‘Euphoria’ is Back, and it’s More Important than Ever to Heed the Trigger Warnings


Screenshot of Zendaya in the Trailer for “Euphoria: Season 2” (Courtesy HBO Max)

By Makena Reynolds, Arts Writer


Grab your glitter — the hit drama series “Euphoria,” starring Zendaya, just released the first episode of season 2 on HBO Max this past Sunday, Jan. 9. After a heart-crushing season 1 finale, fans have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of this season’s release.

Update for Those Following Along

This first episode back has presented a handful of open-ended paths that all of the characters can go down. The most prominent reconnection of season 2 is that of Rue (Zendaya) and Jules (Hunter Schafer), who we watched share a tearful goodbye at the train station during the season finale of season 1. Now that Rue has fallen back into another cycle of drug abuse, how will that affect this reconciliation between the two?

A relationship development that fans are eager to see unfurl is between Fezco (Angus Cloud) and Lexi (Maude Apatow), who exchanged numbers at the New Years Eve party, a meeting which was interrupted by Fezco repeatedly punching Nate (Jacob Elordi) in the face just after the clock struck midnight. And now that Nate has to be removed from the group due to a hospital visit, how will his complicated triangle with Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) and Maddy (Alexa Demie) continue? The trailer for the rest of the season allows for some pieces to be put together, however, in “Euphoria,” anything is fair game.

More Intense than Ever

“Euphoria” is known for its breathtaking cinematography, and this episode lived up to its past season’s standards. The continuous shots, lighting and coloring create the aesthetic that has drawn so many people to the series. The first episode of season two was directed and written by the show’s creator, Sam Levinson, who will be directing all of the episodes this season.

Levinson let it be known that this season will be taking a higher jump in intensity. The first sequence of the episode includes a man with his genitals out getting shot in the leg. Within the beauty of the Euphoria aesthetic, it is very easy to fall out of touch with the gravity of the situations that the teenagers in the show face, leading many viewers to question whether or not the show is glorifying the issues and themes presented within its program.

Zendaya’s Message to Fans

For those who watched season 1 of Euphoria, it is no secret that the program contains content that can be extremely triggering to some viewers. With the flurry of social media trends and the new Tik Tok trend “You forgot you go to Euphoria high school,” it is easy for viewers to neglect to acknowledge the hearty themes of the show, especially after so much time off from season 1.

Before the episode’s release, Zendaya posted a picture to Instagram reiterating the importance of heeding trigger warnings. Zendaya reminds followers that “This season, maybe even more than the last, is deeply emotional and deals with subject matter that is triggering and difficult to watch.” It is very comforting to see the star of the show coming forward with this reminder, and letting people know that it is in fact okay to put your mental health before a television program.  There is no question that the content of the show is poignant and relatable, however, it is important for viewers to remember that they do not need to relive trauma for the sake of staying caught up with trends.

To watch season two of “Euphoria” on HBO Max, click here.


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