Why ‘Euphoria’ Feels so Real

by Maryam Almahdi

Since its debut in early 2019, the show ‘Euphoria’ has made headlines for its realistic portrayal of teenage life during the golden age of technology. 

From the start of the first episode, ‘Euphoria’ draws in adolescent viewers with its flashy scenes, flamboyant colour palette, and parallel representations of what a teen’s life is like living in suburbia.


The show itself has received a variety of mixed reviews, with many people saying that it is a very accurate portrayal of teenage life, and others calling it melodramatic and unnecessary. However, it seems that most teens around the world have decided for themselves that it is a show that resonates with them. But, why is that?


‘Euphoria’ is a very visual and sound oriented show, with scenes that pan out over extremely colourful and stimulating imagery and audio. When asked ‘“Do the images, sound, or music ever dictate what happens in the story?”, Sam Levinson, the show’s creator, responded by explaining, “We established early on that each scene ought to be an interpretation of reality or a representation of an emotional reality. I’m not interested in realism. I’m interested in emotional realism.” 


This means that the theatrical scenes that we see in the show are meant to, through visuals and audio, express the emotions one might feel encompasses them as an adolescent. over-dramatic dark hues portray the lowest points that the main character, Rue goes through, and flashy, bright, and colourful lighting show the viewer the joy she feels when hanging out with her best friend, Jules.


Aside from the visuals, “Euphoria’ also deals with extremely dark topics, like drug addiction, depression and mental instability, insecurity, sex, family struggles, etc. And while these topics might not be prevalent in every teen’s life, they are portrayed in a way that is accurate and relatable to teens who may be struggling with similar issues, providing an outlet for teens that need it.


This new generation of teens is like no other, as they are burdened with the expectations of family, addicted to not only their phones, and are different in the way they react and handle modern life situations. It can be difficult for them to relate to anything anybody is going through, because, these days, teen struggles come in so many more forms, ones that dont always involve worrying about the next outfit they’re going to wear.


After being asked what she thinks about the show, one teen replied, “However awkward and uncomfortable it is to watch these scenes play out on TV, it is all the more uncomfortable to live them.The essence of being young is not having a clue what you’re doing or what is going on around you, and I believe that this show portrays that better than any other I’ve seen."


To many teens, the struggle and desperation of wanting to feel content and excited in a society that flourishes off of orderly and routine lives is one of the biggest struggles that they are faced with. The idea of having to choose a path to stick to right after 4 years of struggling and putting in work, of having so little options to choose from when wanting to take control of your own life, is something that can truly ruin a teen’s mental health. What ‘Euphoria’ does is that it takes that struggle and turns it into a form of art, showing us a myriad of unhealthy coping mechanisms through stunning visuals, and revealing how these struggles can affect them and the lives of everyone around them in a raw, realistic and emotionally moving way.