Imagine you’ve waited three years to stream the much anticipated first episode of the second season of Euphoria and your HBO Max says, “Sorry sweetie, try again later.” Not only was social media in a frenzy but even Euphoria star Angus Cloud tweeted, “Did ya break HBO?” Yes, yes indeed.
Variety reported the Euphoria season two premiere gathered about 2.4 millions views. WarnerMedia said the premiere was the “strongest digital premiere night performance of any episode of an HBO series” since HBO Max launched, via Variety.
HBO also stated that digital viewing had an uptick more than nine times higher than the Season 1 premiere and nearly four times higher than the Season 1 finale. The Season 2 premiere also debuted to a viewership nearly 10 times higher than both special “Euphoria” episodes that debuted last winter.
“Euphoria” returned Sunday after a lengthy hiatus following its August 2019 first-season finale, a wait that was broken up a bit by the release of those two standalone specials (which launched Dec. 6, 2020 and Jan. 24, 2021, respectively) that were taped with limited cast and crew amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
They knew what they were doing with their promotions. Not only were fans frantic after the first trailer (which was literally the first episode out of context) but days leading up to the second season premiere, trailers dropped for every character giving a montage of what’s to come their way.
Variety reported this premiere took over social media at a higher rate than the Game of Thrones season finale. Do you understand the impact? TikTok algorithms were flooded with episode recaps, predictions for the next episode and clips from everyone’s favorite scene which was Nate Jacobs getting his ass beat by Fezco. Arguably, it was a work of art.
The night of premiere, Zendaya posted a trigger warning via social media reminding viewers the show is for mature audiences; ones who can handle witnessing uncomfortable scenes or graphic images including *cringe* lots of penises. On a more serious note, the show does not aim to glorify drug abuse through Rue but rather show the raw, frightening reality of it. Zendaya was bound to eat up that Emmy.
“It’s gonna be hard and it’s gonna be devastating sometimes,” the 24-year-old actress said of Euphoria’s sophomore season, which is currently in production.
“It’s a difficult season, I’m kinda in the middle of it,” she continued, noting that she’d been on set until 2:30 AM that morning. “It’s very personal, not only [to] ourselves and all the people who work on it, but also, to other people who have been able to relate so deeply to the characters or see their experiences being reflected through Rue.”
“I think Rue really deserves all of that care when it comes to her character, because I think she represents a lot for so many people,” Zendaya told Teen Vogue. “I hope to make those people proud with our depictions of Rue [and] where all the characters go.”
Writer and executive producer Sam Levinson is not playing around this season. Grab your tissues. See you next Sunday.