If you have a preteen or teenager, you’ve probably heard about the show, Euphoria.
Or maybe you’ve heard/seen the social media sounds, memes, or gifs about the very adult show on HBO.
If you haven’t heard about Euphoria, you might actually be living under a rock (LOL).
But all kidding aside, if you have a kid who uses any sort of social media you might want to read what I have to say about the show. And definitely plan for some deep discussions.
Before I get into it, I do want to preface a few things.
- I am not a prude by any means but DANG some of the things I saw on the show.
- I normally do not police what my 18, 16-year-old watch but since my daughter watched the series before me, I wanted to see what all of the buzz was about.
- SPOILER ALERT: I will be talking about some spoilers here, so this is your official warning.
A few months ago, I started hearing little things here and there from my daughter, TikTok, and other social media venues about the HBO show. My curiosity got the best of me (and I needed something to binge).
The show is about high school students in a typical suburban town. Parts of the show are narrated by one of the main characters, portrayed by Zendaya. It’s mainly the current day with several flashbacks to help with character development. The majority of the teens have been friends since elementary school.
After watching two seasons in a fairly short amount of time I knew I was going to write about Euphoria. I polled my daughter and some of her friends about the show with an anonymous questionnaire. I will be sharing some of my findings in this post.
As I said earlier, I am not a prude by any means. I dare say “romance” novels are my favorite books to read. But, HOLY SMOKES, the teen sex in this show is not normal (in my 50-year-old opinion). I am talking porn, Only Fans (and other pay-to-watch amateur porn), sending nudes to other teens, and lots and lots of full-frontal nudity. When I say nudity – I am talking male full frontal nudity… lots and lots of penises on the screen. Old men, young men, locker room, shower shots, etc. When I say there are a lot on screen, I am not kidding. I think I saw more ‘eggplants’ on screen than I have in actual porn (LOL). There are actual articles talking about the penis count in season one being around 30!
I asked the teens if the sex/nudity in this show was realistic based on their high school experiences. Here are some of their responses:
- It’s all teens know nowadays. This is what they think is ‘normal’. They can thank teen parents
- Realistic as f@*k
- It stays true to the real world
- Shows toxic relationships
- It’s very open about nudes which are normalized in high school and what people think about them, how people are exposed, whether it be through nudes or sex tapes and how it affects how people think of you.
Another part of the show that was shocking to me was the character, Jules. Again, a spoiler alert. Jules’ is a transgender woman. I thought Jules was a cisgender girl, or a girl born with female body parts.
Now, before you make fun of me or even try to cancel me, let me explain myself. I am 50… And I have not had much experience with transgender people. With the exception of Caitlyn Jenner and the 90s movie, The Crying Game, it wasn’t something I was exposed to. It took me many episodes until I understood that Jules is trandgender.
I admit that I had to Google trans people and to understand Jules more. I am not ashamed to admit that I was/am ignorant on the topic. But, as long as we are willing to learn more about other people, that’s what makes us grow, right?!
In the show, no one bullied or made fun of or criticized Jules. This shows that today’s teens can be more accepting and understanding of LGBTQIA+ folks.
DRUGS AND ALCOHOL
An alarming part of the show is all of the drinking and illegal drug use among the high schoolers. Vapes, weed, pills, molly, heroin and cocaine were commonplace in this show.
I do not pretend to NOT know what takes place in schools. I was a middle school teacher here in CCISD.
When I talked to my daughter, she said hardcore drug use was rare among her peers but drinking and weed/vaping was 100% accurate. Here are some other teen responses to the question about how realistic the drug use on Euphoria was when compared to their high school experience.
- In this generation, the show is very realistic. So many teens are off of drugs. Maybe not as harsh as Rue but definitely leading towards it.
- Realistic to a certain level. Do kids have the problems Rue went through? No, not typically in MY high school. But do kids do a lot of drugs? Yes.
- It is relatable to the real world.
- Yes very realistic. It shows us what could realistically happen.
- It gives insight as to why drug addicts do what they do, how their brains are wired differently, how drug abuse affects the people around them and why they can’t stop.
I also asked the teens if they had any additional thoughts they wanted to share about what they saw on the show. Here are some of their anonymous remarks.
- I think Euphoria really opens up about depression, nudes, sex trafficking, abuse, and it’s not dramatized at all. This show speaks for most teenagers in one way or another.
- It makes me sad on how realistic this is. But it’s interesting to see the meaning behind every character.
If any of this made you think- like it did me, I am attaching some info I found on the internet about talking to your teens.
As for me, talking to my daughter and her friends prompted me to encourage everyone to have these conversations with your preteens and teenagers. They are growing up in a different world and what should be shocking (and IS shocking to us) is becoming their normal. If you need additional resources, take a look at these:
If you have watched the show, I’d love to hear what you think about the characters, the drug use, and definitely the sex.