I just started HBO's Euphoria and I'm not sure how I feel about it. In some ways it's brilliant. The cinematography, the acting, and the writing are all excellent. It feels like "prestige" television. Yet I'm still not sure if I will like it by the end of the season.
So far it's a story about a high school drug addict and her struggles. And it's like every HBO drama. Filled with a ton of gratuitous sex and edginess. I don't mind those things but HBO shows do have a tendency to include it for its own sake rather than the story. One of the things I liked the least about Game of Thrones' adaptation of A Song of Ice & Fire was the addition of numerous sex scenes that didn't serve the story. It felt like the writers had a quota to meet each season to air on the network.
While Euphoria so far has been really intriguing I can't help but feel some in-authenticity with those scenes. Is this serving a purpose or is it just to fit the HBO aesthetic? I'm afraid that what's been most interesting about the show will get overshadowed by this if the motivations are wrong.
Nowadays you can see the seams in inauthentic storytelling. We're more aware of plot points that are aimed at the Chinese market or not so cleverly placed product placement. It's our cynical post-modern lenses aimed at entertainment we would've once easily accepted and praised.
I hope I'll discover what these scenes all mean as the story unfolds but for now I'm still sceptical.