Euphoria (American TV series)
|Created by||Sam Levinson|
|Written by||Sam Levinson|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||8 (list of episodes)|
|Production location(s)||Los Angeles, California|
|Running time||54–61 minutes|
|Original release||June 16, 2019 –|
Euphoria is an American teen drama television series created by Sam Levinson, loosely based on the Israeli miniseries of the same name. Euphoria follows a group of high school students through their experiences of sex, drugs, friendships, love, identity and trauma. The series stars Zendaya and premiered on HBO on June 16, 2019. In July 2019, the series was renewed for a second season.
Euphoria received positive reviews from critics, who praised its cinematography, story, score, performances, specifically those of Zendaya and Hunter Schafer, and approach to its mature subject matter, although it did become the subject of controversy due to its use of nudity and sexual content, which some critics perceived to be excessive. The series received nominations for the British Academy Television Award for Best International Programme, and the TCA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Drama. For her performance, Zendaya received nominations for the Critics' Choice Award, Primetime Emmy Award and Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series, the latter of which she won.
Cast and characters
- Zendaya as Rue Bennett, a recovering teenage drug addict struggling to find her place in the world
- Maude Apatow as Lexi Howard, Rue's childhood best friend, and Cassie's younger sister
- Angus Cloud as Fez O’Neill, a local drug dealer with a close relationship to Rue
- Jacob Elordi as Nate Jacobs, a high school athlete whose anger issues mask his sexual insecurities
- Eric Dane as Cal Jacobs, Nate's father who is hiding secrets from his family
- Alexa Demie as Maddy Perez, Nate's on-again and off-again girlfriend
- Barbie Ferreira as Kat Hernandez, a body-conscious teen exploring her sexuality
- Nika King as Leslie Bennett, Rue and Gia's mother
- Storm Reid as Gia Bennett, Rue's younger sister
- Hunter Schafer as Jules Vaughn, a transgender girl who quickly befriends Rue after moving into town
- Algee Smith as Christopher McKay, a young football player and Cassie's boyfriend who is having difficulties adjusting to college
- Sydney Sweeney as Cassie Howard, Lexi's older sister and McKay's girlfriend with an infamous sexual past that continues to affect her life
- Austin Abrams as Ethan Lewis, Kat's love interest
- Colman Domingo as Ali, a man in recovery from substance use disorder who often speaks at Rue's Narcotics Anonymous meetings
- Keean Johnson as Daniel, Kat's ex-boyfriend who takes an interest in Cassie
- Lukas Gage as Tyler Clarkson, a college student who is brutally attacked by Nate for having sex with Maddy at a party
- Alanna Ubach as Suze Howard, Lexi and Cassie's alcoholic mother
- Sophia Rose Wilson as BB, a friend of Maddy, Kat, and Cassie
- Bruce Wexler as Robert Bennett, Rue's father
- Elpidia Carrillo as Sonia Perez, Maddy's mother
- Ruben Dario as Ted Perez, Maddy's father
- Nolan Bateman as Wes, Kat's first hook up
- Tyler Timmons and Tristan Timmons as Troy McKay and Roy McKay, Christopher's twin brothers
- Javon Walton as Ashtray, Fezco's "little brother"
- Shiloh Fernandez as Trevor, a store clerk at Femme
- Cranston Johnson as Frederick McKay, Christopher’s father
- Nick Blood as Gus Howard, Cassie and Lexi's father
- Paula Marshall as Marsha Jacobs, Nate's mother
- Zak Steiner as Aaron Jacobs, Nate's brother
- John Ales as David Vaughn, Jules's father
- Bobbi Salvör Menuez as TC, Jules’s friend
- Quintessa Swindell as Anna, Jules’s new love interest
- Will Peltz as Luke Kasten, a former East Highland student
- Pell James as Amy Vaughn, Jules's mother
- Allie Marie Evans as Natalie, Nate's winter formal date
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|1||"Pilot"||Augustine Frizzell||Sam Levinson||June 16, 2019||0.577|
