HBO’s ‘Euphoria’ Is Like Birth Control

Bonsu Thompson
ZORA
Published in
4 min readFeb 18, 2022

--

How anyone could watch this beautiful series and still want to procreate is beyond me

Photo by HBO

Euphoria is currently my favorite trauma porn. For anyone who’s ever suffered from addiction or loved someone who has, the gorgeous drama may be a weekly-recurring nightmare. We cringe and sweat through each episode, yet dare not look away. Once the credits roll, we’re on a violet — yes, I’m gonna say it — high. Yet once that prickly stimuli takes ease, I begin to fill with gratitude. Grateful that I’ve never been addicted to anything except love and achievement; grateful for my parent’s sobriety; thankful that hard drugs, outside of the well-off crack dealers we admired as youth, weren’t a part of my social life as a teen. I complete each ep relieved that I’m no longer a teenager, but even more so that I’m not a parent.

How could any mother or father watch a Euphoria episode without their insecurities and nightmares being poked? The self interrogation alone would drive me towards a pill party. Did I fuck up as a parent? Am I currently fucking up? Whenever one pictures themselves with children of their own, the visions are normally of boiling bottles, messy diapers, happy tears and the sunniest of smiles. When does anyone factor having to keep their toddler from eating roaches out of the ashtray? Or the possibility of permanently maiming their child’s cerebral cortex? Then there’s the chance of your child developing gender dysphoria or hating their appearance so much they seek the attention of elder perverts online.

These are the realities of the parent/child toxicity in Sam Levinson’s dark suburban bizarro. A world where your daughter not only suffers from a clinical case of ADHD, but also severe depression that leads her to drug abuse and a succession of relapses. You’ve never seen a TV teen’s fix rage on her the way it has Rue (please give Zendaya all of the awards now). Viewing the acidic vitriol in which she verbally and desperately gutted her mother Leslie would tie anyone’s tubes. Your heart extends even further for her mother when considering that a child addict demands every ounce of their parent’s energy. Yet, Leslie has two daughters to raise and protect. How can a parent water their youngest with the affection and affirmation required for a human to bloom when their oldest lives on the verge of suicide?

--

--

Bonsu Thompson
ZORA
Writer for

Bonsu Thompson is a writer, producer, Brooklynite and 2019 Sundance Screenwriters Lab fellow.