Euphoria: A TV Show Review for Parents
Updated August 30, 2023
**This review was updated on August 30, 2023.**
Some shows really know how to get people talking, and Euphoria is certainly one of them. With the leading star being Zendaya, the show was expected to make some waves with the younger generation. But on top of that, Euphoria explores some intense themes in a way that leaves viewers with very strong opinions. It seems to have quite a polarizing effect, with some thinking it’s the best show ever and others saying it’s disturbing to watch.
So what’s the deal? In Bark’s opinion, the show has too many explicit and harmful themes for kids to benefit from watching. But we won’t leave you hanging — we’ve got a short and sweet plot review of the first season, as well as some key elements to help give parents an idea. That way you can make an informed decision if your kid asks to watch it.
For a quick plot recap before we jump in — Euphoria centers around Rue Bennett, a high school teen trying to fight drug addiction. The first episode shows her coming home from rehab after previously overdosing. Rue does not stay clean from rehab for long and she relapses pretty early on. It also follows her relationship with a new student named Jules, as well as other characters like Nate, Maddy, Cassie, Mckay, Lexi, Kat, and Fez.
Just like any other teen TV show, the plot follows their relationship drama, identity crises, and other adolescent affairs. But Euphoria also explores heavier themes, so the plot includes experiences of abuse, severe mental illness, self-harm, and toxic relationships.
Harmful Content ❗️
If it’s not clear from the plot recap, Euphoria deals with a lot of serious content. As such, young kids should definitely not be exposed to this show. Firstly, the drug and sex scenes are very explicit which kids don’t need to see. Secondly, the themes are likely too complicated and disturbing for young kids to understand anyways.
For older teens, parents might have varying opinions. While drug use and sex are not necessarily foreign to some high school experiences, the depiction in Euphoria takes it to another level. Drug use in the show is almost glorified and the sex scenes sometimes have a violent nature to them. Overall parents need to know that the content of this show is for a very mature audience — meaning even adults have a hard time watching it.
There is very strong language used in this show, with “f-bombs” and a slew of other profanity being commonplace in all the episodes.
Sex is a major part of the show and is always explicit. Whether it’s full-on sex scenes, web-camming, or just general over-sexualization of the females of the show — there’s no getting around it. As mentioned before, sex in this show sometimes has a violent or harassing nature which can be quite disturbing to watch. This is seen in Nate’s abuse of Maddy, as well as some female characters being groped or touched without consent.
Outside of sexual violence, there are a few violent altercations as well. One character threatens her mom with a piece of glass in a fight. Another character, Fez — who is a drug dealer — gets into a fight with his boss and holds a gun to Fez’s head.
Positive Value 💫
An argument could be made that Euphoria addresses real issues that teens could be going through and that having conversations about them is important. This might be true, but often these shows end up glorifying these issues, rather than starting healthy conversations. It can make trauma, drug use, mental illness, and everything else seem almost “cool” or “edgy” to a younger audience.