'Euphoria Special Episode Part 2: Jules' Is A Little Better Due To Hunter Schafer, But Levinson Still Negatively Effects The Show
By Sal LoCicero | January 24, 2021
We have finally made it to a new year, 2021, and although it hasn’t been such an easy start as we all had hoped, there still may be a bright future ahead. Last year, so many cheap and terrible films and TV shows were available right at our fingertips. We had Quibi, Cuties, Wonder Woman 1984, I’m Thinking Of Ending Things, Capone, more Netflix originals, Mank, Palm Springs, Da 5 Bloods, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, and Euphoria: Trouble Don’t Last Always.
HBO’s latest controversial coming of age drama has come back once again to bring us another television special from the demented mind of Sam Levinson. In December, HBO and A24 released Euphoria Christmas Special (Trouble Don’t Last Always) which its only purpose for existing was to lecture viewers about the chaos and complexity that is our society. While Zendaya and Colman Domingo were the highlights of that special, everything else was so aggravatingly generic. Euphoria has become one of the most controversial shows yet, due to its depiction of depression, abuse, violence sex, rape, porn, drugs, toxic masculinity, social media, mental health, and love. It became so controversial that the news picked up on it.
January is coming to an end, and Euphoria has another special for its viewers ‘Euphoria Special Episode Part 2: Jules (F*ck Anyone Who’s Not a Sea Blob). After seeing how Rue reacted to the incident between her and Jules at the train station, we got to see and hear about her struggles with everything involving herself, her relationships, her feelings for Jules, the world, her purpose, her past, etc.. In Part 2, we get a peek inside the mind of Jules Vaughn (Hunter Schafer), and just how Part 1 felt like an hour long therapy session, this special actually takes place in one.
We get more inside Jules’s mind as well as her life and how really messed up her world is. Just as the Christmas Special couldn’t get any deeper and complex, this Special Episode is here to prove otherwise. This episode is written by Sam Levinson and Hunter Schafer and you can really tell just by how the whole episode is structured. The editing is really on point with the writing, as if both have their own secret language. Just as much as Euphoria; Season 1 and Euphoria: Trouble Don’t Last Always isn’t for the majority, same goes with this. There are a lot of symbolism, expressions, and exaggerations in this hour long special than there has been in this show. At times it definitely works and you have to catch up, other times it just feels gratuitous. This episode is as much of a modern work of art as it is a jumbled self-fixated mess. Which may possibly be a win for this episode since it’s focus is on a character who is stuck in a faze in which she feels so many emotions about herself and others. In the opening sequence, we get a montage of all the events which took place in Season 1 that is connected to Jules. The concept of that sequence was probably great, however the execution ruined that idea. Hunter Schafer gives the best performance without a doubt. She defeats every star in this special, including Zendaya. It takes a lot for a supporting character to outdo the main character, but if this special shows us anything, one thing is that Jules is a more relatable character in many ways.
As she expresses herself and her feelings, we find ourselves closer to her than we think. Everything that is on her mind, we can all relate to. Her frustrations, her worries, her nightmares, her excitement, her happiness, all of it is something that we can actually find in ourselves; like how we think, what makes us upset, what frightens us. Deep inside the message is that in our own ways, we are all Jules. Which is due to Hunter Schafer having her part in the writer’s chair. If anything, Schafer should’ve had absolute control as the writer, unfortunately Levinson couldn’t let go of the writer’s chair, so he found a way to represent his own deep creativity, which of course is the biggest negative.
Sam Levinson is one of the most twisted and demented minds working in hollywood today. His filmography is full of the same content that he has continued on with for Euphoria, Assassination Nation, Euphoria Christmas Special, and assumingly his upcoming Netflix feature ‘Malcolm and Marie’. All involving characters who are toxic in some way. The man is turning into his own genre that is extremely dark and beyond brooding. He is also involved in the writing of this special as well as the directing. He has written every single episode of Euphoria and has directed five out of the eight episodes. Each one has had the same exact dark and foul tone because he is in full control as the writer. He adds nothing new in Part 2, it’s like having that one friend over who no one (including you) likes, but they keep showing up even if you’ve made it clear to that person that you are not a fan - that’s exactly what Sam Levinson is. Marcell Rév’s cinematography is nothing significant, he as well as Drew Daniels’s cinematography are coming off as a clique rather than picturesque. The cinematography has no sense of theatricalism or originality, instead it is reminiscent of cinematography that you have seen over and over in modern hip-hip music videos. No originality whatsoever as well as the music choice and Labrinth’s original score which are like parodies to such impactful music.
Euphoria Special Episode Part 2: Jules (F*ck Anyone Who’s Not a Sea Blob) proves that Hunter Schafer is a force to be reckoned with, but Sam Levinson is a sickness to this show.