Euphoria (American TV series)
|Created by||Sam Levinson|
|Written by||Sam Levinson|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||6 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||54 minutes|
|Original release||June 16, 2019 –|
Euphoria is an American teen drama television series created by Sam Levinson and based on the Israeli miniseries of the same name (Hebrew: אופוריה) originally created by Ron Leshem, Daphna Levin, and Tmira Yardeni. The series stars Zendaya and premiered on HBO on June 16, 2019. In July 2019, the series was renewed for a second season.
Euphoria follows "a group of high school students as they navigate drugs, sex, identity, trauma, social media, love and friendship."
Cast and characters
- Zendaya as Rue Bennett, a 17-year-old recovering drug addict struggling to find her place in the world.
- Maude Apatow as Lexi Howard, Rue's sensible childhood friend and Cassie's younger sister.
- Angus Cloud as Fezco, a local drug dealer with a close relationship to Rue.
- Eric Dane as Cal Jacobs, Nate's father who is hiding secrets from his family.
- Alexa Demie as Madeleine "Maddy" Perez, Nate's on-again and off-again girlfriend.
- Jacob Elordi as Nate Jacobs, a high school athlete whose anger issues mask sexual insecurities.
- Barbie Ferreira as Katherine "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 13-year-old younger sister.
- Hunter Schafer as Jules Vaughn, a trans girl who quickly befriends Rue after moving to town.
- Algee Smith as Christopher "Chris" McKay, a young football player who is having difficulties adjusting to college.
- Sydney Sweeney as Cassie Howard, Lexi's older sister with an infamous sexual past.
- Austin Abrams as Ethan Lewis
- Colman Domingo as Ali, a person in recovery from substance use disorder who often speaks at Rue's Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
- Keean Johnson as Daniel
- Lukas Gage as Tyler
- Alanna Ubach as Suze Howard, Lexi and Cassie's alcoholic mother.
- Sophia Rose Wilson as BB, a friend of Maddy, Kat and Cassie.
- Ruben Dario as Ted
- Nolan Bateman as Wes
- Tyler & Tristian Timmons as Troy and Roy McKay
- Javon Walton as Ashtray, Fezco's little brother.
- Shiloh Fernandez as Trevor, a store clerk at Femme
- Will Peltz as Luke Kasten
|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 after having overdosed, and immediately buys more drugs from her friend Fezco. Jules is a new girl in town taking summer school. Her classmate Kat invites her to a party hosted by a popular college football player, Chris McKay. Jules initially declines, opting instead to meet up with an older man from a hookup app. Rue gets home late one night and her mother forces her to take a drug test. In order to pass it, Rue acquires clean urine by asking her childhood friend Lexi for some of hers. McKay and his friend Nate talk about their classmate Cassie's sexual past and it is discovered that Cassie and McKay are dating. The man Jules meets is revealed to be Nate's father. She lies about her age and the two have sex; afterwards she makes her way to the party. At the party, Maddy, who recently broke up with Nate, has sex with Tyler in order to make Nate jealous. Jules almost attacks Nate after he continually harasses her. Upon leaving, she runs into Rue, who goes home with her.|
|2||"Stuntin' Like My Daddy"||Sam Levinson||Sam Levinson||June 23, 2019||0.574|
|As a child, Nate is lectured by his father about being a man. In the present day, Nate breaks into Tyler's house and physically assaults him, accusing him of raping Maddy, who falsely claims she blacked out the night of the party. On the first day of school, Rue breaks down in tears and runs out of class after being asked to talk about her summer. Lexi attempts to comfort her, but is rejected. Rue reminisces about trying oxycodone for the first time at the age of 13, while her father was dying of cancer. Kat finds out that a sex tape featuring her was filmed and uploaded online, but denies it is her. After finding more copies of the video online, Kat realizes that she can make money off of men's attraction to her. Jules starts talking with an anonymous closeted jock online. Rue finds Fezco with another drug dealer, who forces Rue to take fentanyl. Afterwards, Fezco calls Jules for help with Rue. Meanwhile, McKay visits Cassie and is frustrated at her for making their interactions so sexually charged. It is revealed that the man Jules is talking to online is Nate. She asks what his name is, but he tells her it is Tyler.|
|3||"Made You Look"||Sam Levinson||Sam Levinson||June 30, 2019||0.493|
|A young Kat gains weight after returning from vacation and is ostracized by her peers. Prior to high school, she becomes a popular online fan fiction writer. Following the fentanyl incident, Jules tells Rue she will not be friends with her if she keeps using drugs. At her Narcotics Anonymous meeting, Rue talks about being 60 days sober, but outside another attendee named Ali reveals he knows Rue is lying. Kat starts having cam sessions and uses the money to buy a new wardrobe. Rue helps Jules take nude photos of herself after "Tyler" sends her a "dick pic." Afterwards, Rue steals pills from Jules' kitchen. Cassie goes to a college party with McKay. A confused Maddy finds several pictures of penises on Nate's phone. Rue and Jules argue after Jules reveals her plans to meet "Tyler" alone at night after the carnival. Later, Rue apologizes and ends up kissing Jules. An upset Rue goes to Fezco asking for drugs, but he refuses. Rue blames Fezco for selling her the drugs that fed her addiction and ultimately calls Ali for help.|
|4||"Shook Ones Pt. II"||Sam Levinson||Sam Levinson||July 7, 2019||0.609|
