A Glimpse Into Euphoria Season 2

HBO’s hit drama show ‘Euphoria’ follows a group of high school students as they navigate a minefield of love, friendship, trauma, social media and identity. A new season is in the process of releasing after years of hibernation due to COVID-19 delaying production, and fans have a lot to say.


Raisa Barshai

The cast of Euphoria reunites for the production of Season 2, and the premiere episode has already amassed 13.1 million viewers so far, with viewership increasing by nearly 100% from Season 1.

People have conflicting opinions on the HBO original series Euphoria, with many believing that the show inaccurately displays the life of teenagers. Throughout the show’s first season, viewers watched the characters encounter challenging situations, such as Maddie’s involvement in a dangerous relationship. The show aims to represent high schoolers, but many people, including myself, believe that the characters in the show should be portraying college students instead of high schoolers. However, even though the show describes exaggerated scenarios of real high school life, the overall themes of each character’s story are authentic and prevalent in today’s world. After all, it is in the “Teen Drama” category, so I don’t think it’s fair to believe that the show should be 100 percent realistic. The show’s glamorous cinematography and action-packed scenes are what made the show garner so much attention from the public. The season 2 premiere episode has drawn 13.1 million viewers, and viewership increased by nearly 100% from season 1.

Underneath all of the glitz and drama of the show, the creator, Sam Levinson, relays messages about trauma and young adulthood through the characters of Euphoria. Each character represents different struggles that teens face, and each one has a unique yet realistic backstory.

Cassie Howard, for example, is a people pleaser. She is deeply insecure and wants to be loved, and the trauma she has from having an absent father affects the way she views love and herself. 

Her insecurity unravels even more as season 2 continues, and her desire to be loved by Nate Jacobs has taken over her life. After meeting Nate at a party, she immediately falls for him and they have a secret relationship, despite the fact that Nate is the ex boyfriend of Cassie’s best friend, Maddy. So far we see Cassie’s paranoia deepening, living in constant fear of Maddy finding out, yet she continues to engage in her secret relationship. Unfortunately, it’s only a matter of time before she hits rock bottom and has to deal with the consequences of putting love and relationships before herself and her friends.

Maddy Perez is a character that seems like she has it all. She is pretty, popular, and the it-girl of her school. Despite how highly others view her, she is deeply traumatized and insecure, faces many challenges, and has a weak side that not many people know about.

Growing up, she watched her father mistreat her mother, and seeing them struggle financially made her vow never to settle for a relationship like her mother had. She is prone to manipulation and unhealthy relationships because of this, and she thinks that a toxic relationship is relatively better than the nonexistent relationship that her parents had. 

Throughout season 1, she maintained her fierce, confident personality without showing much vulnerability to anyone except her boyfriend, Nate. In season 2, however, viewers start to see her display her independence, due to her breakup with Nate. Although she still has a weakness for her unhealthy relationship with her ex, Nate, she is becoming more self-aware and beginning to mature as a character despite all of the trauma she endured in season 1.

Kat Hernandez is one of the most relatable characters in the show. She represents a teen who doesn’t fit the body standard, and even when people display their affection towards her, her insecurity remains. Her confidence grew due to her anonymous profile blowing up on Tumblr, but even her online success didn’t help her much with her self-esteem issues. 

Her character displays the huge impact social media has on teens’ body image, view of relationships, and self-esteem. She constantly lives in her imagination and uses the internet to “escape reality” and make her feel better about herself.

In season 2, she learns how to navigate a healthy relationship with her boyfriend Ethan, but her unrealistic expectations coupled with a lack of confidence keep her trapped in fear.

“Kat wasn’t my favorite in season one but she accurately showed the effects social media has on teens which was very interesting to see in a TV show. I really started to like her character after Season 2, episode 2, because I thought the commentary on the “love yourself” movement was really impressive and nuanced,” said Anna Ostlund ’22. (Raisa Barshai)

Jules Vaughn is a transgender girl learning how to navigate her place in the world and her relationship with Rue. Jules has a supportive father but still feels like an outsider, being the new kid in school and trans.  Jules is a very “go with the flow” person and hardly thinks about consequences. She submits to all impulses even if it hurts people’s emotions. Rue and Jules form a very codependent relationship, where Jules feels like she is responsible for “saving” Rue. Because of this, Jules’ free-spirited personality feels threatened, and this stress eventually leads to Jules leaving town for the summer at the end of Season 1.

Many viewers dislike Jules because of this, claiming that she is selfish and leads Rue on to leave her, but the truth is that no one should be responsible for saving Rue. She had to be able to save herself.

“I think that her battle with femininity is extremely interesting, and I like watching her evolve and become more comfortable with herself. A lot of people overlook the fact that it’s hard to be the person someone is dependent on, especially when you are unstable or going through a hard time yourself,” said Anna Ostlund ’22.

Overall, Season 2 of Euphoria doesn’t represent the life of all high school students. However, the issues that the show tackles are very much real, even if certain situations are dramatized for entertainment purposes. Viewers find themselves disliking almost all of the characters, but this might be because they see a characters’ flaw in themselves and resent them because of that. 

You are not meant to love the characters in Euphoria, but instead, you are meant to reflect on them and, in turn, reflect on the parts of your personality that you see mirrored in the show. 

Season 2 focuses on revealing the characters’ pasts catching up to them. 

People have conflicting opinions on the HBO original series Euphoria, with many believing that the show inaccurately displays the life of teenagers.