Buy the ticket, take the trip
My rant this week is part music, part TV plug. There's a new show on HBO called Euphoria and literally everyone I know has been talking about it. The last thing I wanted was to get peer pressured into watching yet another television show. I mean for real, how many shows can one possibly watch? Who has that kind of time? But my best friend and general tastemaker basically said, "Maya, this show will be everything for you." And turns out the bitch was right. Not only is the subject matter incredibly appealing (to my dark twisted mind) —high school, teenagers, drugs, sex, violence, more drugs, hallucinations, house parties, more sex — the music on the show is next level.
Music supervisor Jen Malone gets most of the credit on this, along with British musician/producer Labrinth, who does the show's official score. Mixed together, their music contributions add sonic texture to visceral, cinematic scenes filled with deep purple and blue lighting, glittered faces, and dark undertones of danger lying just below the surface. Plus, most of the episode titles are borrowed from classic hip hop tracks, a subtlety I only realized when researching the soundtrack.
Created by Sam Levinson, who was a teenage drug addict, and based on an Israeli miniseries of the same name, "Euphoria" paints an oftentimes unrealistic picture of wealthy suburban high school life, unless you grew up in a wealthy suburban neighborhood and went to a wealthy suburban high school. To me, the show hits home, having gone to Calabasas High School, where kids had sex, did drugs, fucked in pools at parties, hung out with drug dealers, and experienced varying levels of violence from time to time. If only my high school experience had been soundtracked so perfectly, with just the right track for that psychedelic induced spiral staircase trip through the halls of a football player's house party.
The theme and slogan of "Euphoria" is "feel something," an ethos rampant in the drug-addled characters ceaselessly, desperately searching for more. All I can think as I'm watching them fuck up while relentlessly fucked-up is, "what song is this?" So if you find yourself falling for my plug, feeling this peer pressure, watching the show, and wondering the same thing yourself, here's a playlist I compiled. Completely inspired by teenage hedonism. TRIP. —Maya Eslami