There are a number of film series focusing on teenagers and young adults. Perhaps the most popular among them are Grown.ish and 13 Reasons Why. These films beam the spotlight on these really young humans – in high school or college – and their experiences with bullying, drugs, sex, sexual abuse, academics, and even politics. The issues highlighted range from the disturbingly serious to the trivial funny; what is most important is that the experiences of this delicate demographic of the human race are represented.
More recently, a new series about teens and young adults is on TV and it has generated a lot of conversations as to who the target audience might be. Euphoria, airing on HBO, is an American adaptation of an Israeli series of the same name. It is a film chronicling the life of a high school teen’s drug addiction and numerous failed attempts at recovery. It also covers bullying, sexual exploitation and violence, nudity. Nudity is, perhaps, one of the most unforgettable elements of the film, just right behind drugs. It has become popular – controversial, maybe – for the high number of penises being brandished on it.
The content is as R-rated as a non-porn film can be but it is also about young people, most of whom are not 18 yet. The protagonist, Rue, played by Zendaya is 17 but just like a lot of the other characters. Euphoria is disturbing. It is also insightful. But the confusion, or dilemma, if you may, is at the forefront of it.
Here is a film about teens, but is it for them? Can they watch it? Should they be allowed to watch it? Or is this just another thing we need to shield our young ones from that they might already know anyway? Many parents have already mentioned that they can’t let their kids see the film. Will it educate them? Will it jar them, or make them curious enough to want to try those things out? I guess that’s where the real fear-wrapped question mark lies.
Maybe only the showrunners can extend us that favor but until then, every adult should follow Euphoria on HBO. If your teenager can’t see it, maybe you need to, on their behalf. It is not regular and it definitely isn’t nice.