If you have not somehow become aware of HBO’s Euphoria in the last few weeks, you don’t get out enough. It’s inescapably popular. If you haven’t been peer-pressured into watching it yet, or been indoctrinated by TikTok fan theories, you’re stronger than I. However, on the off chance that you’ve managed to avoid unwanted spoilers so far… you might want to stop reading here.
The show’s first season was released in June of 2019, and admittedly, I didn’t end up watching it until about a year later, just after the pandemic scared me inside. I ended up waiting entirely too long for a second season, so I can’t imagine what it was like for first-day fans.
Every time I try to explain what Euphoria is about, it sounds lame. It shares some similarities with Riverdale. So, in defence of the show, I’m not going to summarise the storyline. There are more than enough articles available that criticise the show based on its themes and details, so I won’t judge that alone. Today I will be ranking the characters from least to most favourite.
I fell in love with Euphoria because of its visual appeal, first and foremost. The aesthetics are what drew me in. The soundtrack, the colour scheme, the cinematography and the costuming/fashion work. The cast was also a significant factor, as were the queer storylines. I loved this show initially because it was one of the very few pieces of media that I saw which gave queer characters a better linage than the typical ‘coming out’ narrative. But overall, I think what makes this show as precious as it is, is the characters. Apologies if you were after a particularly insightful analysis. As Cal Jacob’s said, “I am who I am,” and who I am is, first and foremost, an opinion-haver.
Euphoria Characters – Worst to Best
I am starting off with my least favourite character. This is the only correct answer for the job. If you disagree, you’re wrong, but I’d love to hear your argument.
The motif with every character in this show is that they’re flawed. But The characters are given backstories that explain their flaws. If there’s any lesson in the show, somebody’s trauma doesn’t necessarily excuse their behaviour. Putting symbolic value aside, though, I hate this man.
Cal Jacobs is gay and has hidden his true self his whole life, if you need a reminder. That wouldn’t necessarily be a problem on its own. Except he resents his life his family, and he does horrible things because of it. Frankly, I just dont think that being self-closeted is a good enough excuse to be as horrendous as he is. Plus, he’s primarily responsible for how Nate turned out, so that’s double the trash energy.
Nate’s character is first and foremost plagued with toxic masculinity. His sexuality is beside the point because, just like his father, he treats the women in his life is unforgivable. However, he has had small moments of kindness here and there, and I mostly blame Cal for his son’s issues. He’s done some unforgivable things, but I have also had moments where I felt sorry for him. His mother said that he was worse than Cal, but I disagree. Only by a tiny fraction, though.
I’ve never been the biggest fan of Cassie; in all honesty, I’ve found her whiney since the first season. There were warning signs of her issues from very early on, and I also just kind of find her boring. I understand that her character as a young woman who is over-sexualised and ties her appearance to her worth is an important and honest story to tell. However, regardless of how men have treated her, she has no excuse for her disloyalty. Letting her insecurity destroy the positive relationships in her life is pathetic and hard to watch. It definately made me uncomfortable how willing we as an audience were to hate on cassie this season. However, I think that it’s safe to say that ‘girls supporting girls’ went out the window when cassie betrayed Maddy.
Mckay is, at best, boring and, at worst, an asshole. The way he treated cassie wasn’t okay, but he’s another character who’s fallen victim to toxic masculinity. I think he’s there just to point out how over-the-top Nate is. He’s barely been in season two, and it’s probably because his storyline was dead. I don’t miss him; I dont think he added anything to the show.
I love Domnick Fike’s music, and I do also feel like his presence in this show is primarily unnecessary, though. Rue and Jules were going to blow up regardless of Elliot’s meddling. Interestingly, we don’t feel the same hatred for Jules when she cheats on Rue that we do for Cassie. It didn’t feel like a central plot point in their relationship, and outside of that detail, Elliot doesn’t have much of a character arc. I don’t think he was intentionally manipulative or traitorous, and I don’t have many feelings about him.
I’m not a Jules fan, and I find her suspicious, and I haven’t completely been able to think through why that is. I know that she’s just doing what she thinks is correct and that she shouldn’t have to feel responsible for Rue’s sobriety. However, I believe that she could be more thoughtful and considerate in her decisions.
I feel bad for Gia. She’s basically a character to reflect the worst impacts of Rue’s addiction. However, I’d love it if she were given more of a character arc than being Rue’s little sister, mainly because Rue is the show’s narrator, and the lack of attention paid to Gia’s character reflects Rue’s distance from her.
I’m going to level with you here – I like Kat because I think that Barbie Ferreira is incredibly gorgeous. I think that some of her scenes are highly creative and important. I don’t like the way that she’s treated some of the people in her life; however, it is my opinion that she’s suffering a bad case of compulsory heterosexuality. I hope she gets more screen time in future seasons because so far, her storyline hasn’t really met up with the other characters in a significant way.
Is the show glamorising drug abuse? Maybe. I definitely don’t think that 13-year-olds should be watching this show, and I don’t feel that some scenes need to be as graphic as they are. Such was the case with 13 reasons why. However, the answer to that question really lies in the conclusion of the storylines. If it shows Rue getting help, then there’s a lesson in it, but the show in its entirety doesn’t seem to really be about Rue’s storyline, and I’m intrigued to see how it all ties together.
In the case of Rue vs Jules, I’m on Rue’s side, without question. I’m not sure why, but I find her loveable, and I root for her regardless of her drama. Also, Zendaya is a superb actress in this and every one of her projects. If you haven’t seen Malcolm & Marie, you’re missing out.
If you’re not sure who Ali is, that’s fair enough. He’s not really one of the main characters, but I wanted to include him anyway; he is Rue’s sponsor. I like him as a symbolic character. I want to point out that he is one of, if not the only character in the show who makes up for his flaws and goes on to heal and help others heal. His character represents hope for all the other characters.
Also, I loved Rue’s special episode. I thought those episodes were so incredibly creative and well-done, considering the limitations of Covid. They are definitely some of the best pieces of media I’ve seen.
I love Maddy. She’s definitely also got her flaws and weaknesses, but in all honesty, the worst thing about her is that she’s rude. In comparison to
“That’s it, that’s all of my opinions.”