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Euphoria: The Battle Between Teenage Angst And The World: Evolved

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I grew up reading Sweet Valley High books and watching Hull High during my high school years. After that, I indulged in My So Called Life and yes Jordan Catalano was the next generation version of Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles.

Since then, I have not kept up with Glee, or any other High School type show. However, Zendaya’s big Emmy Win for Euphoria peaked my interest so I decided to get my binge on. As a non mom forty something watching the extreme depiction of “Kids Today”, here are my shocks, awes, and takeaways.

 

1.) High School Has Not Really Changed- But Technology Has.

There are still jocks, fashionistas, drama queens, bullies and kids strung out. And there are financial disparities as well. And kids today are struggling with love, anxiety, friendships, popularity and grades as well as managing their parents expectations and disappointments.  The difference is that now all of these common teenage angst issues are interwoven within a social media environment. Because kids today are plugged in, and on the grid in an all too aware world.

 

2.) Kids Today Are Facing Their Demons Head On- And Indulging Them.

Sexual Exploration

Euphoria shows up. And it is not afraid to show that high school kids are sexual, and that they explore their own sexuality. Such as the transitioning student answering online ads and hooking up with older men, or girls exploring lesbian and bisexual relationships.

Depression And Addiction

The central character, self medicating in order to beat boredom and anxiety steals the show and it is a true “in your face” confrontation of the drug use of minors and the pain of a parent trying to love and support their child with an addiction.

Like Father Like Son

Euphoria is not afraid to remind parents that you reap what you sow and that your children learn from you. Both good and bad habits. And it does not hesitate to allow the child to confront the parents in the most pure and honest way. The raw and harsh discussions between the children and their parents in this show will engage you. And they remind me so clearly of my own teenage years as I slowly discovered my own voice and my truth by speaking up, AKA “talking back”.

 

Popularity And Body Shaming

In today’s world, body shaming and bullying are amplified with Social Media. Euphoria allows us to get a birds eye view into the lives of kids who grew up with a cell phone and a lap top at their disposal. A clear picture is painted as to how these tools are used to weaponize the cruel kid, and how they are used to liberate the insecure one.

Class Systems and Drug Dealing

Ten year olds dealing drugs? Yes, Euphoria goes there. And it does a great job of not insulting the intelligence of these kids who have placed themselves in a dangerous and difficult path. This is yet another reminder of nature versus nurture. Because there are moments within the show that you find yourself almost thinking that these kids are adults. And that is the point. These kids are self governing and clearly are missing the role model that they desperately needed.

Female Empowerment

The female characters have ambitions. They want to make their own money and one even wants to have a career in fashion. These girls want to be appreciated for who they are and they empower each other to be their best selves. Ultimately the show reveals how difficult teenage life can be, even for the privileged.

 

Conclusion – This show is BRAVE.

I encourage everyone to watch this show. Because the teenage years are the ones that you decide who you want to be, while your parents, peers and society tell you who they think you should be. A great reminder for us adults to remember who we truly are and how important the voice of the next generation is. And we must protect them and we must listen to them. Because we can learn so much from them.

Euphoria is on HBO Max and A Special Episode Airs on Dec 3rd.

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