Created and written by Sam Levinson, ‘Euphoria’ premiered in 2019. It has been lauded for its brilliant cinematography, emotional, gritty approach, drama, and character-driven episodes.
‘Euphoria‘ stars Zendaya as a seventeen-year-old Rue, who is fresh out of rehab. She is struggling with addiction. Rue also struggles with the grief of her father’s death. She then befriends the new girl at school – Jules (played by Hunter Schafer). We watch the duo deal with the ups and downs of high school, the life that comes with it accompanied by a perfect score and soundtrack by Labrinth.
It received so much love and attention that it became the most-tweeted-about show of the decade so far in the United States. Over 30 million tweets were posted related to the show during its second season. This isn’t that shocking when you remember the gazillion memes that went viral this season. From the “End Nate Jacobs” to the scene where Cassie is terrified in the bathroom as Maddy bangs the door with her fists (the screenshot of the latter also became a meme!)
‘Euphoria’ is officially the most-tweeted about show of the decade so far in the US with more than 30 MILLION tweets related to the show during the second season, Twitter reveals. pic.twitter.com/AOp8Q0XWHz
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) February 25, 2022
‘Euphoria’ is a show that not only shows us the lighter, fun parts and the beauty of being a teen but also the dark parts and struggles of adolescence, dealing with themes like substance abuse, mental illness, self-image, sexuality, violence, etc. If you finished watching ‘Euphoria’ and are missing it already, we’ve compiled a list of shows and a movie like the Zendaya-starrer for you to watch.
Although ‘Euphoria’ has been renewed for a third season, if you’re looking for something short, say a season or two long series – Netflix’s ‘Trinkets’ should be on your watchlist! This Netflix series follows a grieving teenager (yes, just like Euphoria’s star Rue who lost her father to cancer) who finds an unexpected connection with two classmates at her new high school. They all land in the same Shoplifters Anonymous group.
‘Trinkets’ may not be as artsy cinematography-wise as ‘Euphoria’, neither does it contain as much “adult” content. But the risky nature of the characters, in general, may seem similar to you other than the fact that both the show’s leads are grieving teenagers.
The cast of ‘Trinkets’ includes Fear Street’s Kiana Madeira, Black Adam’s Quintessa Swindell who also made an appearance in ‘Euphoria’ as Anna, Deadpool’s Brianna Hildebrand, Kat Cunning (‘Marry Me’), Odiseas Georgiadis (‘The Perfect Date’), and more! This series is based on the 2013 novel ‘Trinkets’ by Kirsten Smith.
Find ‘Trinkets’ on Netflix: HERE
Something that the creators of ‘Euphoria’ may have not expected is the love for its character ‘Fezco’ in the series. If Fezco is one of your favorite characters on the show and if you’re looking for a series featuring a character or a plot like his, we have a recommendation for you – ‘Good Girls’. NBC’s Good Girls’ Rio has a similar storyline as Fezco.
In this series, sisters Beth (Christina Hendricks, ‘Bad Men’) and Annie (Mae Whitman, ‘The DUFF’) and their best friend Ruby (Retta, ‘Parks and Recreation’) become fed up with playing by the rules and not getting the respect they deserve. So, they band together to take control of their lives – by holding up a local grocery store.
Good Girls’ Beth is the perfect wife and mother. However, her used car-dealing, cheating husband has sent her family into financial ruin; on the other hand, Ruby is happily married to a policeman. But Ruby can’t afford the medical bills and experimental drugs to help her daughter while Annie is a single mom who is caught in a nasty custody battle with her ex.
Since the women are in desperate need of money, they plan the heist expecting to ease their financial burdens but new to the game of crime, they get pulled in deeper than they ever imagined. The only way out of this will be together!
Find ‘Good Girls’ on Netflix: HERE
‘Euphoria’ mainly focuses on a small clique of high-schoolers like Rue, Maddy, Cassie, Kat, Jules, and Lexi. Similarly, Netflix’s ‘Grand Army’ too centers on five high school students as they take on the largest public school in Brooklyn in a chaotic world.
These students fight to succeed, survive, break free, and seize the future. The show grapples with intense themes like racism, sexual identity, bullying, and violence, which is a lot like what Euphoria does in addition to addiction, whether it is Nate being violent or the characters struggling with their self-image and sexual identity. Furthermore, if you’re a big fan of Euphoria‘s character-driven storylines, this Netflix series will suit you well.
Find ‘Grand Army’ on Netflix: HERE
‘Skins UK’ is a 2007 classic grunge series. It is like the OG ‘Euphoria’ for many. The series follows a handful of British teenagers with an introduction of a new cast of characters every few seasons. ‘Skins’ also deals with some touchy topics. These include substance abuse, mental illness, teenage pregnancy, and more like ‘Euphoria’ does when it comes to the characters’ mental illness, their addictions, Cassie’s abortion, etc. In the second season of Euphoria, there is also a mention of Barbara’s pregnancy.
