Teen drama EUPHORIA causes controversy ahead of Australian premiere

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Foxtel’s controversial new drama series Euphoria is already creating waves ahead of its premiere next week, with calls from media watchdog groups to ban the show.

Starring superstar actor and singer Zendaya, Euphoria follows a group of high-school students as they navigate a mine field of drugs, sex, identity, trauma, social media, love and friendship.  The series will be available to Foxtel customers streaming it On Demand, and to watch on FOX SHOWCASE, from Tonight (Monday, June 17) at 9.30pm – just hours after its US premiere.

US censorship advocacy group the Parents Television Council has called for the show to be pulled, expressing concern that the series;

“appears to be overtly, intentionally, marketing extremely graphic adult content – sex, violence, profanity and drug use – to teens and preteens.”

Media reviews for the series have been just as controversial.  Variety have called the HBO drama “a wild, unsettling ride”, while the Hollywood Reporter questions “How much teen sex and drugs is too much?” 

Brian Walsh, Foxtel’s Executive Director of Television, said:

“This series is not for everybody and it’s not for your 14 year old. Parental Guidance is advised for our customers using streaming and there’s a good reason why the channel timeslot is 9.30pm. The show isn’t always easy to watch, and there is no question it pushes the boundaries, but it is provocative, authentic and unforgettable.” 

Based on the ground-breaking Israeli series of the same name, Euphoria is a provocative, authentic and unforgettable eight-part drama that puts a fresh spin on the coming-of-age narrative. The series takes an up-close-and-personal look at what it’s like to be a young person today, in a story that’s equal parts shocking and empathetic.

Serving as a guide through the teenage landscape of substance-enhanced parties and anxiety-ridden day-to-day life is 17-year-old Rue Bennett (Zendaya), a drug addict fresh from rehab, who’s struggling to stay clean and make sense of her future. 

Her life is changed drastically when she meets Jules Vaughn (Hunter Schafer), a trans girl who recently moved to town following her parents’ divorce, and, like Rue, is searching for where she belongs.

Also in Rue’s orbit are classmates Nate Jacobs (Jacob Elordi), a jock whose anger issues mask sexual insecurities; Maddy Perez (Alexa Demie), Nate’s on-and-off-again girlfriend; Chris McKay (Algee Smith), a football star who finds the adjustment from high school to college harder than expected; Cassie Howard (Sydney Sweeney), a sweet girl whose sexual history continues to dog her; Lexi Howard (Maude Apatow), Cassie’s younger sister and Rue’s level-headed childhood friend; and Kat Hernandez (Barbie Ferreira), a body-conscious teen exploring her sexuality. 

Creator/writer Sam Levinson directed five of Euphoria’s episodes. In addition to Levinson, EPs include Drake and Future the Prince. Ron Leshem and Daphna Levin, who created the Israeli series, also serve as executive producers.

EUPHORIA will be available to Foxtel customers streaming it On Demand, and to watch on FOX SHOWCASE, from Monday, June 17 at 9.30pm