Sex sells, but HBO may have gone slightly overboard. Zendaya just issued a PSA about Euphoria and all of the themes it grapples with. Since it was announced, the Drake executive-produced show has been the talk of the town. The series stars Zandaya as 17-year-old Rue– drug addict who has just returned from rehab with no plans of remaining clean despite the urgings of her parents and little sister (Storm Reid). Instead, we watch Rue navigate her small town using every drug and pill she can get her hands on. Along the way, we meet a slew of Rue’s classmates, including her new friend Jules (Hunter Schafer), a trans girl who is new in town and Kat (Barbie Ferreira), a curvy girl determined to explore her sexuality. As Rue tries to keep her head above water, the series explores teen life in the 21st century when substances, sex, and alcohol are at the center.
The pilot episode of Euphoria was episode was rich, intense and enticing, but there was certainly more than one shocking moment. Zendaya told Entertainment Weekly, “Let’s just say like, the first episode is the most mild, to be honest. It definitely doesn’t shy away from anything, that’s for sure.” If you have no idea what the Spider-Man: Far From Home actress is referring to, you should know that the second episode of Euphoria is said to have over 30 penises in it –and that’s after the series creator Sam Levinson cut out 80 of them.
He explained to The Hollywood Reporter, “There are going to be parents who are going to be totally fucking freaked out.” Still, penises are the least of our worries. The drugs, sex, and violence can also feel triggering at times for certain people. Before the series premiered on Sunday night, Zendaya issued a PSA saying,
Just a reminder before tonight’s premiere that Euphoria is for mature audiences. It’s a raw and honest portrait of addiction, anxiety, and the difficulties of navigating life today. There are scenes that are graphic, hard to watch and can be triggering. Please only watch if you feel you can handle it. Do what’s best for you. I will still love you and feel your support. Love, Daya.
Despite the shocking nature of Euphoria, Zendaya and the series are garnering rave reviews. The K.C. Undercover actress explained,
For me, for such a long time I felt stagnant in my career because I have been doing the same thing since I was 13 years old. Not that I didn’t appreciate it or love it — I think it’s important for me to embrace where I come from and embrace the work that I’ve done in my past — but it became so easy. It’s like doing the same grade over and over and over again. You gotta go to the next grade. You gotta graduate.
Euphoria airs Sundays on HBO.