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Euphoria (HBO)

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Adam Lenhardt, Jun 17, 2019.

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  1. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    Watched the pilot for this today. I liked it, but it didn't hook me enough to renew my HBO subscription to watch the rest of the episodes.

    This is apparently a heavily autobiographical story from showrunner Sam Levinson, son of director Barry Levinson. HBO is presenting it as the definitive account of what it's like to be a teenager in 2019. I'm not so sure that's true. Growing up, Sam Levinson would have had access to significant wealth. Most teenagers in 2019 couldn't afford his drug habit. It's also remarkable how little space the kids' parents take up on the show; I read a comment somewhere that they could almost sub in the wah wah trombone noise when the adults speak like the Peanuts cartoons do, and that rang really true. The only adult in the pilot with any significant role is a man who picks up a teenage girl online and then bangs her from behind in a cheap pay-by-the-hour motel.

    The acting is really good from beginning to end. Zendaya is a star, and makes you root for Rue even when you probably shouldn't.
     
  2. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Lead Actor

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    I thought the premiere episode was visually arresting, and I did enjoy the overall storytelling technique employed, but I admit to somewhat mixed feelings about the whole thing. I am at that 'old man yells at clouds' phase of my life :) so I'm not certain that I am the demographic for this show.

    I don't mind dark material and I don't consider myself very prudish but the reality presented is so far from my life and my experiences at that age that I admit that I am having some difficulty relating to the show in the context of 'this is how life is now for today's high school students'. Perhaps, but it leaves me feeling adrift with no frame of reference.

    I'll probably keep watching as the acting is strong and I am curious (in spite of what I just posted above) to see where it goes.

    - Walter.
     
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  3. John Lee_275604

    John Lee_275604 Stunt Coordinator

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    Look closer
     
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    I was looking to see if a thread even existed on this show.

    A little dismayed to see that it does with only 3 posts to date.

    I have been watching this series from day one and keeping up-to-date with each passing week.

    Phenomenal show -- especially in its creative ability to tell a story.

    I don't know how true its portrayal of teen life is, but it's often jarring to look at.

    Interested in knowing if anyone is still watching this and what they think.
     
  5. Steve Armbrust

    Steve Armbrust Second Unit

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    I'm a big fan. To me it's like a Sci-Fi show or a series set in a foreign land. I'm fascinated by what to me are alien beings and intrigued by what motivates them. (And nudity doesn't hurt either.)
     
  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Steve,

    So, it looks like you and I are the only two still watching this show in this forum.

    I think HBO did a daring thing by putting the nudity and sex in the forefront, but nothing different than a lot of their other shows and of course, sex always sells.

    I just personally like the visuals of this show. They do a great job of creating moods with music and lighting, whether it be the lights of a carnival or a house party against a pulsating soundtrack. I hope I put that in the correct context.

    It's engaging, to say the least. I'm hooked.
     
  7. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

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    These days I find myself saving up shows (not necessarily on purpose) and watching the entire season over the course of a week. I just don't have the time to invest in a series (especially when there are multiple series to watch) and I quickly fall behind. It's easier for me to find one show, and watch an episode a night before bed.

    That said, this was last week's watch. What a fascinating show! Great acting and phenomenal visuals. The sequence where Jules and Nate were texting each other in episode three was incredibly impressive.

    I was disappointed in the finale. I was expecting stories to end but they're clearly leaving something for next season. I look forward to it's return.

    As a side note, is it just me or is Sydney Sweeny in just about everything lately? Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Handmaids Tale, Sharp Objects, Everything Sucks...
     
  8. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Paul,

    So happy to see another satisfied fan.

    I started watching this series purely on the news about its overly sexual content and how one actor/actress left the show because he/she thought it was pornographic.

    Outside of that, this was an excellent watch and it's very easy to get drawn into it. The editing is superb as are the visuals.

    Was also disappointed by the finale, but certainly, the intent was to leave it open for more next year.
     
  9. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    I subscribed to HBO's app for Big Little Lies with the intention of cancelling after that ended. Then I noticed that the second month of my subscription was going to be billed only two days before the final episode of that show. I had to let it renew because I wanted to watch the finale, but I also felt like I should watch something else to make the second month worthwhile so that I wasn't just paying $15.90 for access to one episode.

    I settled on Euphoria out of somewhat random curiosity because the app had shown commercials before Big Little Lies started, and because at only 8 episodes, it wasn't a big commitment.

