Euphoria Season Two Review: HBO’s Exceptionally Deranged Hit Show

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

“If Euphoria season one was like the start of an all-night bender, season two feels like waking up in a ditch.”

Sam Levinson

Euphoria season 2… Where do I start?

This season had a lot going. And I mean a lot.

There were so many moving plots that sometimes made the show seem crowded.

And then there was the chaotic aspect and forgotten characters like McKay and Kat (who was pretty much a bystander this season).

It seemed like Sam Levinson (writer/director/creator/jack-of-all-trades) didn’t know what to do with the numerous characters he created.

Levinson directed every single episode of Euphoria season two, unlike the first one where he shared directorial duties with three others. It probably explains why some of the scenes were incoherent and truly manic this season.

According to Levinson, “If Euphoria season one was like the start of an all-night bender, season two feels like waking up in a ditch.”

I don’t know about you, but that just seems like an excuse for doing crazy shit.

Brief Synopsis

Euphoria is an American adaptation of an Israeli show of the same name, following the life of Rue, a 17-year-old drug addict. Unfortunately, Rue’s the narrator, so her narrative is often unreliable.  

The series also follows the lives of Rue’s friends, Lexi, Maddie, Cassie, Kat, Fez, Nate, and more.

All of them have different issues ranging from teenage drama to full-blown psychopathy.  

The second season started pretty well (with Nate Jacob getting the beating he deserved from Fez), but it kind of went slightly downhill from there.

Everyone kept doing stupid shit (Rue especially), and Jules became intolerable. They were terrible together (not to mention the stupid love triangle with Elliot).

I spent most of the first season waiting for them to get together, and when it finally happened, I kept waiting for it to crash and burn.

Characters you didn’t care about in the first season went out of their way to become worse here (Cassie).

You also start rooting for characters you found questionable in the first season (Maddie).

Maddie was great. I didn’t particularly care for her character in season one, but I loved her in this one. I wish she’d had more scenes, though.

Moral Lesson?

In a way, I think the entire point of the show is that no one is truly good (well, maybe except Lexi), and everyone makes mistakes.

And some people are just plain evil (Nate).

The moral is learning from said mistakes and trying to do better (unfortunately, Cassie didn’t get the memo).

Nate was an absolute dirtbag as usual. Each time you start feeling bad for him, he goes and does something absolutely horrible to make you detest him all over again.

I had mixed feelings about Cal. While his backstory explained a lot of things and made you feel slightly sorry for him, it didn’t make me care about him. 

Sadly, Euphoria is an example of a show that didn’t quite live up to the expectations of its first season.

Sam Levinson apparently took all the bad parts of season one and amplified it—ignoring the good parts, and then did a messy job of tying up loose ends.

The finale left me with more questions than answers.

Like why did Nate turn his Dad to the cops even though he’d earlier stated he needed to protect the family business?

How did Rue miraculously stay clean without going to rehab?

What was the budget of Lexi’s play? (It had a freaking carousel and rotating stage!)

And why haven’t we heard anything from Laurie, the drug lord?

And, why did we get four whole minutes of Elliot playing a freaking song when we could have gotten more Maddie/Cassie violence?

Hopefully, these questions get answered in the next season (in faraway 2024).

The cast (especially Zendaya) did their very best with what they were given, even though the season finale was a far cry from the artful cliffhanger of the first season.

Critics have accused the show of glorifying bad behavior, but then again, people enjoy stuff like that. And it’s an HBO show, after all. 

Worthy Shout-outs

Lexi’s play served as the perfect driver for certain events to happen.

The finale also made me like Faye a little better (even though she looks like a coked-up Francine Smith from American Dad).

She tried her best to save the day.

Francine and Faye

The finale episode gave me mixed feelings (maybe because I expected better?)

But there were some great parts of the show, like the visuals and aesthetics, the soundtrack (Labrinth was brilliant as usual), and the stellar acting.

Maybe if Sam Levinson accepted input from other writers and stopped treating the show like his baby, Euphoria season two would have been brilliant.

Fingers crossed for season three though.

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