|Teenager Rue Bennett returns home from rehab and immediately buys drugs from her friend and drug dealer Fezco. Jules is a new girl in town. Her classmate Kat invites her to a party hosted by a popular college football player, Christopher McKay. Jules opts instead to meet up with an older man from a hookup app. Rue is forced by her mother to take a drug test. Rue acquires clean urine from her childhood friend Lexi and uses it to pass the test. Lexi's sister Cassie is dating McKay, who discusses Cassie's sexual past with his friend Nate. Jules meets the older man at a motel. She lies about her age and they have sex. Afterwards, she heads to McKay's party. At the party, Kat loses her virginity. Maddy, who recently broke up with Nate, has revenge sex with a guy named Tyler. Nate harasses Jules, who threatens him with a knife and cuts herself. Jules leaves the party, accompanied by Rue, who meets her for the first time and goes home with her. As Nate returns home, it is revealed that Jules' hookup was Nate's father, Cal.|
|2||"Stuntin' Like My Daddy"||Sam Levinson||Sam Levinson||June 23, 2019||0.574|
An 11-year-old Nate discovers his father's collection of self-made videos featuring him having sex with young gay men and trans women. As a teenager, Nate becomes a successful quarterback who struggles with anger issues. In the present, Nate breaks into Tyler's house and severely beats him, accusing him of raping Maddy at McKay's party. On the first day of school, Rue breaks down after being asked to talk about her summer. Lexi attempts to comfort her. Rue reminisces about trying oxycodone for the first time at the age of 13 (the drug belonged to her father who was dying of cancer). Kat finds out that a video of her having sex at McKay's party is circulating widely online and realizes she can make money producing erotic content. Jules starts texting with an anonymous jock online. McKay spends time with Cassie and accuses her of being too libidinous. A drug dealer coerces Rue into trying fentanyl. It is revealed that the man Jules is talking to online is Nate (using the false name "Tyler").
The title of this episode is a reference to the 2006 Birdman and Lil Wayne song "Stuntin' Like My Daddy", the first single from their collaborative studio album, Like Father, Like Son.
|3||"Made You Look"||Sam Levinson||Sam Levinson||June 30, 2019||0.493|
A young Kat abruptly gains weight on a family vacation. Her boyfriend, Daniel, breaks up with her, and she is ostracized by her peers. Later, she becomes a popular online fan fiction writer. In the present, Kat starts hosting cam sessions and uses the money to buy a new wardrobe. Jules tells Rue she will not remain friends with her if she keeps using drugs. At her Narcotics Anonymous meeting, Rue says she is 60 days sober; afterwards, another attendee, Ali, tells her he knows she is lying. Later, Rue helps Jules take nude photos of herself after Nate sends her a "dick pic". Rue steals pills from Jules' kitchen. A confused Maddy finds dick pics on Nate's phone. Rue and Jules argue after Jules reveals her plans to meet "Tyler" alone at night. Later, Rue apologizes and ends up kissing Jules. Rue visits Fezco to get drugs, but, afraid for her well-being, he refuses to open his front door. Rue, upset, blames Fezco for causing her addiction. She calls Ali for help.
The title of this episode is a reference to the 2002 Nas song "Made You Look" from his sixth studio album, God's Son.
|4||"Shook Ones, Pt. II"||Sam Levinson||Sam Levinson||July 7, 2019||0.609|
Aged 11, Jules is admitted to a psychiatric hospital because of her dysphoria and self-harming. Later, she begins transitioning. In the present day, at a carnival, Nate and Maddy have an argument. McKay upsets Cassie by declining to acknowledge her as his girlfriend. Cassie and Maddy take MDMA. Maddy makes a scene in front of Nate's family and Cassie flirts with a classmate, Kat's childhood boyfriend Daniel. Jules recognises Nate's father as the man she had sex with at the motel. Kat hangs out with a classmate, Ethan, but becomes jealous when she sees him talking to another girl and ends up having sex with an older boy. Rue looks for her sister, Gia, and finds her stoned. Nate grabs Maddy by the throat. She confronts him about the pictures on his phone. Cal talks to Jules about their secret and she reassures him that she won't tell anyone. Jules meets up with "Tyler" and discovers he is actually Nate. Nate threatens to report the nudes Jules has sent him as child pornography unless she keeps quiet about him and his father. Afterwards, Jules goes to Rue's house and they kiss.
