Euphoria is an amalgamation of all current cinematic trends of the 2010s. It’s a crescendo. A coda. It’s a climax.
With the season finale being released, Euphoria cemented itself as a production powerhouse, the sheer grandeur of its melodrama being almost uncharacteristic for the dark underbelly of adolescence it tries to portray. It’s refreshing. It’s real, and raw, and near radical. Experimentation is a key theme in its style, and there is literally no place Euphoria won’t go.
In all its provocation, Euphoria strikes an underutilised chord in modern audiences. It gives real representation to youth. Female-led, LGBT-led, and POC-led, there isn’t a moment where the show ventures into tokenism or forcefulness. The characters aren’t characterized by their natures, but by their choices. And the cast itself is genuinely incredible, notably Zendaya and Jacob Elordi delivering performances worthy of the show’s theatrics.
Those theatrics, however, only match the insane level of production. Practical effects run wild, the soundtrack and visuals in each episode jaw dropping, breathtaking. Sam Levinson’s direction holds up the ambitious exhibitionism and the groundbreaking set design. Marcell Rév’s hyper-gravitational cinematography, full of 21st century neon that lights the incredible makeup art featured–only working to match the almost volatile tone of the series. On all levels, Euphoria is unabashed, brazen, and rampant.
Not without its imperfections, the show can be criticized for its harshness. It can be hard to watch and is usually exaggerated and unrealistic, although the fact that most characters are around 17 should establish that the show isn’t meant to be a raw representation of real teen life. It is, however, meant to be a raw representation of real substance abuse, identity issues, sexual agency, and of toxic relationships and behavior. Euphoria doesn’t make promises of safety, because it knows that those promises couldn’t be trusted.
Despite its vulgarity, Euphoria possesses an unmatched nuance celebrating the far reaches of filmmaking. It manages to command with a finesse as it balances its magnitude and its sensitivity. It’s not only a peak in modern television, it’s the harbinger for the next age of production. An age of youth, diversity, and exploration. It’s the millennial new wave at its best.