"Euphoria" is the HBO, drug-induced teen drama that has captivated the hearts of millions during its first season and has become a cultural phenomenon in the past year.
Not only has it turned Zendaya Coleman into a household name and an Emmy-award winner, but it has also kickstarted the careers of Hunter Schafer and its stellar supporting cast. The announcement of two new episodes in December is a cause for celebration for Euphoria fans everywhere and a perfect time to look back and examine some of Euphoria’s most memorable scenes.
Euphoria’s major strengths come in the three-dimensionality of the characters and the incredible lighting and stage direction. The show spends a lot of time developing the characters, and we as an audience spend a lot of time learning and understanding their world.
Not only is each character fascinating and flawed, but the situation and conflicts presented feel as though they carry weight and substance. The show feels so dynamic due to the constant motion of the camera and the music chosen for different scenes.
Euphoria has proven to be especially resonating with young people. Twitter and Instagram accounts are constantly promoting the show, and there are accounts dedicated solely to promoting the cast and characters. Makeup looks inspired by Euphoria are extremely popular to take inspiration from, and people utilize designs from the show to create their own unique look and style.
This sense of community allows the show to circulate without them having to release any new material. This type of self-sustaining community is a testament to how much cultural impact this show has had in such a short time.
The most memorable scenes of Euphoria are when they utilize out-of-the-box techniques and tension between different scenes. In episode seven, Rue Bennett masterfully deconstructs the relationship between Jules Vaughn and Nate Jacobs while wearing a detective outfit and playfully sequencing events together in the middle of a bipolar episode.
As Bennett smokes cigarettes and explains to Lexi Howard her thought process as she puts the pieces of their relationship together, it is a lighthearted but necessary change of pace in the show. Even though the topic is very heavy emotionally, they frame it in a way so it is easily digestible and interesting to watch.
Cutaways like Bennett pouring coffee in the water filter and being surrounded by pictures of the main characters only add to the cohesiveness of this scene.
Another incredible scene is Bennett's ceiling walk / psychedelic trip in episode one. As Bennett is introduced as an apathetic teen reeling from the effects of rehab, the visuals eloquently explain her experiences while getting high.
The spinning cinematography becomes a motif throughout the show and became a memorable introduction to Bennett’s high-risk-but-enchanting lifestyle. As she struggles to maintain her sense of balance as the camera slowly rotates, it is a brief but important moment for the audience to witness
Vaughn’s rave party with her friends in New York in episode seven was a rare but memorable moment inside her psyche as a character. Her emotional and turbulent mental state is laid out before us as she seemingly transitions between making out with Bennett, Jacobs, and Anna in a psychedelic daze.
The disorienting lights and use of color are a great window into Vaughn’s mind while hallucinating, and it reveals the extent of her repressed feelings up to this point.
The sheer number of memorable scenes from Euphoria shows how much creativity and thought went into the making of the show.
The popularity and cultural impact are remarkable to witness, and as the show begins its second season, there will certainly be more moments and scenes to analyze. As "Euphoria" continues its cultural ascent, it will further mold its own spot in the mainstream cultural sphere.