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The Key to Euphoria’s Success

By Karis Fields


Photo: HBO – Source


What would you say if I told you that the most talked about show of 2022 right now wasn’t even finished being released to audiences yet? Since its return in early January of this year, almost everyone has been talking about the popular HBO teen drama Euphoria.


Not only does the subject matter and handling of such set this show apart from other popular ones recently released, but so does the way in which it has been released to the public. Euphoria airs each episode weekly every Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on HBO and HBO Max. It’s crazy to think that in the age of streaming and binging that a show which functions off weekly episode releases has attained the global status it has. The show is so popular that it’s lead actor Zendaya recently won an Emmy for her role of Rue.


No other network show released in the past couple of years has gained the same critical acclaim as Sam Levinson’s hit. Variety reports that the premiere of the newest season of Euphoria marked the strongest digital premiere night performance of an HBO series since the launch of HBO Max, drawing in 2.4 million viewers between the channel and streaming platform.


But what exactly is the key to this show’s success? What makes viewers willing to wait for more in an age where audiences are fed whole helpings of media content in one spoonful? Of course there are the obvious factors such as the show’s plot lines and stellar cast. But even some of the best cable shows with the best casts can oftentimes be overlooked (personal example is the criminally underrated You, Me and the Apocalypse which aired on NBC for one season back in 2015).


Perhaps it's because of its subject matter and just how raw it’s presented to audiences. The show’s subject matter has brought about discourse surrounding discussion of the show, though. Arguments of whether or not Euphoria is glamorizing the use of drugs, if the show should be considered a form of softcore porn, and even if the subject matter itself is even realistic. Those are some of the few bits of discourse brought about from the show.


I personally believe that a huge part of the show’s key success is its online fanbase. More specifically, its TikTok fanbase. Every week, like clockwork, videos regarding the most recent episode of Euphoria appear on my For You Page a minute or so after 10 p.m. when the newest episode has ended. My FYP is bombarded with videos that range from fan theories to memes and jokes from then up until an hour before the release of the newest episode that following Sunday.


I feel that for Euphoria, like for many of the popular weekly released television shows of the past, its key success lies within word of mouth from its fanbase. Same goes for a lot of immediately bingeable shows as well.