She may have helped Spider-Man: No Way Home dominate the box office last weekend, but America’s sweetheart Zendaya may be about to break hearts with the second season of HBO’s teens-on-drugs drama Euphoria. Returning in early January, the show brings its cloud of bad vibes, extreme eyeliner, and sweaty house parties back to the streamer after a year-long detox.
HBO premiered the trailer for the second season—and the hangover that comes with it—earlier today. In the preview, Rue Bennett (Zendaya) shleps a mysterious suitcase around East Highland, going to drug counseling meetings, drug dens, and any other place Gen Z might be looking to score. How else do you expect them to rid their lives of the angst and boredom of adolescence?
The long-awaited second season found itself delayed due to the pandemic. We last caught up with Rue for the Euphoria special that aired in two parts in December 2020 and January 2021. Since then, things have gotten hazier as she continues to navigate addiction, friendship, and, ugh, high school. Plus, you got White Lotus-breakout Sydney Sweeney screaming about her faux Dolly Parton cosplay.
Writing for The A.V. Club, Kayala Kumari Upadhyaya gave both parts of the Euphoria special an “A.” She wrote of the first:
While I struggled with Euphoria’s first season and ultimately found its execution to be uneven—all style, little substance—its maximalist tendencies weren’t what pushed me away from the show. In fact, in its flashier moments, I found Euphoria to be intensely compelling and immersive. But its aesthetics were often hoisted by weak foundation, many of its characters struggling to really break free from their slotted tropes. “Trouble Don’t Always Last” marks an extreme change of pace for Euphoria, and it’s an impressive one. It’s likely that the very stripped-down episode is the product of being shot and produced during the COVID-19 pandemic, but while this is a very different Euphoria, it doesn’t ultimately feel like it’s missing something.
Created by Sam Levinson, son of director Barry Levinson, and based on an Israeli series, Euphoria brings its young cast back to the gutters of East Highlands. Along with Zendaya, the cast includes Maude Apatow, Angus Cloud, Eric Dane, Alexa Demie, Jacob Elordi, Barbie Ferreira, Nika King, Storm Reid, Hunter Schafer, Algee Smith, and Sydney Sweeney.
Euphoria returns to HBO and HBO Max on January 9, 2022, at 9 p.m. EST. New episodes air weekly on HBO and stream on HBO Max.