Season 2 of HBO’s Euphoria ended on a fairly positive note, with the series being HBO’s second most-watched show of all time when it aired in 2022. Watching live on Sunday nights became popular thanks to the countless memes that sprouted from the show’s dramatic plotlines. But now that it’s been two years since Lexi’s play and the fight that ensued, and probably another year until filming for the next season even begins, it’s hard to see a full third season as the right step forward.

This isn’t to say that script delays are entirely Sam Levinson’s fault. The WGA strike lasted for nearly five months thanks to the AMPTP’s refusal to meet the guild’s reasonable terms, and the unexpected death of star Angus Cloud during that time also means that script revisions were likely needed as soon as work was able to begin again. According to Variety, there’s also a struggle to determine a clear vision for where these characters should go in what will likely be their final chapter.

It also already seems like a majority of the cast is outgrowing the series. Zendaya, Jacob Elordi, and Sydney Sweeney are all making their mark on the big screen between Dune 2, Saltburn, and Anyone But You, respectively. Hunter Schafer starred in the Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes last year, and stars in OD, an upcoming horror game from Hideo Kojima and Jordan Peele. Euphoria certainly put its stars in the spotlight, but now they may be shining brighter without it, even if they are committed to seeing the series through to the end.

Even as a fan of the series, it seems improbable to insist that these rising stars spend 25 weeks of their year to only film six episodes. As the Variety article mentions, turning the final season into a movie or specials like the ones aired between seasons 1 and 2 was suggested, and turned down, which feels like a mistake.

The specials centered around Rue (Zendaya) and Jules (Schafer), are arguably the best episodes of the series, especially the Jules-centric episode “Fuck Anyone Who’s Not a Sea Blob,” because it was co-written by Schafer and Levinson. With Schafer’s perspective and experiences influencing Jules’ story, we get to see a more fleshed-out version of her character than we’d seen previously. It’s a great reminder that just because you can write an entire series by yourself, doesn’t mean you have to (or that you should).

Schafer’s influence greatly helped this episode, and it, along with Rue’s, served as a perfect bridge between the two seasons, showing what Rue and Jules have been up to and how they handled the dramatic events of the season 1 finale. Since a time jump has been discussed for Euphoria’s next chapter anyway, special episodes like these set sometime after season 2 would be a good way to wrap things up and ease some of the pressure off of Levinson to craft a full season.

As executive producer, Zendaya has already shared some ideas for where Rue could end up, though they were unfortunately shot down by higher ups for not feeling tonally in line with the rest of the series. However, clearly Levinson has been struggling to craft the right ending for the series on his own. The bridge episodes have already proven how much better a collaborative writing process can be, especially when dealing with the heavy topics like drug addiction and mental health that are at the core of Euphoria. 

With film and television, especially now with so much studio oversight, it’s hard to find the right balance between a healthy collaboration and having too many cooks in the kitchen. It doesn’t make sense for every actor on the show to suddenly be as heavily involved in the writing process for their character as Schafer was for Jules’ bridge episode. However, for those like Schafer and Zendaya who are used to working closely with Levinson, and even Sweeney who has proven her eye for storytelling and shown a knack for producing through her latest film Immaculate, it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad idea to loop them into this process more.

“Fuck Anyone Who’s Not a Sea Blob” is such a solid episode because it comes from more than one person’s perspective. Schafer’s own experiences with being a trans woman in a patriarchal society clearly shine through, and we get a stronger picture of who Jules is as a person. Euphoria is ultimately Levinson’s vision, for better or for worse, but as the wait for season 3 continues to drag on without a clear direction in sight, the series could do with a return back to the storytelling methods that made its best episodes so great.

The post Euphoria Already Aired a Perfect Season 3 appeared first on Den of Geek.

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