‘Euphoria’s’ two-part special “a beaming ray of light” in a dark time

If you’re searching for a second of stillness in all of the noise, the filming constraints of the pandemic have gifted Euphoria followers two hours of terribly intimate TV gold. 

Euphoria’s two-part special

Euphoria’s two-part special is now first on Showmax, specific from the US. It’s as far faraway from the frenetic tempo of Season 1 as you may get… and the critics are raving about it.

Last year, Zendaya (The Greatest ShowmanSpider-Man) turned the youngest ever greatest actress Emmy winner for her efficiency as 17-year-old addict Rue, who returned dwelling from rehab and fell arduous for the brand new woman in city, Jules (performed by trans celebrity Hunter Schafer). 

Zendaya additionally scooped the 2019 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Drama TV Star, a 2020 Black Reel Award and a 2019 Satellite Award for the position, whereas the collection received 2020 Emmys for Original Music and Lyrics for All For Us by Labrinth, in addition to Contemporary Makeup (Non-Prosthetic). 

The HBO drama collection put a shock in our Christmas stockings on the finish of final year with Trouble Don’t Last Always, the primary episode of a two-part special bridging the COVID-19-enforced hole as we await Season 2. 

The first episode picks up straight after the Season 1 finale, specializing in Rue going through Christmas alone in the aftermath of the prepare station. Though Jules options briefly, the episode is a pensive, slice-of-life two-hander that sees Rue and her sponsor Ali (fellow Season 1 star Colman Domingo) decide aside life, loss and dependancy over Christmas Eve pancakes in a diner.  

Part 2, titled F*ck Anyone Who’s Not a Sea Blob, has simply arrived, specific from the US; right here’s the place we lastly get Jules’ aspect of the story and meet up with her in a painfully trustworthy remedy session. 

‘A very gutting character research and a breath-taking efficiency

In addition to Hunter and Zendaya, Part 2 options Critics Choice nominee Lauren Weedman (Tales from the Loop, Arrested Development) as Jules’ therapist, and John Ales (BoschSneaky Pete) as her dad, in addition to a couple of not-so-welcome visitors.

Series creator Sam Levinson says that they had prepped your entire Season 2 earlier than the pandemic shut down manufacturing simply three days earlier than they had been as a consequence of begin taking pictures. “My instinct immediately was, ‘What can we do in the meantime? What’s a way to do more contained pieces that allow us to continue the emotional evolution of these characters?’”

Part 1 of his answer to that question drew a 96% thumbs-up from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. “The first season of Euphoria moved at a breakneck pace… Not so with this special; this long, enveloping conversation is covered with skill and panache, yes, but with unending patience, stillness, comfort in the discomfort,” says Collider. “An unorthodox, gripping, reflective, and supremely effective piece of television storytelling… and some of the best acting you’ll see on television this year.” calls it “one of the best hours of TV in 2020… incredibly moving,” Indiewire requested, “Who knew “Euphoria” might supply such a beaming ray of mild?”, and Decider has already tipped Zendaya for one more Emmy nomination for the special episode. “Zendaya continues to demonstrate exactly why she so deserved the best actress Emmy,” echoes The Guardian, including that, “As the older, wiser Ali, Colman Domingo is simply extraordinary” and calling the episode “frequently as funny as it is grim. Ultimately, its message is one of forgiveness, of others and of oneself, of empathy and understanding. It quietly calls for good will to all men, even whip-smart, heartbroken, navel-gazing teenagers.”

And Rue is certainly heartbroken. “Rue is in a very vulnerable place,” Zendaya says. “She’s trying her best to convince herself that she has something figured out… Rue does not have it figured out. Rue does not know what she’s doing. And I think the only person who can cut through the noise and truly understand her is Ali.”

“What’s special about Rue and Ali’s relationship,” says Sam, “is she can’t bullshit Ali, and not only can she not bullshit Ali but Ali doesn’t judge her.”

The end result, Zendaya says, is that Rue is ready to “slowly open up and kind of take these layers off, because really what is the point of that when someone can see right through to who you are?”

Hunter herself co-wrote and co-exec produced the second half alongside Sam, marking her debut in each roles.

“Jules feels the pressure of Rue’s sobriety resting on her,” says Hunter. “Jules is really worried that if she makes the wrong move with Rue, it could go straight back to relapsing. And that’s countered with the two of them being very in love.”

Sam explains that Rue is “constantly trying to find things outside of herself to ground her, to make her feel okay and that she’s connected to people, and I think she uses Jules for that, but therein lies the trap. It’ll always go south because you can’t place that burden on another individual.”

But as Jules herself places it in the episode, “Rue was the first girl that didn’t just look at me. Like, she actually saw me… the me that’s underneath a million layers of not me.” And, she reveals, “How could it be possible that Rue would love me as much as I loved her?” 

The new instalment makes it clear simply how a lot Jules actually does love Rue, and the way a lot ache her determination to run away has induced her. But it additionally begins attending to the center of the issue, that for Jules, who’s discovered security in fantasy and digital romance, the one one who actually loves her could also be simply… too actual, too messy and, in very actual phrases, too straightforward to lose…

Decider referred to as Part 2 “a truly gutting character study and a breath-taking performance from Hunter Schafer… This standalone episode should only be the beginning of content headlined by Schafer; she’s a star.”

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