The title of this episode is a reference to the 1995 Mobb Deep song "Shook Ones (Part II)" from the duo's second album, The Infamous.
|5||"'03 Bonnie and Clyde"||Jennifer Morrison||Sam Levinson||July 14, 2019||0.579|
As a child, Maddy competes in beauty pageants. Years later, she lies to Nate about being a virgin and they begin a relationship. In the present day, Rue tells her mother that she is dating Jules. Maddy tries to hide the bruises on her neck that Nate caused at the carnival, but they are discovered and a police investigation begins. Both Maddy and Nate deny that he hurt her, but Maddy's mother presses charges. Jules gets frustrated when Rue does not take her situation with Cal seriously. Ali does not believe that Rue and Jules' relationship will last, which scares Rue. Cassie stops seeing Daniel and goes back to McKay, who apologizes for his behaviour at the carnival. Kat is cold towards Ethan, who does not understand why. Later on, Kat hooks up with a clothing store clerk. Rue apologizes to Lexi for having been a bad friend. Cal questions the effects his secret life may have had on his children. Maddy meets Nate at a motel. Rue, Jules and Lexi go rollerskating. Jules takes Rue home with her, but cannot sleep.
The title of this episode is a reference to the 2002 Jay-Z and Beyoncé song "'03 Bonnie & Clyde" from his seventh studio album, The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse.
|6||"The Next Episode"||Pippa Bianco||Sam Levinson||July 21, 2019||0.569|
Growing up, McKay is coached by his father to become a successful football player. When he reaches college, he realizes he has little chance of going pro. In the present day, Nate is suspended from school. He and his family are turned away from a restaurant. Nate breaks into Tyler's apartment and coerces him into confessing to choking Maddy. He also blackmails Jules into telling the police that she witnessed the alleged attack. Kat gains popularity as a cam girl. Cassie attends a Halloween party with McKay, where he is violently hazed by his fraternity brothers. He then has aggressive sex with Cassie, which leaves her in tears. The following night, Daniel hosts a party. Rue worries about Jules, who is drinking heavily. Rue apologizes to Fezco for lashing out at him. Kat hooks up with Ethan, but escapes when he visits the bathroom. When Cassie refuses to have sex with Daniel, he insults her. Later, at home, Cassie realizes her period is late. Nate and Maddy turn up to Daniel's party and are applauded by the partygoers. Rue becomes suspicious when she sees Jules' reaction.
The title of this episode is a reference to the third single The Next Episode from American rapper Dr. Dre 's 1999 second studio album, 2001, featuring Snoop Dogg.
|7||"The Trials and Tribulations of Trying to Pee While Depressed"||Sam Levinson||Sam Levinson||July 28, 2019||0.549|
Cassie's parents divorce when she is in her early teens. Her father descends into drug addiction and poverty. She frequently gets into exploitative sexual relationships with men. In the present, Rue falls into a depression, with manic episodes. She tells Fezco her suspicions about Nate and asks Fezco to intimidate him. He does so, but Nate retaliates by reporting Fezco to the police as a drug dealer, forcing Fezco to dispose of his stash when the police show up. Maddy confronts Kat over her new, assertive persona. Kat ends a cam session with a high-paying client when it makes her uncomfortable. Cassie tells McKay that she is pregnant. He is overwhelmed and suggests she get an abortion. Jules visits TC, a friend from her old school, and meets TC's roommate, Anna. Jules and Anna go clubbing, get high and share a sexual experience, during which Jules hallucinates about both Nate and Rue. Later, she texts Rue to tell her that she misses her.
