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Why ‘Euphoria’ star Algee Smith is absent this season

Everyone loves the teen who commits crimes on By HBO Happiness finally returned to TV screens earlier this month, breaking ratings records for the network. But one of the show’s central characters was noticeably missing from the hotly-anticipated second season: Chris McKay.

Played by actor Algee Smith, McKay is the group’s only older friend, having graduated from their dysfunctional high school and leaving behind troubled, revenge-prone teenagers, taking drugs and adorned for what he believes to be the university’s greener pastures.

Fans have been rooting for McKay, who seems to be the only male character who sees Cassie Howard (Sydney Sweeney) as a human, unlike his friends, who regularly bring Cassie down and exploit her, released nude photos and homemade sex tapes of them after the breakup.

Despite McKay’s best intentions, their relationship is strained by his annoyance with the way men oppose Cassie, unfairly criticizing her for the way she dresses. Sometimes he even blames himself by using Cassie the same way her previous boyfriends did. Internally, he is also struggling with the perception that he will be a mediocre college football player that, despite his high school star status, leaves him at a difficult crossroads.

McKay thus falls back into the classic lost game, lingering among his old classmates while trying to bury his feelings and turning to Cassie for solace. But even that fell apart when hooded fraternity members burst into his dorm room while he was in the middle of a relationship with Cassie, shoving him to the ground and roughing him. while he’s naked and helpless on the floor in an obnoxious college depiction. .

At the end of the season, the couple’s relationship seemed hopeless after Cassie learned that she was pregnant and ultimately decided to have an abortion.

But instead of continuing the already-stopped season 1, dealing with how McKay dealt with the abortion, as well as his calculation and humiliation at the hands of future brothers, McKay’s reappearance sparse in Part 2.

Of the seven episodes HBO has made available to press for the eight-episode season, McKay has actually only been seen once, attending the group’s extremely messy New Year’s Eve party during its season premiere. In a rushed scene, McKay sets Cassie aside to ask if there’s any chance of reviving their stale relationship.

Cassie confirmed that they did a good job and that he shouldn’t expect much of her because she might not be “a good person”. become her own BFF, Maddy’s boyfriend). And McKay, after emerging from their breakup talk, suffered further Nate breathing menacingly down his neck as he tried to coax him into revealing private details about his love life. his and Cassie’s sex,

Outside of those moments, McKay was essentially a ghost for the rest of the season, not reappearing in any significant context.

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Smith admitted that he’s also been in the dark as fans about what’s going on with McKay’s plot, revealing that he and Happiness Creator Sam Levinson has never discussed where his character is going nor the reason for his overall absence from the season.

“I’m not even really sure, to be honest with you,” Smith said of where McKay is headed. “I think that’s the question we have to ask creators [Levinson], he saw where it was going. We haven’t even gotten that far in conversation, actually he and I on this one. ”

It was an unexpected creative decision, as McKay is a series protagonist whose life is deeply intertwined with several returning protagonists. And for a show that prides itself on being inclusive and diverse in order to provide a more accurate picture of Generation Z’s adolescence, reducing the plot of the group’s only Black male friend would making a move much more bizarre.

There is certainly room to expand on McKay’s plot as well, as it is never determined exactly what happened that night when McKay was belittled by his fellow brethren. (While many speculate that McKay was sexually assaulted—happened many times as part of the hazing ritual—Smith says that based on his script, there is nothing to indicate that McKay was assaulted, reinforcing the presumption of editing.)

“I think that’s a question we have to ask the creators [Levinson], he saw where it was going. We haven’t even gotten that far in conversation, actually he and I on this one.”

27 years old, who this week was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Judas and the Black Messiah, agrees that there’s more ground to explore with McKay, who has never really gotten to know Cassie, or even as a character. Now there’s also new ground to cover after that season’s premiere, where McKay can finally stand up to Nate, who has long promoted him and is now engaged in a toxic love affair with the his ex.

“It would be a good breaking point for him to just walk away and focus on how to get better [himself],” said Smith, believing that Nate’s tryst with Cassie may have been the ultimate driving force behind McKay’s need to give up his high school glory days and self-destructive friends in favor of the future. and face their own feelings of inadequacy.

“Or it might not be the case, he might act out of rage,” Smith added, implying McKay heeded his father’s advice about controlling his emotions and just allowing them to flow. onto the football field – the only place he considered it appropriate for a Black man to express his anger and frustration to the world without negatively affecting him.

There have been rumors floating around online that the real reason McKay’s storyline was drastically reduced in Season 2 was because Smith was unvaccinated. Smith said he followed the producer’s strict COVID-19 testing protocols, which are required several times a week even when he’s not on set, as well as all day testing.

He also said that his unvaccinated status was never mentioned or even alluded to during production, where he filmed over the summer, spinning with co-star Angus Cloud, who plays Fezco.

In a statement provided to The Daily Beast, HBO denied that Smith’s vaccination status had anything to do with his limited time using the device. “McKay’s storyline was written before the COVID-19 pandemic. The other proposal would not be accurate,” the statement said.

However, HBO did not comment on why McKay’s plot appears to be suspended and reset on the basis of Season 2. Nor did it respond to questions about whether HBO would offer any. What is the policy regarding mandatory vaccinations for Happiness or its other products.

Smith just hopes that McKay’s storyline will be revisited in Season 3. “We’ll have to see, I’m just riding the wave right now,” he added.

In the meantime, Smith said he’s focused on other projects, including an upcoming Japanese horror film and plans to release new music. His latest movie, Hulu’s Mother / Android where he co-starred with Chloë Grace Moretz, which premiered in December.

Happiness broke HBO’s record for a season premiere, so I’m excited to be a part of it. It’s just getting over it and seeing how it performs for next season. If so, we’ll figure it out. And if it doesn’t, then it doesn’t. ”

https://www.thedailybeast.com/why-euphoria-star-algee-smith-is-missing-this-season?source=articles&via=rss Why ‘Euphoria’ star Algee Smith is absent this season

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