Zendaya: Euphoria is for mature audiences, can be difficult to watch

Mild spoilers for Euphoria season one
After several filming delays due to COVID, season two of Euphoria premiered Sunday night on HBO. Euphoria is known for its very adult themes despite the show’s central characters being teenagers. Euphoria star Zendaya posted a warning about it a few hours before the first episode aired. Zendaya reminded fans that Euphoria is for mature audiences and that some of the themes can be difficult to watch. Series creator Sam Levinson also stated that season two’s themes were going to be harsher than season one. So parents and watchers have been warned. Below are a few more details from People:

“I know I’ve said this before, but I do want to reiterate to everyone that Euphoria is for mature audiences,” she wrote. “This season, maybe even more so than the last, is deeply emotional and deals with subject matter that can be triggering and difficult to watch.”

Zendaya continued, “Please only watch it if you feel comfortable. Take care of yourself and know that either way you are still loved and I can still feel your support. All my love, Daya.”

Previously teasing the show’s sophomore run, series creator Sam Levinson hinted at the darker storylines to come.

“It’s such a brutal season,” Levinson, 36, told Vogue U.K. in its October 2021 issue. “And what I love the most about Z is she’s able to go to those dark places and then as soon as I call cut, she’s hanging out behind the monitor, eating Cheesecake Factory and cracking jokes.”

“She’s also family. We just shoot the s— all day. We talk about the show, the characters, life, movies, politics. She’s one of the most grounded human beings I know,” he added of Zendaya.

[From People]

I didn’t think I would like Euphoria but I truly enjoyed it. Euphoria definitely hones in on some extremely adult and triggering themes. Zendaya and the show creator were being responsible by warning watchers about that fact. The first season of the show was quite gritty and at times very hard to watch. I felt terrible for the teenagers because they didn’t have any parental guidance and were making adult choices with lifelong consequences. Even the adults in the show were skeevy (I’m looking at you Eric Dane). I am looking forward to seeing where Zendaya’s character Rue and her transgender friend, Jules (Hunter Schafer), go. Rue and Jules’s story arcs have the potential to be the most triggering but their stories were intriguing to me. And I agree with Sam that Zendaya carries the darkness of her character well. I am sure that is why Zendaya won an Emmy for that role. Hopefully this season Rue will kick her drug habit and pull her sister Gia out of harm’s way, and Jules will find a way to love herself and stay out of toxic relationships. At this point if Zendaya and Sam are warning fans to expect stronger themes then I will take their word for it. I also hope that teens who watch this show have adults around to watch with them and discuss the themes.

Euphoria season two trailer:

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18 Responses to “Zendaya: Euphoria is for mature audiences, can be difficult to watch”

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  1. Cee says:

    My boyfriend got into it a few weeks ago so we’re still watching season 1 and it’s true, it’s so dark at times and I really feel bad for the teenagers. It’s not my favourite show to watch, though, as it does trigger me. I’ll probably stop watching and follow Zendaya’s advice to take care of myself.

  2. FHMom says:

    I stopped watching this show towards the end of Season 1. It was too tortuous to watch. I have 3 teenagers and the kids on this show have horrible lives. For me, it’s beyond uncomfortable, and I can’t think of another show I’ve ever dropped for that reason.

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      I’ve never seen it and don’t intend to. With that said I can appreciate a show that has such good writing and acting that it brings out strong feelings and really sucks you into its world.

  3. Turtledove says:

    I have a pre-teen daughter and when I watched S1, it freaked me out. I am obv aware of the issues that can befall a teenager, and we aren’t just scared me.

    Zendaya is absolutely amazing in it.

  4. mini dach says:

    Euphoria hits sooo close to home for me. I’m kinda glued to it. Having been raised in a small town (now a city) outside of Toronto. This is what 75% of my school was up to either openly or discretely, and the constant drama, fighting and bad mouthing each other. My friends in who grew up in Toronto or big cities find the show highly unrelatable. I always have to remind them that major cities have things to offer teens growing up that just aren’t within reach for people from smaller towns. Drugs were always readily available too. Like it was easier to find drugs than get a fake to buy booze (unless you had an older brother/sister ID). A lot of people I went to high school with now are just adult versions of rue and fez and basically everyone character in this show. Its a wild show but very reminiscent of my high school days…

    The second season premiere made me cringe with how unsettlingly similar some of the situations were to what I either heard through friends or witnessed myself. I just want to clarify this as well in case, I am not addict. However, I did experiment like these characters seem to do, not as casually though.

    • Bettyrose says:

      Same. I grew up in a city but this all feels super realistic to me. In the 80s/90s I didn’t know any trans teens (but definitely some who might have been in today’s world) or obviously any internet cam girls (again some who would have been in today’s world) but otherwise all the characters track. I really enjoy the show.

