On paper, Happiness should not sounds unique. Sam Levinson’s HBO series may have 1000% more views than your typical teen show, but shows about “crazy, sassy teenagers” doing crazy things” went deep; Regular comparisons include strings like OC, Skins, Degrassi, and Gossip Girl.
And yet, every week Happiness–virtuoso episodes and messy ones—It felt like a strange mixture of terror and longing, charm and gore. The forehead glittered with rhinestones and the broken nose glittered under the fluorescent light; Teen couples kiss each other’s temples in the same spot where they’ll likely put their guns in the future. Happiness It may have a lot in common with other teen shows, but its purpose seems different. With each passing season, the series becomes television’s most haunting horror series — a tense exploration of what it is to come to adulthood at a time when every institution, including and especially The family seems to be falling apart.
HappinessIts key ingredients — bad parenting, scandalous behavior, explosive fights — can all be found in many teen soaps. (Remember the time Julie Cooper had an affair with her daughter’s ex-boyfriend? And let’s not even start with Bart Bass!) But even in all of it Degrassischool shootings and drug addiction, and all the horrific shootings in OC, still a little optimistic and warm. Teenagers’ friendships with one another, as tumultuous as they may be, have always provided solace and support regardless of what soap operas may be going on around and through them.
No such luck in Happiness. In particular, the second season of the show was marked by narcissism and backstabbing. Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) has spent weeks delving into what she believes to be the love for her best friend’s ex, Nate (Jacob Elordi)—and best friend, Maddy (Alexa Demie) ), is now ready to kill her after figuring everything out. Rue (Zendaya), who sold out Cassie in a moment of anger. Kat (Barbie Ferreira) is breaking things with her kind but slightly bland boyfriend by (badly) pretending to have a “end-stage brain disorder.” And Cassie’s sister, Lexi (Maude Apatow), has just discovered everyone’s gossip in the room. a school play about her so-called friends.
Most teen shows are about feeling like a failure at something or someone, but Happiness take that to the extreme; Its characters embody feelings of frustration towards things and people in one’s life.
It is worth noting that the only remote positive parent relationship in Happiness is between Rue and her mother, Leslie – whom Rue psychologically and physically terrorizes every time she relapses. Nika King plays her character with pure faith throughout the screen, an unshakable love and strength that viewers can see that she is heavily influenced. Rue, who lost her father when she was 14, was forced to grow up before she was ready, and in turn, she feels she has grown into a disappointment. Accepting mom’s care means coming to terms with what she’s done in the past — so instead, she often hits her or jumps out of a moving car.
However, in other places? Not an active parent character is seen. It has been strongly suggested that Nate’s father Cal (Eric Dane) sexually abused his son as a child, in addition to legally raping Jules on camera last season. Lexi and Cassie’s mother, Suze (Alanna Ubach), seems to care more about her limitless glasses of wine than her helpful mother’s support — and her treatment of Cassie, especially in later episodes, oscillating between disparagement and ridicule. Most of the other parents are dead or absent.
“Accepting mom’s care means coming to terms with what she’s done in the past — so instead, she often hits her or jumps out of a moving car.”
Start Rue Happiness by noting that she was born just days after 9/11. That statement spans the series as a loss of clarity, the distinction between the Clinton-era optimism most millennials grew up with and Gen Z’s dismal introduction to the world. Really, though, 9/11 feels less relevant to this series than it is to what follows — a brutal war waged over an institutionally acceptable lie. The nihilism of these teenagers, the series seems to always be postulate, is rooted in the pervasive feeling that nothing and no one can be trusted.
The psychological terror that underpins this series is hard to overstate; New York Times recently reported the full story of the show’s intensity. As a teenager, the more programs Happiness often compared to discovery, is a volatile and often unpleasant exercise in negotiating the raging pheromones, strange beliefs, and inexperience of youth, often leading to disastrous or humiliating results. Happiness take it a step further, setting forth a bare-bones vision of trying and finding yourself in a world you really hate—something that too often, makes you hate yourself even more.
In the end, Fashion Nova’s fantasy of these characters’ clothing is like a bold line drawn under the show’s central reality: These are kids trying their best to act as human beings. big, but none of them are fine.
Most teen shows observe high school students’ best efforts at dressing up as adults when no parents are involved, but Happiness up ante. Rue, the show’s most sensitive character and perhaps the least eager to “grow up”, is practically the only one of her peers who doesn’t show up club-ready. 24/7. On the other hand, Cassie, Maddy, Kat, and Jules (Hunter Schafer) take fashion as armor — as a way to assert power, sexual autonomy, and autonomy, even if they don’t fully understand the implications of this. What that means is just yet.
But also Happiness exploring the highs and lows of addiction, its costumes represent only one end of the aesthetic spectrum — and the rest are absolute, unadulterated bodily horror.
To this day, I shudder at the thought of episode 1 in which Rue has a depression that keeps her from peeing for days and her mother finds her writhing on the floor with a kidney infection. The fight and violence scenes in Happiness as well as its sexual imagery — often also violent.
These ongoing violations — of trust, of body, of mind — are what make Happiness It’s so sad to watch. I am 30 years old, So far, I can say how much this glittery series mimics Teens Today’s real life. (Given my anthropological research on adolescents in the wild, I have some caveats.) But it’s interesting to consider the extent of Happiness Speech at the seasonal premiere focused on how dangerous it is for adults, especially parents. If I had to guess, this horror show is about the gap between acting like an adult and present an adult is even more dangerous when you are living with it.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-euphoria-became-tvs-best-horror-show?source=articles&via=rss How ‘Euphoria’ Became the Best Horror Show on TV