|A young Jules is admitted into a psychiatric hospital and self-harms there. After getting out, she starts transitioning. In the present day, Rue meets with Ali and discusses her feelings for Jules. At the carnival, Nate and Maddy have an argument while Jules and Rue agree to forget about the kiss. While talking to Nate's father, Cal, McKay refuses to call Cassie his girlfriend because of her reputation, upsetting her. After Maddy and Cassie take molly, Maddy makes a scene in front of Nate's family, while Cassie flirts with her classmate Daniel. Jules discovers that the man from the motel is Cal. Kat hangs out with Ethan, but leaves when she sees him talking to an attractive girl, and later has sex with a renowned graduate of her high school. With Jules' help, Rue searches for Gia and eventually finds her stoned. Nate grabs Maddy and leaves bruises on her neck. She confronts him about the photos from his phone and agrees to let it go. Cal confronts Jules, but she reassures him she will not tell anyone about their night together. Jules meets with "Tyler" and discovers that it is Nate, who blackmails her using the nude pictures they sent each other. Afterwards, she goes to Rue's house and they kiss.|
|5||"'03 Bonnie and Clyde"||Jennifer Morrison||Sam Levinson||July 14, 2019||0.579|
|As a child, Maddy used to compete in beauty pageants. Later, it is revealed that she lied to Nate about being a virgin. In the present day, Rue tells her mother that she and Jules are dating, but Jules, uncomfortable with Rue's dependency on her, is more ambiguous. Maddy's bruises from Nate are discovered and her mother decides to press charges. Cassie has been seeing Daniel since the carnival, but stops due to her relationship with McKay. Kat starts acting cold towards Ethan, who is confused as to why. Later, she hooks up with a clerk working at the mall. Jules is frustrated when Rue does not take her situation with Cal seriously. Maddy has photos of her bruises taken by the police while Nate denies the allegations of violence against him. Ali does not believe that Rue and Jules' relationship will last, which scares Rue. McKay apologizes to Cassie about what happened at the carnival. Maddy lashes out at her mother about Nate. In order to make amends with Lexi, Rue invites her to go rollerskating with her and Jules. Cal questions the effects of keeping what he is doing a secret from his kids. Later, Maddy meets up with Nate at a motel and they reconcile.|
|6||"The Next Episode"||Pippa Bianco||Sam Levinson||July 21, 2019||TBD|
|Growing up, McKay is pressured by his father into becoming a footballer player. In the present, all of the kids attend a Halloween party hosted by Daniel. Days before, Cassie attends a college Halloween party with McKay, where he is attacked by some of his teammates in his dorm room, but he brushes it off. Kat receives a request to cam with someone but turns it down. At the party, Rue worries about Jules' behavior. It is revealed that Nate is temporarily expelled while he and Maddy continue to meet at her motel. Rue spots Gia at the party with a guy. Kat acts cold towards Ethan but they later hook up. Rue apologizes to Fezco for lashing out at him. While drunk, Jules kisses Rue again. Daniel reveals to Cassie that he was only interested in her to have sex with her. Cassie realizes her period is late. McKay reveals to his dad that he doesn't think he'll go professional. Before Halloween its revealed that Nate broke into Tyler's house and told him to confess to choking Maddy. As well, he blackmailed Jules into confessing that she saw Tyler attacking Maddy. Nate and Maddy turn up to Daniel's party.|
|7||"The Trials and Tribulations of Trying to Pee While Depressed"||Sam Levinson||Sam Levinson||July 28, 2019||TBD|
|8||"And Salt the Earth Behind You"||Sam Levinson||Sam Levinson||August 4, 2019||TBD|
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. Sam Levinson based the series on his own experiences as a teenager, including his struggles with drug addiction. "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 Television 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. It was further announced that every episode of the series will be written by Levinson, additional executive producers are to include Drake, Future the Prince, Ravi Nandan, and Kevin Turen, and that production companies involved with the production are slated to include A24 Television.
The series was renewed for a second season on July 11, 2019.
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, which Bradley had played in the pilot episode. It was further reported that Austin Abrams had also been cast in the series.
The show’s premiere averaged 577,000 viewers in its time slot, a number which increased to 1 million after the same-night linear replay and preliminary viewing on HBO GO/NOW. The hashtag #EuphoriaHBO trended #1 in the United States and #3 worldwide on Twitter after the premiere.
The first season of Euphoria has received positive reviews from critics, with much of the praise going to its acting (particularly of Zendaya and Schafer), story, visuals, and approach to mature subject matter. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the series has an approval rating of 79% with an average rating of 7.32/10, based on 68 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "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 67 out of 100, based on 25 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 for adding weight to Rue's performance. 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 criticized the show for marketing "graphic adult content" towards teens.
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