The wait is over. Two and a half years after sweeping criticism and amassing fans around the world, Euphoria has returned with the premiere of its second season. The depressing but successful series of HBO Max On the decline of trauma and its impact on Generation Z America’s self-discovery, he once again flaunts his storytelling mastery to bring out the worst in each character. And it does so with a dance of stories that dance in constant darkness while its protagonist, Zendaya, sentence once again the great talent that hides behind his image of ‘It Girl’.
And if with the first season he managed to win critical acclaim and an Emmy for his performance, With this second batch of episodes it hits Hollywood in the face for how much it has been wasting it so far.
It is true that Zendaya cannot complain when it comes to recognition and positioning in the industry. He steals the spotlights from every red carpet he walks on, he is one of the most sought-after figures to illustrate magazine covers and accumulates more than 121 million followers on Instagram. His name is synonymous with success and his rise as a star has long since skyrocketed. He has been a Disney star and experienced blockbusters like The great showman in addition to being a youth idol as a result of Euphoria and his participation in the Spider-Man saga. A phenomenon that, without a doubt, is experiencing its hottest moment as a result of her romance with her arachnid companion, Tom Holland.
However, beyond the lights and glare; even far from the role she currently lives as a constant muse for designers; Zendaya harbors in her guts an actress capable of connecting with the public beyond fashions or productions designed to attract the masses with her presence. And she does it through an antagonist like Rue, putting empathy aside to delve deeper and reveal her darkest parts as the addicted protagonist of Euphoria.
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The HBO Max series takes up the story after the broadcast of the two special chapters that developed in the middle of the pandemic. Given the delay of the new season due to Covid-19, its creator Sam Levinson premiered two episodes -one in December 2020 and the other in January 2021- that serve as a link between both seasons. In the first we saw Rue during a session with her sponsor after having relapsed into drugs after the abandonment of Jules (Hunter Schafer). In the second we saw Jules revealing to a psychologist his own mother’s addicted past, thus explaining the confusion of feelings, rejection and guilt he feels around Rue.
The second season takes the baton after both episodes to resume the relationship between Rue and Jules, while the first secretly lives its worst addictive relapse. While the series once again expands its circle to delve into the stories of the rest of the characters – where we find a lack of self-esteem, examples of abusive relationships, gas lighting and emotional manipulation- It is the figure of Rue that seems like the example of the adolescent experiences that mark for the rest of life. Because in this second batch of chapters, Rue takes her addiction to unsuspected extremes, taking a path of no return that will undoubtedly mark her life forever.
And all of this is reflected by Zendaya, delving into Rue’s grief over the death of her father but transforming it into her most monstrous side.. The actress displays her talents with overwhelming dedication, taking her character down a descent into hell that encompasses both despair and unease and selfishness.
Through tactics like breaking the fourth wall, Zendaya connects with the public using Rue’s more manipulative side, turning her Hollywood star magnet into the season’s most depressing draw.
And with such a display of talent, Zendaya remembers how little Hollywood has given her to make her shine. In other words, if we observe its recent presence on the billboard, we immediately notice that the industry has resorted to it as an artistic beauty in The great showman What sidekick identifiable in the skin of MJ in Spider-Man and even gave him a place in one of the great productions of 2020, Dune. However, in the Marvel saga they have kept her as the protagonist’s loyal friend-girlfriend-partner, providing doses of drama that play within the usual average for this type of character. That is, if we are honest: if this MJ was played by another actress, do you think we would notice her the same way or do we notice her for being Zendaya? In my opinion I lean more towards the latter.
While the trailers and promotions of Dune they made us believe that he would have a leading role in the long-awaited sci-fi adaptation. But when push comes to shove, more than some of us put our hands to our heads to discover that, in total, it only appears about 7 minutes in more than two and a half hours of footage.
It is as if the cinema bet more on his attractive figure on the poster of the day, as well as his beauty and sympathy in front of the camera as a strategy to attract the masses, without offering him roles that take advantage of that talent that he shows in the HBO series. And seeing the great work he does in Euphoria, Stripping emotions in the crudest way, without narrative sweeteners or garnishes that bet on her star figure, she infects the feeling of being before an actress who could give much more than what the cinema allows her. Seeing his work in new episodes of Euphoria he couldn’t help but imagine his talents caged in an imaginary little box. A very beautiful and shiny box on the outside of which only Hollywood has the key to bring out what is inside.
The second season of Euphoria He states that we are facing an imperfectly perfect and adult series, so darkly depressing that it even serves as an alert for parents around the world regarding adolescent mental health and the influence of toxic filial relationships. But she also judges that Zendaya has a lot more talent to offer than being Spider-Man’s sympathetic girlfriend or Spider-Man’s side love interest. Dune. So let’s see if Hollywood kicks in and lets us find out more one day.
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Zendaya hits Hollywood in the face with the second season of ‘Euphoria’