Euphoria: An Explicit Series About Drugs And The Search For Love Of Generation Z

Euphoria: An Explicit Series About Drugs And The Search For Love Of Generation Z
Euphoria: An Explicit Series About Drugs And The Search For Love Of Generation Z
Video: Euphoria: An Explicit Series About Drugs And The Search For Love Of Generation Z
Video: Teens React To Teen Mental Health In Film And TV (Euphoria, Saved By The Bell) 2023, February
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TEXT: Dina Klyuchareva, author of the telegram channel One Oscar For Leo

The abundance of explicit scenes on the TV screen has long become the hallmark of HBO's own shows, but with the new series "Euphoria" about the unsightly sides of teenage life (in Russia, you can watch it on "Amediatek"), the channel is pushing the boundaries of what is permissible by itself. Yes, they don't cut their heads right and left, but in the very first episode, there is a drug overdose, hard sex of an adult man with an underage girl and a sex scene with suffocation - and that's not all. "Euphoria" is a show not at all for a sensitive viewer, not a sugar melodrama about teenage romance (although not without it), but a semblance of a secret second account on VK, which parents do not suspect and where an alternative life is going on, full of passions, losses and achievements … "Euphoria" is densely packed with triggers of varying severity and continues the vector set by "Chernobyl": not so much entertaining as it brings painful catharsis.

ATTENTION: the text contains spoilers.

"Euphoria" tells about the so-called generation Z: those who were born in the 2000s and who are considered to be almost the most self-sufficient and conscious and at the same time the most depressed people - the lives of their peers, passed through the optics of ubiquitous social networks, always seem to them better than their own. The series demonstrates that the generation is characterized by approximately the same mistakes and desires as its predecessors (with a slight adjustment for the development of technology). Nevertheless, the audience of the series is millennials, representatives of the previous generation, who are still young enough to feel shock at the sight of nudity on the screen and worry about the number of likes in the photo on Instagram, but at the same time are old enough to worry about the secret life of their own. children and younger sisters and brothers.

The plot revolves around the gentle and smoothly evolving friendship of high school girls Ru (Zendaya) and Jules (the debut role of the transgender model Hunter Schafer). Roo is addicted to drugs, and barely back in the cage after a summer in the clinic, she runs for a new dose to her dealer. Jules is a new-to-school, trans-girl who recently made the transition who secretly meets up with older men in the evenings.

It soon becomes clear that a dubious lifestyle for each of them is a way to seal a hole in their own soul. Roux is looking for drugs not for high, but for forgetfulness, in order to hide from bipolar, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders at least for a while. For Jules, promiscuous relationships with adult men who never left the closet are the only available way to feel desirable. The girl looks like two opposites: phlegmatic Roux in huge hoodies does not at all look like romantic Jules in pink lace outfits with a plush backpack on her back.

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And yet they instantly cling to each other: next to Jules, Ru can be herself without drowning out the unstable self with drugs, and for Jules she is the first who accepts her without any reservations. Their classmates live no easier: each of the heroes of "Euphoria" has objective problems - whether it is a handsome school football player Nate with constant bouts of aggression - behind hypertrophied masculinity he hides his real inclinations, puffy Kat (Barbie Ferreira), who finds herself in an unpleasant situation revenge porn, but manages to wrap it up in his own favor, or a virgin freshman who, when first having sexual intercourse, begins to aggressively strangle his partner, because he is sure that all sexy girls - after all, this is shown in pornography - like it.

"Euphoria" can already be called a turning point in the career of the young actress and singer Zendaya, who plays the role of the narrator and the main character in the series. Zendaya is now twenty-two years old, and about ten of them she spent under the fatherly wing of the Disney children's channel, starring in touching chaste series about the adventures of schoolchildren. The role of Roo, a girl with mental disorders and drug addiction, is fundamentally different from the images of Disney heroines, and from the character of the Marvel universe (where Zendaya plays Spider-Man's girlfriend).

The actress was worried that due to the complete lack of personal experience with prohibited substances and alcohol, she would not be able to reliably convey all the throwing and states of Roux, but she instantly entered into resonance with her heroine, having barely read the pilot's script. A great merit in this was the sensitive work of director Sam Levinson, who himself adapted the script of the Israeli TV series of the same name about teenagers, wrote his own experience of addiction into the story of Ru, and did it immediately with an eye to Zendaya. “She changes overnight, from very cool to extremely vulnerable. She's cute and impulsive at the same time, and she is perfect for the role,”says the director and screenwriter.

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Sam Levinson, the son of the famous Hollywood director Barry Levinson (who shot, for example, "Rain Man"), knows well what he writes about: he spent his youth, using "everything that was in sight" and wandering around clinics (by the age of the heroes "Euphoria" he survived four rehabilitations). Levinson Jr. is fourteen years old and now uses his experience to bring up topics of teenage addiction and sexuality, bullying and slut-shaming, which are usually shyly hushed up on over-the-air television.

“People prefer to hide their heads in the sand when it comes to this. Adults and young people now have a big gap in communication. If thirty years ago, the elders could still set some guidelines for the youth, now the rhythm of life is too high. We all live in a process of continuous adaptation to what is happening, so it is difficult for adults to give advice to young people on how to maneuver in this life,”the director said.

“Your generation had enough flowers and daddy's approval, but it's 2019, and if you're not Amish, you know that sexting is the currency of love. Enough to spread rot on us. Persecute those who create closed communities that post pictures of naked underage girls,”says Ru in Zendaya's voice, and her words sound incredibly poignant - especially in the context of the incident with actress Bella Thorne, Zendaya's former co-worker on the Disney Channel. The other day, Thorne herself posted her own intimate photos to forestall an attack by hackers who took possession of them and tried to blackmail the girl. Her actions were condemned by Whoopi Goldberg, stating on the air that it was Thorne's fault - they say, you can't live in 2019, be a celebrity and take candid photos, and then resent that they got on the Internet. Thorne sent a furious message to Goldberg, reproaching the actress for victimblaming with the words "just not enough for older women to condemn my body and my sexuality."

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In terms of atmosphere and frankness, "Euphoria" is closer to Larry Clark's "Kids" than to its seemingly TV relatives like the cheerful "Sex Education" or the tense "13 Reasons Why". Did you find the teen suicide scene provocative to you? Get dozens of naked dicks in one shot (in Episode 2) and a masterclass on making dicks (in Episode 3). The male nudity that prevails over female in Euphoria is still unusual for most viewers - another feature that sets the series apart from its brethren. This step towards gender equality is perhaps the most noticeable (in most Western reviews of "Euphoria" "thirty naked members" are mentioned almost in the headlines), but not the only one in the series.

Despite the fact that the heroines in search of happiness go through a lot of pain and humiliation and are forced to wade through toxic relationships, they are the ones who control the narrative of the show. A very revealing scene with Jules at a party, when, in a fit of anger, she is attacked by a school bully, and she, a representative of a marginalized social group, does not curl up in a ball trying not to shine for her own safety, but contrary to all expectations, gives him a desperate rebuff.

With its defiant appearance, "Euphoria" is trying to attract the attention of elders - just like its teenage characters. The show conjures up flashbacks of their own youthful traumas in viewers' minds and does not give itself the illusion that adolescence is a passing nonsense. For all its frankness, "Euphoria" does not romanticize the vices of its characters, but treats them with understanding, and with great respect for their injuries. “This show does not advertise anything and does not tell anyone how to behave. It is designed to awaken sympathy for others and make it clear that everyone has their own story, about which you do not know anything, and their own struggle for something that you do not understand, "Zendaya concludes in an interview.

Photos: HBO, Amediateka

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