HBO Max pushes boundaries with hit show Euphoria

Euphoria is a popular show on HBO Max following troubled teen life at Euphoria High starring Zendaya. Photo credit: Courtesy of: Creative Commons & Photo Credit: Nichelle Stephens

Euphoria is a popular show on HBO Max following troubled teen life at Euphoria High starring Zendaya. Photo credit: Courtesy of: Creative Commons & Photo Credit: Nichelle Stephens

Clarissa Arceo and Fatima Durrani

HBO Max’s hit TV series, Euphoria, highlights many topics such as teen abuse, drug addiction, toxic relationships, trauma and sex within teen life.

The extent to which these topics are shown are considered controversial in the media; Many contemplate whether it’s a good idea or not to push TV boundaries, but the answer is a clear yes – we give a kudos to pushing boundaries.

It is crucial and important to educate youth- as well as their parents- that drugs, sex and abuse are [unfortunately] relevant in today’s society.

People all over social media may argue that it’s too much, but what’s wrong with too much? The more you know, the better.

Nate Jacobs, played by Jacob Elordi, is a toxic character who represents severe toxic masculinity, as well as physical and emotional abuse to different women.

Most characters in the show deal with intense trauma ranging from drug addiction (Rue), surviving an abusive relationship (Maddy), and going to desperate measures to seek validation (Cassie).

Having skilled actors, such as Zendaya and Elordi, play these crucial roles in such explicit ways is essential to bringing awareness to undermined issues teens undergo.

Other television shows such as The Proud Family, One Day at a Time, Sex Education and more are also making attempts at breaking boundaries of representation on TV.

As more series are attempting to develop better representation for gender and sexuality, unveil drug abuse and domestic violence in relationships, and reveal the hardships of today’s teens, it’s important to have the support of parents’ from all over.

If parents are concerned that their kids are too young to view this explicit material, they can monitor their settings.

It isn’t the job of a former Disney star to ‘protect’ viewers. If you don’t want to watch a show then simply don’t watch it; refrain from ranting on Facebook.

When TV series like Euphoria display the variety of experiences students at Euphoria High School go through, teenagers of today’s society are able to watch the show and feel seen or heard if they can relate to the characters.

Many have sparked debates on the internet discussing the intense nudity and topics shown on the popular teen show; but the content on Euphoria isn’t any more shocking than what can be seen on The Game of Thrones.

What’s shocking to parents of teens across the globe shouldn’t be a teenager’s experience; what should be shocking is that we aren’t aware of the things going on in teens’ lives.

If we could normalize talking about these topics, then shows like Euphoria may not feel the need to go to such an explicit extent to bring awareness to them.

However, it’s important to acknowledge that the explicit content displayed on television is what sparks awareness – and that it does more good than harm.

In highlighting a variety of experiences- mental health issues, drug abuse, sex and relationships- we are allowing folk to normalize discussing these topics and further allow those going through similar issues to feel less isolated.

Potentially, young victims of domestic violence, bullying, drug abuse or toxic relationships may feel more willing to seek help from their peers or someone who can genuinely help them.

So, we thank Euphoria for providing a raw and honest portrayal of different lifestyles- specifically amongst our teens, who are often told to stop being ‘dramatic’ about their experiences- and embrace the explicit content bringing awareness to these topics.