Viewers are weighing in on HBO's Euphoria, with some arguing that an age adjustment might have helped the series. Euphoria is about a group of high school students experimenting with drugs, sex, and their own identities to process trauma and navigate their lives and relationships. Many critics believe its message would have been more effective if the characters had been a bit older.
Euphoria stars relatively young actors like Zendaya, Maude Apatow, Angus Cloud, Eric Dane and Sydney Sweeney. Yet, some viewers are still abundantly aware that those performers are not high school-aged. This weekend, some commented they are believable as college-aged and that this might have been more appropriate. Considering the abundance of sex scenes and drug use in the show, they thought this would be less "uncomfortable."
Of course, others fired back that this would sap all the shock value and edginess out of Euphoria. Some also accused those critics of a kind of "neo-puritanism," believing it to be generational. They thought that Euphoria's whole point was to shock audiences with the raw truth of young lives today.
Why exactly this debate flared up this weekend is not clear. Euphoria premiered in June of 2019 on HBO. Two specials have aired since then, but there is still no word on when the next season will air. In fact, it has not even finished filming yet.
Still, for one reason or another, the Euphoria debate is back on. Here is a look at what people are saying about it in hindsight.
it would b more believable, casting would’ve been less old seeming, and the sex scenes wouldnt b so uncomfortable— nami (@yonnitsunami) February 28, 2021
and to my personal experience, it all seems more fitting in a college setting rather than high school. that’s it.— nami (@yonnitsunami) March 1, 2021
Twitter user "nami" may have been the one to set off the new Euphoria debate on Sunday, with a pair of tweets that quickly went viral. Many agreed with her, seeing her proposal as a subtle change that would not affect the themes or messages of the show.prevnext
Supposed to Be
You guys know that the sex scenes were supposed to be uncomfortable right? https://t.co/c5KmsaaX3l— Amy (@Amyisstillhere) March 2, 2021
Many users argued back that Euphoria was supposed to be uncomfortable, and that aging up the characters would ruin this point. They thought that the show was not "sexualizing" its subjects, but rather revealing to the audience the raw truth about their lives.prevnext
yup!!!! i don’t like how the writers took advantage of the already explicit nature of the show to oversexualize high schoolers for adult entertainment,,,,, it’s not cute . https://t.co/FDg1RUOJYD— shawn hunter bodyguard (@shcwngeIa) March 2, 2021
Critics explained that they were disturbed by the show because it reached out to an adult audience, creating a slippery slope from honest representation to commodification.prevnext
when is part two 😤 https://t.co/8AJVztBQSy— PARTYGETSMEWETTER🦋. (@allaboutarmanii) March 2, 2021
Naturally, the debate also brought up the long wait for Euphoria Season 2. The latest updates from the cast and crew say that there is still more filming to be done before a premiere date can even be considered.prevnext
Euphoria is 100% believable and realistic. The drug abuse and sex addiction is exactly what’s happening in everyone’s high schools https://t.co/AVn03ehjeK— ZeeTheCreator (@Zarahspamzzz) March 2, 2021
It’s believable tho, a lot of schools are like that. https://t.co/AKTtpeEIA6— The Candle Lady (@antionetteb_) March 2, 2021
Supporters of the show's current framing said that it was meant to inspire precisely this debate. The fact that some viewers find it realistic and others see it as accurate is exactly the point, as far as they are concerned. They hope it will open the world's eyes to what young people today are subjected to.prevnext
Yo, the sex scenes with high schoolers (even if all actors are above 18) it’s still weird bc like they portraying 16-18 https://t.co/WqBf3nGc87— J-dawg (@bigthuglove) March 2, 2021
finally someone said it. am I the only one uncomfortable when I’m watching a show and they show characters that are teenagers having sex even though I know the actors are adults. it still makes me uncomfortable https://t.co/L1HNikpqZJ— yaya⁷ | ☀️ (@busyjimin) March 2, 2021
Some questioned how the sex scenes in the show were even legal since the characters in them were underage — even if the actors were not. They pointed out that even in adult films, this is not allowed.prevnext
the characters would not have made the same decisions or had the same consequences in a college setting -- there needs to be more college-based shows yes but not that one https://t.co/yE0iaYTNrz— Mel🌹🇩🇴 (@melodiamorenita) March 2, 2021
Others said that changing the characters into college students would have too many ripple effects on the rest of the story. From the social parameters they operate in to the consequences they face, it would be a different world altogether.prev