The title of this episode is a reference to the 2013 Ace Hood album Trials & Tribulations.
|8||"And Salt the Earth Behind You"||Sam Levinson||Sam Levinson||August 4, 2019||0.530|
|Rue and Jules are reconciled as Rue recovers in hospital after a kidney infection. Nate is unable to get an erection with Maddy, who confronts him about his sexuality. Nate wins his final high-school football game, but his father, Cal, criticises his performance. As they fight, Nate begins to hit himself, leaving Cal shaken. Maddy steals one of Cal's videos and watches it. Cassie terminates her pregnancy. Fezco breaks into the house of Mouse's supplier and robs him in order to pay Mouse. At the winter formal, Kat seeks out Ethan and apologizes for her behavior. Rue confronts Nate, threatening to expose Cal. Nate taunts her about Jules' loyalty. Jules admits to Rue that she is in love with both her and Anna. Rue and Jules decide to leave town together, but Rue backs out at the last minute and Jules gets on the train alone. Returning home, upset, Rue snorts a line of drugs and experiences vivid hallucinations.|
On June 1, 2017, it was announced that HBO was developing an adaptation of the 2012 Israeli television series Euphoria created by Ron Leshem, Daphna Levin, and Tmira Yardeni. The production was expected to be written by Sam Levinson, who was also set to executive-produce alongside Leshem, Levin, Yardeni, Hadas Mozes Lichtenstein, Mirit Toovi, Yoram Mokadi, and Gary Lennon. Levinson based the series on his own experiences as a teenager, including his struggles with drug addiction. He stated, "There is this consistent anxiety that I think exists in this generation, that I think, informed the whole filmmaking process..."
On March 13, 2018, HBO programming president Casey Bloys announced at the INTV conference in Jerusalem that the network had given the production a pilot order. It was further announced that A24 would serve as a production company for the pilot. On March 27, 2018, it was announced that Augustine Frizzell would direct the pilot episode and serve as co-executive producer. On July 30, 2018, it was announced that HBO had given the production a series order and that every episode of the series will be written by Levinson. Additional executive producers were to include Drake, Future the Prince, Ravi Nandan, and Kevin Turen, while production companies involved included A24 Television.
On July 11, 2019, the series was renewed for a second season.
On June 5, 2018, it was announced that the pilot would star Zendaya, Storm Reid, Maude Apatow, Brian "Astro" Bradley, Eric Dane, Angus Cloud, Alexa Demie, Jacob Elordi, Barbie Ferreira, Nika King, Hunter Schafer, and Sydney Sweeney. On October 31, 2018, it was reported that Algee Smith had been cast to replace Brian "Astro" Bradley in the series regular role of McKay. It was further reported that Austin Abrams had also been cast in the series. In April 2020, it was announced Kelvin Harrison Jr. had joined the cast of the second season.
Confirmed locations include Sony Studios in Los Angeles, Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, and Ulysses S Grant High School in Valley Glen. Production for the second season would start in the second quarter of 2020, with the first table read taking place on March 11. However, it was delayed indefinitely, according to Deadline Hollywood, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Euphoria's score was composed by English singer, songwriter, and record producer Labrinth. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he stated, "When you look back to your teenage days, it feels semi-magical but semi-crazy and semi-psychotic. I wanted to make sure the music felt like those things." The song "All for Us", performed by Labrinth and Zendaya, is hinted throughout season one, but has the large musical number acted out at the very end of the season finale. Emmy-nominated Music Supervisor Jen Malone, who also works on Donald Glover's show Atlanta, and Adam Leber won the Guild Of Music Supervisor Award for Best Music Supervision in a Television Drama in February 2020.
(Original Score from the HBO Series)
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||October 4, 2019|
|Label||Sony Music Entertainment|
- Track listing
|3.||"Preparing for Call"||0:28|
|6.||"Nate Growing Up"||2:33|
|7.||"Home from Rehab"||0:43|
|8.||"We All Knew"||3:01|
|12.||"Still Don't Know My Name"||2:33|
|17.||"WTF Are We Talking For"||2:51|
|22.||"McKay & Cassie"||1:32|
|24.||"When I R.I.P."||2:54|
|25.||"Arriving at the Formal"||5:58|
|26.||"Virgin Piña Coladas"||0:22|
The series was met with a positive response from critics, with much of the praise going to its acting, story, visuals, and approach to mature subject matter. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes the first season has a positive score of 82%, with an average rating of 7.31/10 based on 93 critical reviews, resulting in it being designated "Certified Fresh". The website's critical consensus summary states, "Though at times hard to watch, Euphoria balances its brutal honesty with an empathetic – and visually gorgeous – eye to create a uniquely challenging and illuminating series, held together by a powerfully understated performance from Zendaya." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 68 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Ben Travers of IndieWire praised the show's authenticity and how HBO "grounds itself in stark reality." As well, he praised Zendaya's performance and narration, and how she manages to fulfill the leading role. Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter praised Zendaya's performance and the handling of the subject matter. Pilot Vireut of Observer praised the show as being visually stunning, as well as the ensemble performance, but criticized the writing as "shaky, filled with clunky lines", and recommended that the show "keep its focus narrow".
