In their Brooklyn apartment, Maddie Bone and her five roommates, all of whom are in their 20s and 30s, lower the lights, switch on an overhead projector, and put on HBO Max — with subtitles, just in case the J train comes rumbling by. Besides that, they make a pot of Sleepytime tea, not to aid in their sleep but rather to keep their anxieties under control while they watch the heart-racing fever dream that is “Euphoria.”
Mrs. Bone, who is 26 years old, claimed she and her friends decided not to drink at the event. “You need something that will completely calm you.”
Even in the show’s most audacious ensemble drama about kids stretching their boundaries in an Orange County suburb, there are few moments of tranquilly. The majority of episodes include a combination of poor sex, brutal violence, gratuitous nudity, excessive drug and alcohol usage, and unflinching representations of drug and alcohol addiction. For the spectator, feeling agitated, uncomfortable, or restless while watching is par for the course while engaging in entertainment.
A 20-year-old from San Jose, California, expressed her feelings on the film in an Instagram direct message. “I believe there is a lot of stress/anxiety that goes hand in hand with seeing Euphoria,” Adhya Hoskote said in a direct message.
Ms. Hoskote has said that she must take pauses when watching television. But, like the millions of other people who watch the programme on a regular basis, she returns again and time again.
In the play, which was written and produced by Sam Levinson, young individuals who are suffering from addiction, loss, and betrayal are presented in a stylised manner. Every narrative line is a little trauma tale in and of itself.
In advance of the Season 2 debut, Zendaya, the show’s star and one of its executive producers, issued the following content warning: Her Instagram post said, “This season, maybe even more so than the last, is extremely emotional and deals with subject matter that can be upsetting and difficult to watch.” “Please only watch if you are completely comfortable doing so.”
According to HBO, despite the fact that it aired during the Super Bowl, the sixth episode of this season, which aired on Feb. 13, received a total of 5.1 million people (which had an audience of 112.3 million).
Watch as Rue, played by Zendaya, relapses and sinks into her opiate addiction, burning ties with people she professes to love and physically destroys her house in the process. We stand by and watch while robberies take place, pistols are primed, and vehicles accelerate erratically while taking swigs from beer bottles on the street.
Even though it sounds uncomfortable — torturous even — it hasn’t deterred viewers from checking in to see.
Philip Cadoux, a 23-year-old who watches the programme with his friends every week, like the show’s colours, costumes, and performances. A strong sense of empathy pulls him in as well, since he knows others who have fought with addiction.
Beyond the program’s visual appeal and award-winning talent, mental health specialists think that the show has the potential to be relevant.
She also links the show’s popularity to a behaviour she refers to as “doom viewing,” which is a relative of doomscrolling and refers to the act of consuming unpleasant news that is always available to us through our phones. Watching intense programmes that feed off their own fears is known as “doom watching,” and it is particularly prevalent at night when alternative diversions may not be readily accessible. She considers it to be a kind of projection, namely “projecting one’s own personal worries and pressures onto a collective group of external and fabricated television characters. ”
However, not all is doom and gloom. Dr. Romanoff also feels that the presentation has the potential to act as a medium for education and understanding for the audience.
Those are the kinds of ideas that Mary Kay Holmes, a 46-year-old writer and mother of two adolescents, draws on. Week after week, she sits in the living room with her 17-year-old daughter, who prefers to watch the programme alone since it makes her “cringe” to be in the living room with her parents.
Mrs. Holmes and her daughter enjoy the show as a source of entertainment first and foremost (she would watch it even if she didn’t have children), but as a mother, she uses it as a vehicle to engage in informal conversations with her children about drug use, relationships, toxic masculinity, gender and sexuality, among other topics.
Although this is a factor, the major reason most viewers appear to return is because the programme maintains their interest, thanks to its attention-grabbing fashion and make-up, spectacular imagery, and twists and turns that keep people talking.