‘Euphoria’: What Makes the Scandalous Teen Drama Inspiring and Terrifying


Do you know what made so many Archie fans hate Riverdale? It’s that it was edgy seemingly for the sake of being edgy. Its content was a far cry from what made the comic book series so successful for over 70 years now.

And now there’s HBO’s Euphoria, which has been trending on social media in recent months. You could say that it’s edgy, but here’s the difference: Euphoria justifies its risque scenes and grim mood.

‘Euphoria’: What Makes the Scandalous Teen Drama Inspiring and Terrifying

So Graphic Even HBO Had To Cut Back the Scenes

If there’s one cable TV network that was open to scenes depicting drug addiction and sexual violence, it would be HBO — the homes of Game of Thrones and True Blood

Yet even HBO couldn’t handle some parts of Euphoria. For example, the opening shot was supposed to show Rue Bennett’s (Zendaya) mother in the hospital giving birth to her. The camera would move and give a view of what’s between her mom’s legs. 

This scene was already shot with another woman filling in for actress Nika King to provide the visual of the vulva. That didn’t make it in the final product. What we got instead was an animation of Rue Bennett as a baby inside her mother’s womb.

Then there’s another scene that was supposed to feature more or less 80 penises. You read that right: 80. This was supposed to happen in the second episode. HBO still allowed the frontal nudity, but the number was reduced to about 30. 

So Graphic Even HBO Had To Cut Back the Scenes

The Cast and Crew Expected the Outrage

It was a no-brainer that Euphoria would become a hot topic in social media. Likewise, we weren’t surprised that the Parents Television Council criticized the series for supposedly promoting mature content to teenagers.

But HBO and series creator Sam Levinson knew what was going to happen anyway. They weren’t aiming for another Sex Education or 13 Reasons Why. Rather than just targetting the teenage demographic, Euphoria also wanted adults to get interested in it.

For one of the cast members, 21-year-old Maude Apatow, she believes that it’s a good opportunity for her parents to see how it was like for young people to live in this day and age.

The Cast and Crew Expected the Outrage

‘Euphoria’ Is Fiction Based on Hard Truths

What separates Euphoria from other graphic and controversial series is that its stories aren’t made out of thin air: The show is based on Levinson’s life when he was a teenager.

Thus, it’s incorrect for anyone to say that what Euphoria shows is entirely fictional. No matter how outrageous it may seem, there is a teenager out there dealing with drug addiction, abuse, or depression.

Euphoria shows what happens in real life but most people would choose to ignore. We understand that violence and sexual themes aren’t easy to watch, but they are issues that need to be talked about.

‘Euphoria’ Is Fiction Based on Hard Truths

When you go to the Euphoria page on HBO, you’ll see a Resource page. Here, you’ll find a crisis text line and links to organizations that can help teenagers with sensitive topics such as addiction, domestic violence, and homophobia.

A new season of Euphoria is on its way — and we hope that it continues to enlighten adults on how tough life can be for teenagers today.