Euphoria’s Opening Episode: Sweaty, Messy, Raw
After a lengthy two year hiatus, the season 2 premiere of HBO Max’s “Euphoria” arrived on Jan. 9, and it did not disappoint. The show explores the world of teenage girl Rue (Zendaya) as she attempts to navigate her encounter with addiction.
In season 1, whether it was the show's intention or not, there seemed to be a definite glorification of drugs, parties, and the overall high school experience.
Everybody wanted to have their own ‘Euphoria party,’ with purple lights, psychedelic makeup, and cool clothes.
There are currently 5 released episodes of the new season, but I wanted to focus on the premiere. The new season opens with a New Years Party, but this party does not project that same energy.
“If season one was sort of a house party at 2:00 a.m, then season two should feel like 5:00 a.m, way past the point in which everyone should have gone home”, said main director Sam Levinson.
The party itself was a raw depiction of real high school parties. The house seemed as if it was cramped with an overwhelming amount of people, who all seemed bored and/or unhappy. Overall, the party did not feel like one anyone would wish to go to.
Levinson explained that he “wanted to create something that still had the heart and soul of Euphoria but it looks and it feels different”.
Despite its raw appearance and overall different aesthetic, this episode’s look is just as great. In a behind the scenes of the episode, the intention for this season was to feel as if it were a memory. To do this the director, Sam Levinson, and director of photography, Marcell Rév, asked Kodak to remake Ektachrome (a form of film stock) for a 35 mm camera.
Based on my impression of the first episode, it seems the new season will stray away from their former glossy version of youth while still surpassing it artistically.