Season 2 of ‘Euphoria’ delves into controversy, emotional performances

After a big secret is revealed, Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) is threatened by Maddy (Alexa Demie) while Kat (Barbie Ferreira) watches. (Fair use Vanity Fair)

After much anticipation, the long-awaited Season 2 of “Euphoria” was finally released Jan. 9. The show meets its high expectations following a well-received first season, seamlessly portraying Rue Bennett’s (Zendaya) struggles with addiction while including various controversial subplots. However, the show lacks a coherent plot structure at times. Although chaotic, Season 2 has amazing cinematography, is engaging and further develops some characters.

“Euphoria” is narrated by Rue, a 17-year-old drug addict. The series follows Rue and a group of her peers as they navigate difficulties such as addiction, drugs and trauma.

The season begins with the backstory of Fezco (Angus Cloud) and Ashtray (Jason Walton). It further develops Fez’s gentle and compassionate nature. Additionally, their backstory is one way in which the show strengthens these characters.

Similarly, Lexi’s (Maude Apatow) character is much more developed in Season 2, following her as she writes a play about herself and her peers.

The play, which takes place over two consecutive episodes, offers Lexi’s fresh outlook on these events because her point of view is not often shown.

However, in Season 2, some characters’ plotlines are left undeveloped and unfinished, such as Kat’s (Barbie Ferreira).

In the first season, Kat was a prevalent character; meanwhile, in Season 2, her thoughts and feelings are underdeveloped and her plotline unimportant, which was frustrating to watch.

The actors realistically portray the struggles seen on screen. However, the ways in which all the storylines occur are not necessarily realistic.

For example, when Rue has a mental breakdown after relapsing, Zendaya’s acting effectively portrays these intense emotions to viewers. It realistically depicts how addiction can impact relationships between loved ones. However, events within the episode, such as Rue outrunning the police during her breakdown, are unrealistic.

“Euphoria” Season 2 was shot on Kodak Ektachrome motion picture film, while Season 1 was shot digitally, according to IndieWire. The switch from digital to film complemented the more intense tone of this season.

The show offers excellent acting and cinematography but falls flat in some major ways.

Sam Levinson, sole director, writer and producer of the show, failed to wrap up some plotlines from Season 1, which was frustrating. The show has been renewed for a third season, so hopefully he takes viewers’ critiques and resolves what was left unfinished.

While “Euphoria” does have improbable plotlines and unfinished aspects, the struggles the characters face and the emotions portrayed by the actors are very realistic. “Euphoria” is an intense series to watch, but it’s a cinematic masterpiece that constantly leaves viewers wanting more.

Even though “Euphoria” doesn’t always follow a realistic plotline, it depicts accurate struggles that teenagers go through, such as trauma, addiction and complicated love lives.