Euphoria has become one of the most popular television series among young people since premiering in 2019. Euphoria focuses on Rue (played by Zendaya), who is struggling with addiction and returns to her high school accompanied by her group of friends dealing with issues ranging from trauma, abuse, friendship, identity, and more. Euphoria continues to rise in popularity, announcing that it will be coming back for a third season in 2024 and has been an award show favourite winning multiple awards, most notably Zendaya taking home the Emmy award for “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series” making history as she is the youngest lead actress to take home that award twice. However, while Euphoria has been met with plenty of praise, it has also been met with an equal amount of criticism. The main criticism being that it glamorizes drug use, partying, and toxic relationships. 

If you allow your child to watch Euphoria, you’ll want to understand what takes place in an episode. First, Euphoria is rated TV-MA, which means the show’s subject matter is intended for mature audiences. As Rue is a drug addict, there are a lot of scenes of teens using cocaine, heroin, oxycontin, taking pills, and plenty of underage drinking.   

The show contains loads of sexual content. There is lots of nudity, masturbating, pornography, and quite a lot of sex scenes, teenage girls having their nude pictures leaked and are recorded having sex. In addition, several characters in the show are raped. 

There is also a lot of violence in Euphoria. Maddy (played by Alexa Demi) is physically and emotionally abused by her boyfriend, Nate (played by Jacob Elordi). A character starts to self-harm after being harassed, and a character is shot in the head. 

You’re probably thinking, “why would I ever let my kid watch this show?”

You may not have a choice. While season one was successful, the show’s most recent season is when it truly became popular with audiences. The draw of Euphoria is the chaotic storylines, fashion, imagery and cinematography, and the star-studded cast of young actors such as  Zendaya, Jacob Elordi, and Sydney Sweeny. Euphoria is hard to avoid with the added factor of social media. You didn’t even need to watch the show to know what was going on as spoilers were ramped on social media, specifically Tik Tok, and you can’t decide what content you see on Tik Tok. 

If your child is watching or wants to start watching Euphoria,  sit down with your teen and discuss the mature themes that take place on the show and the consequences of them. Watching an episode intended to teach a lesson may even be beneficial. An Episode we recommend watching is Season two, episode Five: Stand Still Like The Hummingbird. This episode demonstrates the true face of Rue’s addiction and how she is willing to do and say anything to feed her addiction. 

Aside from the criticism television shows such as Euphoria can be used as great teaching tools to start a conversation about heavier subjects that could begin to appear in your teen’s world as they get older. 

Written by Paige Gordon