Euphoria’s Take on Harsh Topics as a High School Show


The HBOMax show, “Euphoria,” has become popular because of its harsher topics included in the show that are usually glazed over in other teen shows. These harsher topics have concerned some of the viewers. “For a younger audience, you can get access to anything and they’re gonna think that’s normal,” junior Raegan Jackson said.

Natalie McGarry, Magazine Editor

Glitter parties and graphic scenes. 

The HBOMax show, “Euphoria,” has become popular because of its harsher topics included in the show that are usually glazed over in other teen shows. 

This show is known for dealing with harsher topics and tries its best to show the real part of these topics instead of glamorizing it. Many are concerned about particular scenes containing unnecessary and frequent nudity, rising questions about if they should be included at all. Some of these topics included in the show meant for high schoolers seem to not be the most appropriate when the show itself is about high schoolers themselves. 

The harsher topics that the show covers are one of the reasons that the show became so popular. Many shows that have a setting in high school and are meant for a high school audience don’t focus on these certain topics the way, “Euphoria,” does. Some people believe that the show shouldn’t be in a high school setting but instead a college one so it doesn’t show minors or glamorize these topics. “I think if it was a college show, not even meant for college students, but if they were in college, I think I would be a lot better because it’s too based on harder topics for that to be meant for a high school show,” junior Marisa Daniel said. Some of the topics can be hard to understand for a high school show and hard for students at this age to understand. 

Nudity is one of the topics frequently shown in this series and can be unnecessary in some scenes. One of the characters who has a majority of the nude scenes in the show is the character Cassie Howard, played by Sydney Sweeny. “I think that it’s unnecessary because you don’t see a lot of other characters that are nude the same amount of time as her,” Daniel said. Although these scenes might fit her character and her character’s personality, the way she looks and how her body fits the male gaze might also be a reason for all of these frequent scenes. “When you look at it, most of the ones who are nude are still girls who have very petite body types and those are the only ones you ever see,” Daniel said. This can be an issue because it doesn’t show diversity and keeps the male gaze popular and in young girls’ minds. 

Whether these topics included in the show are beneficial to it and the viewers can depend. A big part of the show focuses on drug addiction and shows why addiction shouldn’t be glamorized but they also include topics such as abuse and homophobia. The show tries to not glamorize the issues that they show, but sometimes the audience can take it in the wrong way. “They do a good job of portraying the bad parts and they’re not trying to romanticize the drug aspects but when it comes to the relationships they try to show the manipulation and abuse but then also continue to show the relationship continue on and let the girl be stuck in it,” junior Raegan Jackson said. Drug addiction and abuse should never be glamorized but since this show is set in high school and meant for high schoolers, the audience can take these messages in a different direction.

These topics can be good to spread awareness about but when the audience doesn’t understand what the show or writers are trying to say it can become harmful instead of helpful. “They’re showing these things to young audiences and young girls have access to those types of shows and when they see that, they think it’s okay to do those things,” Jackson said. When these young audiences see these harsh topics like abusive relationships and don’t understand why it’s bad, it can be harmful to the way they think and the way they want their future to be. “They’re gonna think that’s okay and I think that can lead to a lot of hurt and a lot of trauma for younger audiences,” Jackson said. Whether the writers realize what this show can do to younger audiences or are just trying to make an entertaining and drama-filled show is something the audience has to decide for themselves when they watch this show and start seeing these harsh topics brought to life.