By Joyce Slaton,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Wall-to-wall sexual violence, drugs, language in dark drama.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
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
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."
The main character, played by Zendaya, has one Black and one White parent, but her background is not addressed in the context of the show. Jules is a transgender character played by a transgender actor, and other cast members are Latino and Black. There's a little body diversity among characters.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
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. Characters are beaten, shot, and attacked in various physical and emotional ways.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
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." Nudity is frequent, including male full frontal in a scene where a man is shot while receiving oral sex.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Cursing is frequent: "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," "a--hole," "bulls--t," "bitch," "d--k," a song contains the "N" word.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
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.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
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." Standard episode content includes things like a boy choking a girl during sex, drug dealers trying to extract sexual payment for drugs. 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. Characters' early trauma is explored, and how it affects their present day issues. 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. All of this content is amped up in the second season, which includes Rue's continuing relapses, sexual violence, assault, and frequent nudity.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
Based on 87 parent reviews
There is a disclaimer at the top of the show for good reason
Report this review
Please don't let your kids watch this show.
Report this review
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 often 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 sex, drinking, 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?
- Premiere date: June 16, 2019
- Cast: Zendaya, Sydney Sweeney, Maude Apatow
- Network: HBO
- Genre: Drama
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: May 19, 2023
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
Shows for Teens That Start Important Conversations
Drama TV for Teens
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate