Euphoria Season 1 Episode 1 Review: “Pilot”

Admittedly, HBO’s new series Euphoria is nothing like any conventional TV series. It is exceedingly provocation, yet the audience can feel the specks of mystery and horror as the story unveils the life of a self-harming teenager, Rue. The storyline may appear confusing to many. Still, it seamlessly depicts the life and struggles of Rue saturated with drugs, violence, and sex.

 The series is aimed for adults, and anyone is sure to freak out, representing a world filled with self-destruction, misdeed, and trauma. But each minor incident seems to reflect bitter truth. Although this is a teenage drama, the series demonstrates an honest and painful teen experience. Things can get complicated beyond one’s imagination. Unlike many popular series or current comedy shows, the HBO series brings stark reality for the audience. Remember, when you were 14, how every ugly remark or insult felt like death? When you are about to watch Euphoria, you are sure to relive your teenage years again.  

For some, the series may appear as an unpleasant experience. For others, it may prove devastating. Aesthetically sharp, Levinson smoothly conveys every plot and twists, with skillful touches throughout the entire series. Kudos to the makes for bringing such a sensitive concept on the screen where we exist in a world teenager attend house parties, do drugs, smoke weed, and fool around.  Young girls are slut-shamed, and everyone watches porn. In a modern changing world, where our love and support?  Teenagers care least about happiness, innocence, kindness, and other human feelings.

Episode 1 begins with a teenage girl named Rue who the central character of the series. Rue is a victim of drug addiction, and she is released out of Rehab. Few days after leaving Rehab, she meets another character, Jules, at a party.

Right after 9/11, Rue’s has a troubled adolescent. She is diagnosed with several mental disorders and visits a therapist who prescribes her medicines to treat her disorders. The medication impacts her daily lifestyle and gets often gets panic attacks in class.

To shift her attention, As Rue narrates, she did drugs as a teen. However, her sister, Gia, once found her unconscious, which takes her to the Rehab. Still, she continues taking drugs. Rue seeks the help of her Childhood friend, Lexi, for help when her mother demands a drug test. Fortunately or unfortunately, she passes the test. Rue spends the night at a friend’s house after a party. Rue’s greed for drugs makes her do terrible sins. This is effortlessly played by Zendaya, who manages to bring materialistic grace to the character.
Rue meets Jules, who is new to the suburbs after her parents got divorced. She also makes friends with Kat, who invites her to McKay’s party. After the party, there is a nasty fight among friends. Irritated by the incident, Jules agrees to meet DominantDaddy whom she finds on a dating app.
 McKay likes Cassie, Lexi’s sister. Nate manipulates McKay about Cassie right before the party. The episode clearly shows how toxic teen boys heartlessly trap innocent girls in recent times. Cassie gets shamed by her friends, McKay.

There is confusion building up as old lovers try to make each other jealous. Jules ends up harming herself after the model’s incident. Maddy finds a new guy.  Nate turns out to be Nate was DominantDaddy’s son. At the end of the episode, McKay and Cassie fall asleep together.  With unexpected turns, the series puts a sense of humor, and a glimpse of goodness goes a long way. 

The audience can admire Rue’s relationships with Gia and Fezco. But it is really heart-breaking to find that Rue has no intention to recover from her misdeeds. Then, with Fezco, there is something soothing in character. He, being the drug dealer, still cares for Rue.

Rue gets back to taking drugs. She stumbles downstairs. In the next, Kat and three boys smoke weed. Struggling to fight her inner demons, she tells the boys into taking her top off. Nate stands as a high school perfection among the rest. Nate is famous, tall, and abundant. He intends to find the hottest girl in the pack.

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The series has a strong message as to how drugs can tear families apart. There is a painful story of each character. But each of their stories is intertwined. Messy, yet unique, the series takes you to a new experience you might not handle. The gut-churning events add up to an exhausting, journey to discover the dank life of teenage drug addicts. Together, each of the episodes appears horrifying and stressful.

The production and sets throughout the first episode are a visual treat to the audience. Overall, the screenplay and cinematography are well crafted and top-notch too. Admittedly, the director, Augustine Frizzell, is a splendid job!

Zendaya, As Rue, did an exceptional job of the teenage drug addict. At every scene, she adds levity to her acting that makes her appear invincible. Undoubtedly, the intrigue keeps you coming back to find out what happens in the next episode. Beyond the understandable anxieties, panic attacks, wrong turns, and mental breakdowns, the teenagers get trapped in odd juxtaposition.  Levinson’s clear command over storytelling is aesthetic, together with Zendaya’s strong emotion, add a rich authenticity in each scene. The viewers can expect to enjoythe series overall.

 Euphoria is definitely not the first TV series that reveals the dark tale of teenage life. Indeed, the series is controversial; the gripping performance by the talented young actress is phenomenal. The series offers a refreshing storyline portray brilliantly by a fantastic cast. Incredibly well-executed, the series is highly worth a watch for the audience. With an artistic vision, Euphoria has incredible rewarding moments for you.

So, Euphoria is the series you need to watch with your family on a cozy Sunday evening. Happy watching!

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