    To my surprise, I ended up really loving it. The drugs and sex and overall excess do not reflect my experience growing up, but it felt authentic for these characters and this story. I've liked Zendaya in other things before -- she's excellent in Far From Home, in particular, and was good in The Greatest Showman even though I didn't like that movie -- but I didn't know she could act at this level. Nothing I have seen her in before has demanded this level of raw emotion and dramatic, serious character work. The "door scene" in episode 3 is, I think, her Emmy telecast clip for next year when she gets nominated, which she absolutely should be. The rest of the cast is great too, although I hadn't seen any of the other teenagers before in other roles so was less surprised by them than I was by Zendaya.

    Eric Dane ("DominantDaddy")/Cal I watched for years back when he was on Grey's Anatomy. This is a very different role for him too, and he's done very compelling work with limited screen time. I was very startled to see him when he was revealed in the pilot.

    I wasn't disappointed in the finale at all. Obviously, Rue's choice in the end of it
    to use drugs again after actually staying clean for a while
    was an unfortunate development for her character, but I wasn't disappointed in the narrative choice to take it there, if that makes sense.

    I let HBO lapse after finishing this, but will subscribe again temporarily when the second season airs. I also look forward to revisiting these episodes whenever the Blu-ray release comes out.
     
  10. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    I resubscribed to HBO Now for "Watchmen" and "His Dark Materials" and decided to finish the first season of "Euphoria" before canceling my subscription. Five episodes in and really enjoying it.

    I think HBO pushing the idea that "this is how life is now for today's high school students" is kind of ludicrous. This is how life is now for a few really fucked up segments of today's high school students. But the ones who have their shit together and live in functional home environments don't make for such compelling television.

    I completely missed watching the pilot that the teenage girl in question was transsexual, and that the reason Eric Dane's character was attracted to her was because she'd been born with boy parts.

    It is, for my money, the most cinematic show on TV right now. Even more so than "Watchmen", which I loved. It feels like something from the New Hollywood era.

    At the same time, while it's dealing with a lot of very heightened situations, it feels emotionally honest. Zendaya deserves an Emmy for her narrations alone, which are matter-of-fact yet empathetic, somehow both omniscient third-party narrator and the narrow perspective of one teenage drug addict.

    And while it trafficks in drug abuse, mental illness, and domestic violence it doesn't glorify any of them or sensationalize any of them. Bad behavior, and human frailties, have consequences on this show.
     
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  11. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

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    Ok,it wasn't just me then. I felt that fact was very subtly shown. There's a scene where Rue and Jules were laying in bed and Jules was in her underwear and I thought "...is that...?" and I was distracted for the next episode or two trying to determine if she was transsexual. I'm glad they didn't call a lot of attention to it and just made it part of who she was, but as it was a plot point, it could have been a little more obvious, I think. Like when she was talking to her Dad before leaving for the 'date' it could have been alluded to.
     
  12. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Wait a minute...

    Did I miss something?

    Jules is a transgender?!!!

    Huh?!!!



    Edit: Just did a quick Google. She is transgender in real life. Now I am really confused as I thought she was really HOT in the show.

    Is she a woman trying to be a man or a man trying to be a woman? Cause to me, that ain't no man, man.
     
  13. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I haven’t watched the show, but it sure is easy to judge someone for a condition they were born into, it seems.
     
  14. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Lead Actor

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    "Pushing" is your word, not mine. I don't subscribe to the idea of an agenda for the program, hidden or otherwise, if that is what your comment implied. I just thought the program presented the circumstances of the show in a matter of fact manner that I interpreted as the 'new norm'. Your point about what makes compelling television is well taken however. Perhaps I misinterpreted the show; when it comes to subjective content it wasn't the first time, nor it will be the last for me.

    - Walter.
     
  15. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    Hunter Schafer was assigned male at birth. She transitioned from male to female in early high school. She likely took medication to delay the onset of puberty, and then took female hormones so she would experience female puberty rather than male puberty. This would have resulted in a feminine body shape and explain why she has a feminine voice. She has said in interviews that she is comfortable with both she/her pronouns and they/them pronouns.

    My complaint is with more with HBO's marketing than with the show itself. I think the show does an excellent job of presenting the lives of these half-dozen or so teenagers with empathy and real emotional honesty.