The series garnered criticism from the Parents Television Council after it was reported that one of the episodes contained "close to 30 penises [flashing] onscreen" and the onscreen statutory rape of a character. The Parent Television Council also criticized the show for marketing "graphic adult content" towards teens.
The show's premiere averaged 577,000 viewers in its time slot, a number which increased to one million following the same-night linear replay and preliminary viewing on HBO Go/Now. The hashtag #EuphoriaHBO trended number one in the United States and number three worldwide on Twitter after the premiere.
|1||"Pilot"||June 16, 2019||0.17||0.577||0.08||0.225||0.25||0.802|
|2||"Stuntin' Like My Daddy"||June 23, 2019||0.20||0.574||0.07||0.200||0.27||0.774|
|3||"Made You Look"||June 30, 2019||0.19||0.493||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|4||"Shook Ones, Pt. II"||July 7, 2019||0.21||0.609||0.10||0.218||0.31||0.827|
|5||"03 Bonnie and Clyde"||July 14, 2019||0.21||0.579||0.13||0.289||0.34||0.868|
|6||"The Next Episode"||July 21, 2019||0.20||0.569||0.12||0.266||0.32||0.835|
|7||"The Trials and Tribulations of Trying to Pee While Depressed"||July 28, 2019||0.19||0.549||0.13||0.297||0.32||0.846|
|8||"And Salt the Earth Behind You"||August 4, 2019||0.21||0.530||0.12||0.273||0.33||0.803|
Awards and nominations
|People's Choice Awards||Favorite Drama TV Star||Zendaya||Won|||
|Satellite Awards||Best Actress – Television Series Drama||Won|||
|Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards||Best Contemporary Makeup – Television and New Media Series||Doniella Davy and Kristen Coleman||Nominated|||
|Critics' Choice Television Awards||Best Actress in a Drama Series||Zendaya||Nominated|||
|American Cinema Editors Awards||Best Edited Drama Series for Non-Commercial Television||Julio C. Perez IV||Nominated|||
|Art Directors Guild Awards||One Hour Contemporary Single-Camera Television Series||Kay Lee||Nominated|||
|Guild of Music Supervisors Awards||Best Music Supervision – Television Drama||Adam Leber, and Jen Malone||Won|||
|GLAAD Media Awards||Outstanding Drama Series||Euphoria||Nominated|||
|British Academy Television Awards||Best International Programme||Sam Levinson, Ravi Nandan, Kevin Turen and Drake||Nominated|||
|TCA Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Drama||Euphoria||Pending|||
|Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series||Zendaya (for "Made You Look")||Pending|| |
|Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards||Outstanding Contemporary Costumes||Heidi Bivens, Danielle Baker and Katina Danabassis (for "The Next Episode")||Pending|
|Outstanding Contemporary Makeup (Non-Prosthetic)||Doniella Davy, Kirsten Sage Coleman and Tara Lang Shah (for "And Salt the Earth Behind You")||Pending|
|Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score)||Labrinth (for "03 Bonnie and Clyde")||Pending|
|Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics||"All for Us" – Labrinth (for "And Salt the Earth Behind You")||Pending|
|Outstanding Music Supervision||Jen Malone and Adam Leber (for "And Salt the Earth Behind You")||Pending|
|Gold Derby Awards||Best Drama Series||Euphoria||Pending|
|Best Actress in a Drama Series||Zendaya||Pending|
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