The popular show, Euphoria, is believed to be a bad influence on Gen Z.
“As if the first season of HBO’s Euphoria didn’t cause enough of an adrenaline rush, the second season’s premiere episode alone,” says Beth Greenfeild, writer for Newport Academy, “with all of its teen sex, speeding cars, graphic violence, child neglect, wild party scenes and serious drug abuse (needles included) — packed one major, heart-racing punch.”
Not only have writers picked up on the story, but so have professionals who know the effects of the actions in Euphoria. D.A.R.E states their opinions on the show.
“But beyond that, says a long-running national youth drug-prevention program, the risky situations depicted in the teen drama starring Zendaya bring “potential negative consequences” to the real-life teens who watch it,” says Greenfrield. Euphoria is a show on HBO Max that follows a teenage girl, Rue Bennett, recovering from drug addiction as she struggles with life. Along the way, the vieweres are also introduced to other teenagers, like Rue, who go through the troubles and experiences of identity, trauma, drugs, self-harm, family issues, friendships, love, and sex.
Most teenagers who watch the show glamourize the behaviors of the characters. “HBO’s television drama, Euphoria, chooses to misguidedly glorify and erroneously depict high school student drug use, addiction, anonymous sex, violence, and other destructive behaviors as common and widespread in today’s world,”reported Greenfeild while talking to D.A.R.E, a drug prevention education program.
Teens see nothing wrong with the show, but for parents there is a different opinion. Common Sense Media has reviews of Euphoria from parents’ and kids’ perspectives. Kids say that the show should be for 15+, while parents say 17+. A lot of parents also gave the show a 1 star rating.
According to some of the Common Sense Media reviews, Euphoria is “porn and violence disguised as social message”. Euphoria was also called “disgusting” and “disturbing”. It was also reported as “too dark”, while some parents made comments about the show saying, “this is not for kids”, “effortlessly disappointing”, “wish I could unwatch”, and more.
Interviews of teens who watch the show and participated in the same Common Sense Media review as their parents, appear to be different but in some ways the same. They struggle to come up with ways the show might be good for them to watch. The only reason it is a good influence is because of teens being able to “relate” to it. They enjoy how the show keeps it real about mental health since it’s another controversial topic that has been battling society.
Bishop Noll students were also interviewed. The common takeaways from the show they said were “the outfits are cool” and “it’s relatable”. The way the show projected the effects of mental health was also liked. All together, the students avoided the topic on if the show is bad for them.
“I think it is a hit amongst Gen Z because of the depiction of mental health and a lot of the outfits,” said Ezra Vasquez, sophomore.
The depiction of mental health and the snap to reality is what makes the show relatable and enjoyable amongst Gen Z. There were also no reports of the show being impressionable to the teens that watch it. A lot of the teens have mixed feelings about the show after watching it. Some feel safe and understood, while others are all over the place from feeling connected to the characters, some don’t feel anything at all.
Not only are parents commenting upon the show, professionals are too. Dr. Aimee Martinez, psychologist in Hollywood, California, put her thoughts onto the criticism and discussion by doing an interview with Buzzfeed writer, Jane Adams. She talked about how the show cannot be accurate because it is TV, even though she thinks that it captures the “nuance and variability” of addiction and those who live with it as well as those impacted by it.
Martinez also talked about how the show was relatable in some ways.
“Separating from caregivers/parental figures in young adulthood and becoming your own person is something we can all relate to” Martinez says. Matinez also talks about how there are deeper meanings to a lot of the things the characters are going through. She goes scene by scene picking apart the things in the show that are relatable. She also goes through the stages of addiction and rehab that also be the cause behind some of the character’s behaviors. She mainly focuses on Rue’s behaviors and tries to make sense of them.
Maritinez also talks about the sexual represntation of the show.
“It’s easy to get caught up in the depictions of addiction and sexuality in the show,” she says. “However, at a deeper level, the Euphoria storyline creates a link between how profound trauma and disrupted relationships can lead to addiction and forms of self-sabotage.”
When it came to recommendations, there were some doubts. For people who have lived through the experiences of addiction and trauma can get really traumatized by the show, but for some it can make them feel secure and heard.
“I believe that it can be very graphic, disturbing, and influencing to people who are struggling deep in mental health”, Mellany Lopez, sophomore at Bishop Noll, said. Someone who is struggling mental can be badly influenced by the show, which can make things worse.
Euphoria is a graphic show that should only be watched by people who understand the things that go on and people who aren’t easily triggered. Even though everyone isn’t influenced by the show, some people are. This might resort to all types of things happening. Teens these days are already struggling and battling so much, they don’t need a show to make things worse.
“I would say that it’s not a show for to young of a audience but for people that are teens it may be good for them to understand what is out there and what can happen to people we can’t protect teens”, said sophomore, Lacey Stanford, “like many adults what to because it doesn’t help one day we’re going to be out in the world and something going to happen someone going to want us to smoke or something and we’re going to be scared bc we don’t know what to do or how it may affect us or what the person will do to us and it be better if know what is going on earlier then leaving us in the dark.”