    I just don't think they're indicative of their generation as a whole. If you took half a dozen teenagers at a random from a small suburban California high school, I doubt you would have one serious drug addict, one transgender teen, one domestic abuser, one victim of domestic abuse, one dominatrix, and only one fairly well-adjusted teenager -- none of which have families that check all of the boxes: intact, functional, loving, and two-parent.
     
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  16. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    That is wild. She's very pretty. Had no idea.
     
  17. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    I agree. I'm 31 now and while I cannot claim to be plugged into current teenage culture, I will say that I was a teenager more recently than some people here. This show has nothing to do with my personal experience as a teenager. whatsoever at all. However, the show is extremely compelling anyway because they have drawn the characters really well and make you understand why they're doing what they're doing, so it's easy to root for them. I don't need it to reflect my life in order to enjoy it.

    Is the marketing of the show as the definitive teenage drama incongruous with what the show is delivering in that respect? Absolutely. But if the marketing can get people to watch the show, I think the quality of the show will make people stick around, so I'm okay with whatever tactics HBO wants to use to get eyeballs on it. The show is good enough to speak for itself once people find it and deserves to have an audience. Does it really matter why they came to it?
     
  18. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Producer

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    The OK Boomer is strong with this thread.
     
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  19. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    Just finished the first season, and canceled my HBO subscription. I looked for a Season 2 premiere date, but didn't find one. I'll resubscribe at that time.

    I don't think this was ever promoted as a limited series (the way "Big Little Lies" was for its first season), so I expected a lot of things to be left dangling.

    It felt like the finale brought every storyline to the breaking point: Rue and Jules, Nate and himself, Cassie and herself, Kat and Ethan, Maddy and Nate, Fezco and his supplier.

    On the latter note: I thought it was an interesting subversion of expectations with Fezco and the gun. I thought he was going to shoot Nate, but he was actually robbing his supplier to pay his supplier for the drugs he had to flush due the raid resulting from Nate's anonymous phone call. It was left open as to whether he killed the doctor he was robbing, and as to how his supplier will react to the bloody money.

    She's terrific. "Everything Sucks" is where she first came to my attention. Cassie could not be a more different character than Emaline on that show was.

    She was absolutely incredible in the abortion scene in the finale.

    The whole cast is great, but Zendaya is at another level. She should not only be nominated for Best Actress in a drama, she should win it. Best performance on television I've seen all year. The biggest thing working against this series is that it just missed the cutoff for last year's Emmys, so hopefully voters will remember this summer.

    I knew him as the captain on "The Last Ship", also a very different role from this. He is terrific here; I thought from the first couple episodes that he was just going to be a hard ass but there's a whole lot more going on with his character. Of all of the kids' parents, he got the most development in the first season.

    You can tell that he knows Nate is a monster, and knows that some of his own decisions may have helped shape Nate into one, but he doesn't know what to do about it now.

    I'm not actually convinced that Rue did relapse at the end of the finale. The episode was skipping back and forth between several different timelines, and I think it's possible that her taking the drugs was from one of the earlier timelines. She's wearing her father's hoodie when she does the drugs, and we see her take it off the bed just after he's passed away. If she was using right after the prom, you'd think she'd still be dressed up.

    Whether she relapsed or not, though, her choosing her mother and her sister over Jules was a major step forward for Rue as a character. Jules was not a good person to be around at that moment; Jules was looking to escape the horrible thing she'd done giving false testimony, while Rue really needed to stay grounded in the here and now.
     
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  20. Message #20 of 22 Jan 4, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
    Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    I will also resubscribe just for Euphoria whenever it resumes.

    Nothing has been announced yet. However, we know Zendaya will be needed to film Spider-Man 3 this summer, so they'll have to work around her availability. I'm pretty sure that Spider-Man is in first position for her because she signed up with Sony and Marvel before Euphoria came along.

    I don't know if they've started filming the second season yet or not. However, if they can be done to air it this summer, I suspect HBO would probably like to keep it in the same slot it was in before. Airing a new season over the summer could have the side effect of reminding voters about the show, even though they would be voting for the prior season and not the one airing this year.

    Big Little Lies (which aired its second season in front of Euphoria) is getting its Blu-ray release next week via Warner Archive, which makes me wonder when Euphoria will end up on disc. Big Little Lies does not have an additional season to promote, but it's possible Euphoria is being held back to drop close to the premiere date of season 2. I have never really understood this, though, because putting out the home release farther in advance would give more people time to find the show before the new episodes begin.
     

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