The record-breaking second season premiere of Euphoria comes in the wake of a provocative first season. Controversy is great for views, but these massive numbers make it evident; there is more than just drama giving this show a place in popular queer television.

According to Variety, the premiere of the long-awaited second season of Euphoria “drew 2.4 million viewers across all its platforms.”

The two-year wait as a result of COVID-19 has clearly only bolstered the support from the first season, resulting in reportedly nine times the digital viewership.

Show Draws Protests Even Before First Episode Aired

This impressive premiere follows a first season that made provocative headlines. The show features graphic nudity and violence and explores complex topics.

Before the first season even aired, a parents group made several protests regarding the “disturbing” content. After airing, the show received a lot of publicity – good and bad. Some reviewers were alarmed, the amusing title of one saying Euphoria “Made Me Feel Old and Scared.”

Built for a Generation of Queer Youth With a Distaste for Gender and Heteronormative Ideals

Shock value and controversy alone is unlikely to result in the record-breaking views of this premiere, however. In all its gaudy, vulgar glory, Euphoria is custom-built for this generation of queer youth with a distaste for gender and heteronormative ideals, a disillusionment with the idea of the future, and a dream to live in a music video.

One of the biggest draws of Euphoria is the raw and authentic portrayal of their queer characters. Reviewers note the complexity of the queer characters and their relationships, as well as the nonchalance almost all the characters hold towards queerness. Labels are unimportant, and their queer identities are only one aspect of the characters, rather than their sole purpose.

This reflects and connects with the experiences of the Gen Z queer people watching the show, making it an invaluable representation for us.

Sensationalised Nature of Euphoria Draws People In

The sensationalised nature of Euphoria, though many reviewers found it distasteful and shallow, is likely a significant part of what draws people in.

For an audience of people raised on music videos, scenic coming of age movies, and picture-perfect Instagrams, seeing the trauma of high school played out in artful sequences is desirable. What comes off as overdone aesthetics to some, functions as a major draw to the intended audience.

Though it isn’t for everyone, Euphoria deserves recognition as the conscientiously crafted show for this generation of queer young people.

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