Season one of HBO Max’s “Euphoria” engrossed Gen Z when it offered a comfortless portrayal of teen relationships, sex, drugs and partying. Paired with the flashy aesthetic and whimsical makeup, the show creates an experience so unique you can’t decide if you want to hide your face in discomfort or keep your eyes peeled.
The wait has been long for those eagerly anticipating new episodes. “Euphoria” season two premiered on HBO Max on Sunday, Jan. 9, more than two years after season one wrapped up. However, students have mixed opinions about whether the episode lived up to season one’s hype.
Games and interactive media junior Sean Marek said that the first episode of season two is exactly what he wanted.
“It was a roller coaster of anxiety, I would say,” Marek said. “It’s really, really good, but obviously it was very intense and difficult to watch at times. Overall, I really loved it.”
Marek said the show is so popular amongst Gen Z because it isn’t afraid to make viewers uncomfortable. Staying true to its vulgar nature in season one, the episode includes a considerable amount of nudity and several scenes of graphic violence.
“I think the benefit of it being on (HBO Max) is that there really isn't any restrictions on what they can say or what they can show,” Marek said. “They're able to show an unfiltered sort of experience to really nail home their message.”
Marek has high hopes for one character throughout the rest of the season.
“I just want Lexi to find someone, you know?” Marek said. “I just want someone to love and respect her.”
Characters Lexi and Fez were among several shocking couplings that occurred in the episode. At a New Year’s Eve party, they are shown chatting it up about an intellectual topic before Fez asks if he can get her number. Their future together is not yet clear, but Marek’s wish may come true.
Civil engineering sophomore Malia Evans said that the new episode did not live up to her expectations.
“I guess it felt very similar to the first season,” Evans said. “I assume they're going to get into the storyline a little bit more, but currently it feels like they're not elaborating on a lot of stuff.”
Evans said she wishes the relationship between the events in the first and second season was emphasized more because the storyline felt lost.
Advertising creative senior Rena Boyd said she enjoyed learning Fez’s backstory through the new episode. The first ten minutes of the episode focus on Fez’s childhood — specifically how he was thrust into the world of drug-dealing and violence.
“I think it was nice to see that Fez had kind of his own episode like all the other characters did in the first season,” Boyd said. “It was wild. I watched it with a group of my friends and we were just like, jaws on the floor the whole time.”
The episode ends minutes after main character Rue confesses to Jules that she wants to be with her. Jules is a transgender woman and a testament to the show’s tendency to explore themes such as sexuality and gender, which Boyd said makes the show so relatable and successful.
“(Jules) makes people a lot more comfortable with identity and sexuality,” Boyd said. “It's really cool to see not just straight relationships in the show and not just people who identify in the binary.”
Boyd said that while she would have loved to see the new season come out sooner, the new episode was worth the wait.
“I'm really excited to see what happens,” Boyd said. “I'm just excited to see how all the characters develop throughout the season.”
Season two of “Euphoria” will consist of eight total episodes. A new episode will premiere every Sunday at 9 p.m. EST.
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