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Euphoria

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Euphoria TV Poster Image
Wall-to-wall sexual violence, drugs, language in dark drama.
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 14 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Positive messages are few and far between, but female friendships are often strong and supportive, female friends consider each other important. Messages are occasionally pro-woman but often couched in so much disturbing material that their reception may be muddled. Rue says at one point about "slut pages" (social media pages of non-consensually shared nudes): "It's 2019 and unless you're Amish, nudes are the currency of love. So stop shaming us and shame the a--holes who make password-protected online directories of naked underage girls."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Girls are generally treated poorly by men in this drama. They're expected to be sexual but are harshly shamed and mistreated when they are, sometimes physically abused as well. Girls also subject their looks to harsh scrutiny ("I literally look disgusting," says one very conventionally attractive girl, looking in the mirror). For their part, boys are often depicted as leering, abusive louts, subjecting the girls to many different stripes of sexual violence. It's said about one boy that "He knew he had anger issues, but so did every guy." 

Violence

Violence is often sexual, which can be quite disturbing: A boy vividly pictures his girlfriend getting kidnapped, bound, and thrown in the trunk of a car, after which he fantasizes about shooting her kidnapper. A boy and girl begin to have sex, whereupon he chokes her (he stops after she asks him too). A drug dealer says that a girl should have "some other way to pay" for drugs. Nonsexual violence is also intense: A girl threatens her mother with a piece of glass during a fight, a brief vignette shows Vincent van Gogh shooting himself. 

Sex

Sex is often linked with violence; see "Violence" section. Characters engage in sex frequently: naked body parts, a man putting on a condom, a character flinching and crying as a man has sex with her, a boy trying to choke a girl during sex. Brief images show clips from hardcore pornography, including a flash of an erect penis. A girl has sex at a party; she is recorded and the video is shared without her permission, which makes her feel both shamed and desirable, yet leads to an incident in which a much older man masturbates (which we see) while on a video chat with her. Boys speculate on whether girls are a "whore" and talk about how much "p---y" they're going to "smash." They also talk about "slut pages" (social media with nude pictures shared without the subject's consent). Nudity is frequent, including male full frontal. 

Language

Cursing is frequent: "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," "a--hole," "bulls--t," "bitch," "d--k," a song contains the "N" word. 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Many scenes depict teens drinking, smoking marijuana, taking pills by mouth or crushing and snorting them. A character overdoses; she is discovered by her family and sent to the hospital, and then rehab. A very young boy sells drugs along with his older brother. An extended scene explains how a character beats an over-the-counter drug test despite still using. A parent guzzles wine. An addicted character works hard to get, and remain, sober. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Euphoria is a drama series about a teen girl who's working through addiction along with the usual challenges of adolescence. It features lots of boundary-pushing content related to sex, drugs, and sexual violence. Girls are violated in many ways, included being leered at, groped, and touched without their permission. Boys wonder if they're "whores" and share their images on social media "slut pages." A boy chokes a girl during sex, and a drug dealer tries to extract sexual payment from a girl for drugs. Nudity, especially full-frontal male nudity, is frequent; we see nudity in both sexual contexts (a man pauses before sex to put on a condom) and nonsexual (nude boys cavort in a locker room). We also see many "d--k pics," and older characters having sex or coming on to underage teens. Girls are often depicted as abused, and boys as abusers; though some characters do have redemptive arcs, there's not a lot of kindness or thoughtfulness on display. One character is an addict; many scenes depict her smoking, drinking, taking pills, or snorting (pills or white powders). Cursing is very frequent; expect "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," "a--hole," "bulls--t," "bitch," and "d--k." While it's a show about teens, the extremely mature content is most appropriate for adult viewers.  

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bywizardortitan June 25, 2019

Definitely NOT for children (or young teenagers).

It's off to a very intriguing start, but DON'T BE FOOLED - even if your kid tries to convince you it's "not that bad"...yeah, it's... Continue reading
Adult Written byHindsight June 21, 2019

Disgusting

Ok, hbo I’m so disappointed with this show because the storyline is so dark and gloomy no good scenes in it at all. The whole show is about teens that discover... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bypppppppp000000 July 23, 2019

NOT AT ALL APROPPRIATE

I watched 10 minutes of the first episode and already there was drugs, and a penis. It only got worse from there. I decided to try episode 2. You never know rig... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bylmstone3 June 21, 2019

Overly dramatic and ridiculous

As someone who watches GOT, I don't flinch at nudity and violence, I care more about the storyline. This show tries desperately to be edgy and relevant wi... Continue reading

What's the story?

The teens in EUPHORIA are feeling anything but. Fresh out of rehab, Rue (Zendaya) doesn't even make it a week before she's back buying drugs from Fezco (Angus Cloud) and making a new best friend in Jules (Hunter Schafer), who's new in town but quickly runs afoul of Nate (Jacob Elordi), the alpha-male football player who's more dangerous than anyone realizes. Meanwhile Kat (Barbie Ferreira) suffers from a lack of love and the lack of regard she gets from other people who don't appreciate her body type, Maddy (Alexa Demie) is blithely unaware of how scary her longtime boyfriend is, and Chris (Algee Smith) can't figure out how to be close to a woman that's not a moving image on a screen. High school was never easy, but surely this is a new low. 

Is it any good?

People say youth is wasted on the young, and it certainly seems that way in this compelling but ugly series in which teens exist in hells of their own making. Damaged by her father's early death, the casual cruelty she sees around her, and her own (labeled by an expert) faulty brain chemistry, Rue snorts, smokes, and drinks everything she can get her hands on. Her terrified mom tries sending her to rehab, and she tries giving Rue over-the-counter drug tests, which her daughter foils by racing across town to procure her former best friend's fresh, clean urine. And yet Rue's one of the characters who's (mostly) just abusing herself; the treatment from others handed to Jules, Kat, and Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) is far worse. 

Both the camera and these girls' peers leer at them endlessly, evaluating them from a distance. How do they look? Are they hot? More importantly, what will they do sexually? Sex becomes something the boys try to trick or shame the girls into, and when Cassie genuinely responds to Chris at a party, his response is to pin her down and choke her, as he's seen in porn. He thought she would like it. Kat definitely does not like the boys who surreptitiously filmed her losing her virginity at a party and posted it on a "slut page" for the whole school to laugh at. And as we soon learn, the boys who treat their classmates and neighbors so terribly are themselves abused, by parents who don't care, by parents who aren't there, by parents who themselves do terrible things. Some characters get more of a redemptive arc than others, but most just struggle, fail, and struggle again. It's a miserable cycle, and though Euphoria is hard to watch, it's equally hard to stop.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether it's OK to show teen sexdrinking, and drug use on television. Do shows like Euphoria present a realistic view of teen life, or is anything exaggerated for entertainment? What would the real-life consequences of the characters' behavior be?

  • Euphoria contains an extensive amount of nudity, particularly male full-frontal nudity, which is very rare in American movies and TV shows. Why? Why are women shown nude more frequently than men? How often is the nudity in Euphoria related to sex and how often is it nonsexual -- e.g., people bathing or changing? Does it matter? 

  • Does this show make being a teen look like fun? Is it realistic? Do the teens you know look and act like this? Do they have these types of problems? Does a show have to be hyperrealistic to be enjoyable? 

  • Do you know anyone who is struggling with drug abuse or addiction? What are the challenges they might face? What are some resources you know of that could be helpful?

TV details

For kids who love teen drama

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