroses.
What is Euphoria season 2 worth?
Suffice to say that season 2 of Euphoria was expected at the turn. And Sam Levinson and his teams do not disappoint. These new episodes put the cursor even further and do not spare its characters or its audience with a sex, drugs & rock’n’roll plot that goes at 1000 per hour, with a few full frontal in passing. Pushed to their limits, the teenagers of the series are completely crushed by an evil which gnaws at them more and more.
Behind the glitter, the polished aesthetic, the false image sent back, the superficial assurance, Rue and the others must face the endless question “Who am I?”, Coupled with a sad reality felt by many adolescents: the lack of self-esteem. How do you move forward when you think you are the worst person in the world, have no value and do not deserve to live? What can we hope for when suffering seems to be only the only valid friend?
We fall more and more and we sink into a darkness that seems almost soothing. Some of the characters will learn the hard way that living with your demons and trying to find out who you really are is not just a sign of unhappiness being a teenager, but a burden that will even haunt you. adulthood.
The important thing is not the fall, it’s the landing
Sam Levinson offers a darker and perhaps more mature second season than the previous one. The characters take a step back and examine their conscience by shedding their pageantry and embracing their vulnerability. The outfits and make-up are less flashy (but still iconic!), The faces are more serious and the dialogues are more gloomy, without however the proper identity of the characters being altered and skilfully avoiding to fall into a certain Manichaeism.
And sometimes, in the midst of that darkness, a light shines. In the mind and on the screen. The strength to get up, to move forward, to say “no”, to learn from your mistakes, to grow, to forgive and to ask yourself a question. The landing maybe soft in a fall which seemed interminable. Through different issues, – addiction, gender identity, mourning, betrayal in love, self-image, family structure, … – anyone can identify with the characters and with what they are going through, as was already the case in the first season.
In this bittersweet season 2, Sam Levinson digs even deeper into the existence and past of his characters, with violent, sometimes cruel and deeply sad flashbacks, but also a strangely pleasant melancholy that provide essential answers. It offers more depth to its protagonists and ever more authentic and contemporary stories that turn the stomach, pinch the heart and allow exciting new dynamics.
Above all, the Euphoria showrunneur gives his imagination and creativity even more free rein by offering paintings of crazy originality, with a pulp and supercharged aesthetic, navigating between shadow and light. We feel that he takes pleasure in the form of his series and plays, like a virtuoso, with genres and with a meta staging that allows spectacular, almost theatrical and extremely controlled sequences.
To sublimate and bring body to his subject, Sam Levinson can count on the always powerful and inspired performances of his troupe of actors, who slip with disconcerting ease into the sneakers of their characters. We also note the interesting proposal of the new recruit Dominic Fike, who will heckle the relationship between Rue and Jules (Hunter Schafer), always just and magnetic.
Maude Apatow (Lexi), Jacob Elordi (Nate), Eric Dane (Cal) amaze while Alexa Demie (Maddy), Sydney Sweeney (Cassie) and Barbie Fereirra (Kate) continue to shine. For their part, Storm Reid (Gia), Nika King (Leslie) and Angus Cloud (Fez) touch by their almost childish sensitivity. The voices and performances of Austin Abrams (Ethan) and Colman Domingo (Ali) reason with their welcome wisdom.
All of them follow a mesmerizing score, masterfully conducted by Sam Levinson, but once again it is Zendaya who stands out from the crowd and continues to touch the stars with her most organic and accomplished performance to date. ‘so.
At the end of viewing the seven out of eight episodes offered to the press, the slap is well and truly taken. Season 2 of Euphoria, always rocked by an intoxicating soundtrack, – between the melodies of Labrinth and the mixture of classical and current music -, is more than up to expectations. All that remains is the long and agonizing wait before being able to discover the final that we hope is at least as epic as that of the inaugural season.
Season 2 of Euphoria is available on OCS in US + 24 at the rate of one episode per week.