    • Lucille says:

      I grew up in a village with unter a thousand peple living there. I do find it somewhat relatable but not that everyone goes through dramatic stuff like this and not to the extent portrayed in the show. I also think drugs are much more normalized nowadays than they were when I was a teen.

  5. Sof says:

    I like how everyone praised the show for the makeup and music and (at least in episode one) they were like “no, let’s tone down both things”. I heard A24 is involved this season as it was shoot on film and it makes so much sense! I was surprised at how cakey Maddie’s make up looked and was glad to finally see acne in the faces of the so called teenagers.
    I have to say I struggled to remember some of the plot, particularly Fezco’s. I knew there was some kind of beef going on but what the origin was escaped me. Nevertheless I was glad with the outcome.
    As for Rue and Jules, I read a theory that their names were a nod to Romeo and Juliet, so I have no hope for them in the future.

    Spoilers warning:
    Well, from the trailer and after that first episode it looks as if Rue was in fact turning into a drug dealer herself, let’s see.
    I said it last season, but Cassie is still a poor mess, Sydney is a great actress. I’m intrigued to see more of Lexie as it seems she is the more normal of them, right? what would her arc be?
    I also wonder about Jacob Elordi, Nate is such a horrible person, does he get attacked on the streets by fans of the show?

  6. Case says:

    I really respect Zendaya for saying this. She has a lot of young fans who shouldn’t be watching, and plenty of fans of all ages I’m sure who could be triggered by this material. Just because it’s about teenagers doesn’t mean it’s FOR teenagers.

    I watched the first season but have decided not to continue — it really felt to me like teenage characters acting like 25 year olds; it just seems ridiculous and exploitative to me to suggest all of this stuff is happening in high school, idk.

  7. tempest prognosticator says:

    Euphoria is too hard to watch. I just couldn’t take it. My heart breaks for teenagers today if Euphoria is a realistic depiction.

  8. Otaku fairy says:

    It’s probably for the best that she was the one to make that announcement, with the way people get.

  9. Bettyrose says:

    If anyone missed the “special episodes” at the end of season one like I did, go back and watch. Basically one full episode of Rue taking with her sponsor (which needs all the awards) and one full episode of Jules talking to her therapist.

  10. Kristen says:

    This is a great show, and while it is about teenagers, it is most definitely not a show for teenagers.

  11. Renee says:

    I think the acting is great, but I had to stop watching this series half way through season 1. It is so dark that I cannot keep watching.

  12. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I sometimes brag about my love of sci-fi, fantasy, horror and that I enjoy watching thriller/mystery shows with dark themes. ..slow burning character-building darkness graces my screens often, but I couldn’t watch this show. I never expected it, it hit me and I moved on. Maybe I am just a big baby lol.

  13. Robyn says:

    I often wonder if shows like this need to exist. The show is excellent-the writing, the acting, the themes are well-defined. But if you look at the conversation around the first generation of Skins (an excellent show as well), the majority of people agree that it totally decimated our (millennial audience) mental health. The conversation is so common that it’s become a meme at this point. Do we need another generation shown explicit drug use, eating disorders, and violence in the context of being “cool”? Because despite chatter around the show, teens doing Euphoria makeup, outfit inspo, and idolizing these characters, flaws and all, is a bad, bad thing for kids who haven’t got a fully developed brain. I don’t believe these issues should but tucked into a corner and never discussed or shown on tv, but I’m disappointed that we didn’t learn our lesson about how to present them the first time around. I love Zendaya. I like the show and I’m glad she said this, but as someone who has a story similar to Rue’s and struggles with addiction to this day, I still worry so much for the zoomers.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      I think you’re right in some ways. These conversations should definitely exist. I was watching a BBC dark drama this weekend, and my 16yo came in and plopped down next to me. After about 30 minutes, he turned to me and asked, “How do you watch this? Such good acting, I’m actually feeling their pain. This is tough mom.” And then it dawned on me, he probably never watches superior acting lol. And he certainly doesn’t watch hard subject matter unfolding in front of him (hard material is discussed, we have conversations face to face). Talking seems to work better with him. One son preferred reading life’s difficult maneuverings and the other would rather watch (or ignore). And then they all get to the late teen stages of, “Not this again mom. I know. I understand. Everything’s fine. Trust me.)

      Anyway my husband watches movies, I watch tv series, and my son is engaged with discord, oculus, switch, Xbox and playstation. In fact, since Christmas, we’ve put in an embarrassing number of hours playing Zelda on the switch (which is why I guess he needed mom time and watched some TV with me). I turned off the tv, we talked a bit, then resumed our game. Rough tv turned off lol.

  14. Mimi says:

    I love zendaya but I couldn’t watch it. I found it extremely triggering. Same with handmaids tale. I made it thru 2 seasons of it and it’s just super heavy , maybe I’ll watch again at some point.