‘Skins’ UK revolves around the lives of a group of teenagers in Bristol, England. It follows through two years of the sixth form. The storyline of this critically acclaimed series, as we mentioned earlier, delves into controversial subjects. Substance abuse, sexuality, teenage pregnancy, personality and eating disorders, and mental illness are some of the issues discussed here.
The series is also unique in its casting of actors, including The Maze Runner’s Kaya Scodelario, Hannah Murray (‘Game of Thrones’), ‘X-Men: First Class’ and Mad Max: Fury Road’s Nicholas Hoult, Joe Cole (‘Peaky Blinders’), ‘The Green Knight’ and Slumdog Millionaire’s Dev Patel, ‘Black Mirror’, ‘Get Out’, and Black Panther’s Daniel Kaluuya. Its cast is replaced every two seasons when the characters leave school.
Find ‘Skins UK’ on Netflix: HERE
Find ‘Skins UK’ on Hulu: HERE
13 Reasons Why (Season 1)
In ‘Euphoria’, we see Rue struggle with her addiction, mental health, strained relationships caused due to her addiction. Addiction is a serious issue and ‘Euphoria’ doesn’t play around when it depicts it. Similarly, Netflix’s first season of ‘13 Reasons Way’ led to a conversation about serious issues affecting us, such as sexual assault, mental illness, suicide, etc. Though the Netflix series is not as artsy as ‘Euphoria’, it does have similar themes. We recommend only the first season!
Find ‘13 Reasons Why’ on Netflix: HERE
South of Nowhere
‘South of Nowhere’ premiered in 2005, sometimes taking a real look at finding your way as a teenager as the series follows the Carlin family. They move from Ohio to Los Angeles. Spencer, played by Gabrielle Christian, is the youngest in the family. She is a sweet, curious girl who befriends the bisexual Ashley (Mandy Musgrave). Spencer then questions her sexuality.
Clay (Danso Gordon) is the middle child. He is an African-American star student who was adopted by the Carlins. Their older brother Glen (Chris Hunter) is a hot-shot athlete. He loses himself after an injury leads to painkiller addiction. The series stands out for its depiction of a serious relationship between two young women as the Carlin’s youngest’s sexuality is not an issue of the week.
Both ‘South of Nowhere’ and ‘Euphoria’ see the developing relationship between two women – a relationship which begins as a friendship. It then evolves into something deeper and more intimate as time passes like Rue and Jules’ relationship in the first season of the series. This series, just like ‘Euphoria’, deals with real-world issues, including racism, drugs, underage drinking, teen pregnancy, and domestic violence.
HBO Max’s ‘Genera+ion’ revolves around a handful of different teens as they grow as one friend group, sound familiar? ‘Euphoria’ too, centers on the lives of a clique of high school friends. ‘Genera+ion’ touches on similar themes like Euphoria. These include coming out of the closet, teen pregnancy, young love, and more with just as many parties, gossip, and plenty of similar wardrobe choices.
The cast includes ‘All The Bright Places’ and ‘The Voyeurs’ star Justice Smith, Chase Sui Wonders, Uly Schlesinger, Chloe East, Nava Mau, Lukita Maxwell, Nathanya Alexander, Haley Sanchez, and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (‘Misfits’).
Find ‘Genera+ion’ on HBO Max: HERE
Degrassi: The Next Generation
Just like every episode of ‘Euphoria’ is packed with drama, dealing with serious issues affecting the high-schoolers, the young lives on Degrassi Street too are always rife with problems whether it’s about sexuality, growing up, drugs or parents. There’s always something going on in the high school and at their homes like with Nate and his dad in ‘Euphoria’.
‘Degrassi’ is a long-running, multiple award-winning series starring Miriam McDonald, Cassie Steele, Shane Kippel, the iconic rapper Drake, Stacey Farber, Aislinn Pual, Nina Dobrev (‘The Vampire Diaries’), and more! It follows the characters in a soap opera-type format. The teens endure the pangs of transitioning from childhood to adulthood.
Find ‘Degrassi: The Next Generation’ on Stan: HERE
My So-Called Life
‘My So-Called Life’ was one of the first teen series to not just depict serious issues in ‘special’ episodes. These included those surrounding mental health, homophobia, sexuality, and addiction. The series didn’t merely talk about them in a special episode, but it let the characters feel their feelings and experience the rollercoaster that is adolescence naturally throughout the season.
This 1994 series showed that the teenage years aren’t as light and fluffy as other shows would have you believe, the same way ‘Euphoria’ deals with issues like substance abuse, violence, self-image, sexuality, and more seriously. ‘My So-Called Life’ stars Homeland’s Claire Danes, Suicide Squad’s Jared Leto, Devon Gummersall, Wilson Cruz (‘Star Trek: Discovery’), Devon Odessa, A. J. Langer (now Countess of Devon), Jeff Perry (‘Grey’s Anatomy’), and more!
Find ‘My So-Called Life’ on Hulu: HERE