The second season of HBO’s Euphoriawhich premiered in January of this year, smashed ratings records and became the most-watched series premiere on HBO Max. The story, written by Sam Levinson and inspired by the Israeli series of the same name, garnered even more viewers with this new season than it did with the first one. In fact, on its premiere day, the platform crashed due to the high volume of views.
Euphoria is a successful series for many reasons, among them is the nature of the topics it deals with and how they are dealt with: stories of love, loss, drug addiction – showing tough content openly but without glorifying it. The story follows a group of teenage high school students who, immersed in the world of drugs, sex, and violence, try to fight against difficulties while searching for their respective identities. Such has been the impact of this American production that The Guardian newspaper labeled it as the most shocking teen show in history.
However, the series’ success is not only due to its plot, but also to its cast’s brilliant performances. In fact, Zendaya, the main actress, was recognized with an Emmy Award for her role in the production, thus becoming the youngest actress to receive this recognition, at the early age of 25. Euphoria is a magnetic, unique and very moving show that brings up teenage issues in a real way. Throughout the years, there have been a few productions that have provoked similar reactions. Now that season 2 has ended, here’s a look at shows like Euphoria you should watch next.
7 Gossip Girl
Gossip Girl walked so Euphoria could run. Before the furor over the HBO series, scenes from Gossip Girl shocked many parents of teenagers. This teen drama is inspired by Cecily von Ziegesar’s novel series of the same name and was first adapted for television by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage for The CW. The show follows a handful of high-society teens from the Upper East Side in Manhattan, New York, and an anonymous blogger who torments them with her gossip.
Since the envied Serena Van Der Woodsen (Blake Lively) returned to Manhattan, rumors of a feud with Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester), her former friend and now biggest rival, were immediately sparked. Blair is the new High School Queen Bee – everybody wants to be like her. The plot also follows some other characters such as: Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley), a young man of humble origins with whom Serena has a complicated romantic relationship; Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick), the bad boy of the neighborhood; and Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford), Blair’s boyfriend.
Gossip Girl had six seasons, starting in 2007 and ending in 2012. The series was so successful that in 2021, HBO Max launched a reboot with the same name. This new series is set nine years after the original in the same place, but shows us how social networks gradually gained influence in society. However, while entertaining, the reboot did not get the same reception as the original series.
Euphoria and Elite share a common approach to dramatic relationships and class issues. This Spanish Netflix production is set in Las Encinas, an exclusive school attended by children of the elite. One day, there is a major earthquake in the city that destroys its public school and the students are forced to be distributed among other schools in the town. As a result, three young working-class students, Samuel (Itzan Escamilla), Nadia (Mina El Hammani) and Christian (Miguel Herrán), end up being awarded scholarships to attend this prestigious institution. These students are immediately ostracized by Carla (Ester Expósito), Lucrecia (Danna Paola), Guzmán (Miguel Bernardeu) and Polo (Álvaro Rico Ladera), the class leaders. Their differences quickly trigger various class struggles and cultural clashes. However, after Marina, one of the students of Las Encinas, is murdered, the entire group of students becomes suspects.
Elite deals with socially relevant issues such as homophobia and young people’s relationships with religion. However, unlike Euphoriawhich takes the issues it deals with incredibly seriously, the Spanish series has a rather more chaos-oriented bent that tries to leave the audience on the edge of their seat season after season.
5 Sex Education
Sex Education is a British show that takes a friendlier approach to teenage life than Euphoria, but still introduces themes such as friendship, sex, love, and family. The series revolves around Otis (Asa Butterfield), an awkward, weird teenager with little to no success when it comes to relationships. Otis lives with his sexologist mother, so he has always had an extensive knowledge on the subject. When his classmates discover what his mother does for a living, Otis seizes the opportunity to show everything he knows and improve his reputation at school, allying himself with Maeve, a smart but disreputable girl looking to earn some extra money to make a life outside of town. Thus, the two set up a clinic where their classmates come to ask for advice about their strange sexual problems.
This three-season series, which has already been renewed for a fourthoffers a realistic glimpse of teenage years, as all the characters, like most teenagers, do their best to discover themselves in settings and circumstances that are not always the best.
This may be the most similar show to Euphoria so far, which is also available on HBO Max. Although it was canceled after just one season, it’s still worth adding to the watch list. Generation follows a group of high school students growing up in a conservative California town. Together, these young people explore their sexuality and identity within the limits of their narrow-minded community. The cast of Generation features Chloe East, Chase Sui Wonders, Haley Sanchez, Lukita Maxwell, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Nathanya Alexander, Nava Mau, Uly Schlesinger, Justice Smith and Martha Plimpton.
The series was created by Zelda Barnz, a 19-year-old teenager, and her father Daniel Barnz, so it’s no wonder their take on adolescence is so accurate and relatable. Produced by Lena Dunham, Generation attempts to portray the issues of today’s society, in which adolescents face the recurring problems of their teenage years using contemporary tools, exploring the different realities of each of them along the way.
When Euphoria premiered, it was heavily compared to this British teen drama starring Dev Patel, Nicholas Hoult, Kaya Scodelario and Hannah Murray. Skins is a series that will definitely appeal to any Euphoria lover. This British teen drama released in 2007 dealt with difficult topics years before it became mainstream, tackling issues such as mental illness, sexuality, eating disorders and substance abuse.The two-time BAFTA award-winning series follows a group of teenagers living in Bristol as they venture into the chaotic world of adults, discovering sex, drugs and going through difficult personal situations. Due to the structure of the show, each episode normally focused on one character, so we got to know each of them close to perfection. The show ran for seven seasons, from 2007 to 2013, and while there were seasons of Skins from other countries, the one from the UK is considered the best of them.
2 13 Reasons Why
This Netflix drama deepens the audience into a story that brutally represents today’s young society and deals with issues such as bullying, sexual abuse, sexism and suicide. 13 Reasons Why is an adaptation of Jay Asher’s novel of the same name. The cast features Katherine Langford, Dylan Minnette, Brandon Flynn, Christian Navarro, Alisha Boe, Justin Prentice, Devin Druid, Miles Heizer and Ross Butler. It was created by Brian Yorkey and produced by Selena Gomez.
Young Clay Jensen receives a mysterious box at his house with no return address. When he opens it, he discovers it contains a series of cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, a classmate who committed suicide two weeks before. Hannah chose thirteen classmates to tell her story to on a tape dedicated to each of them, the thirteen she holds responsible for what happened. Thanks to the instructions she left in the box, the tapes are sent to all of them so that they can finally hear a truth that none of them wants to hear: the thirteen reasons why she decided to take her own life.
The show ran for four seasons, starting in 2017 and ending in 2020 with good reception from audiences and critics.
1 Everything Sucks
Everything Sucks is a show created by Ben York Jones and Michael Mohan, which stars Peyton Kennedy, Jahi Winston, Patch Darragh, Claudine Nako, Rio Mangini, among others.It follows two groups of students in the 1990s who attend an Oregon high school. They are totally different from each other, but decide to join forces to make a movie while trying to survive the last years of high school. Neither of their goals is easy, and they go through this phase discovering themselves and facing new teenage struggles.
Although the series had a good reception from the audience since its premiere on Netflix in 2018, and ended with the doors open for a second season, it was later confirmed that it would not continue, as Netflix decided against renewing the series.
Baby Yoda (Grogu) and his Pa, The Mandalorian, are coming to Marvel Comics.
About The Author