Pop at Palmetto: Euphoria Take 2

Cayetana Jaramillo, Opinion Editor

The highly anticipated release of HBO’s “Euphoria” season two received a massive wave of support across all social media platforms, causing the major streaming service to crash. HBO released the first episode of the second season, “Trying to Get to Heaven Before They Close the Door,” on Jan. 9 via both HBO Max and live-streaming television at 9 p.m. EST. As millions of viewers around the world logged into their HBO Max accounts, the app and website were rendered unavailable for several minutes after the time of release. 

In the summer of 2019, HBO released season one of “Euphoria,” prompting a worldwide following. The show touches on a wide range of topics, including teenage substance abuse, domestic violence, teenage navigation of sexual orientation, identity, love, friendship and social media. After its major success and several Emmy nominations, the cast and crew planned to begin filming season two in March 2020. Consequently, the COVID-19 pandemic postponed all production until the summer of 2021. Despite the two-and-a-half-year hiatus, the show continued to gain popularity throughout the pandemic on social media. While stuck at home, people took to TikTok and Instagram and attempted to recreate the show’s iconic glittery makeup looks and unique character outfits. “Euphoria” continues to capture audience’s attention through its carefully curated soundtrack and song selection, romanticized-yet-relatable storyline, striking makeup looks and cinematic visuals. 

This season’s new era focuses on darker topics and reflects a shift in cinematography. Samuel Levinson, the director of “Euphora,” decided to switch from digital shooting to shooting on Kodak Ektachrome. Kodak resurrected the 35 mm film stock exclusively for the series. Ektachrome film saturates color and picks up very fine grain. Levinson’s vision was to transform the series from “a house party at 2 a.m to a house party at 5 a.m.” The darker images and frequent flashes make season two look like a high school memory — a stark contrast to the visuals of season one. 

Every week, images from new episodes flood social media timelines as audiences obsess over the new looks and plot developments. The eight-part series airs every Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on HBO’s streaming services and live television. 

After three episodes, “Euphoria’”s season two has left much of its audience in a nail-biting frenzy, eager for the next episode and reminded of all the heartbreak, darkness and glamor of high school.