Zendaya hits all of Hollywood in the face with the second season of ‘Euphoria’

The wait is over. Two and a half years after sweeping critics and amassing fans around the world, euphoria has returned with the premiere of its second season. The depressing but successful series of hbo max about the decline of trauma and its impact on the self-discovery of the American generation Z, he once again shows off his narrative mastery to bring out the worst in each character. And it does so with a dance of stories that dance in constant darkness while its protagonist, Zendaya, sentences once again the great talent that hides behind its image of ‘It Girl’.

And if with the first season he managed to win the approval of critics and an Emmy for his performance, With this second batch of episodes, it hits Hollywood in the face for how much it has been wasting it so far.

Promotional image of Zendaya in the second season of 'Euphoria'  (courtesy of HBO)

Promotional image of Zendaya in the second season of ‘Euphoria’ (courtesy of HBO)

It is true that Zendaya cannot complain when it comes to recognition and positioning in the industry. He steals the spotlight from every red carpet he steps on, he is one of the most sought-after figures to illustrate magazine covers and accumulates more than 121 million followers on Instagram. His name is synonymous with success and his rise as a star has long since skyrocketed. He has been a Disney star and experienced blockbusters as the great showman, In addition to being a youth idol as a result of euphoria and his participation in the Spider-Man saga. A phenomenon that, without a doubt, is experiencing its hottest moment as a result of its romance with its arachnid companion, Tom Holland.

However, beyond the lights and shine; even far from the role that she currently lives as a constant muse for designers; Zendaya harbors in her womb an actress capable of connecting with the public beyond fashions or productions designed to attract the masses with her presence. And she does it through an antagonist like Rue, leaving empathy aside to delve and expose her darkest parts as the addicted protagonist of euphoria.

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The HBO Max series picks up the story after the broadcast of the two special chapters that developed in the middle of the pandemic. Given the delay of the new season due to Covid-19, its creator Sam Levinson premiered two episodes -one in December 2020 and the other in January 2021- that serve as a link between both seasons. In the first we saw Rue during a session with her sponsor after having relapsed into drugs after the abandonment of Jules (Hunter Schafer). In the second we saw Jules revealing her own mother’s addicted past to a psychologist, thus explaining the confusion of feelings, rejection and guilt she feels around Rue.

The second season takes over after both chapters to resume the relationship between Rue and Jules, while the first lives in secret its worst addictive relapse. As the series once again expands its circle to delve into the stories of the rest of the characters – where we find lack of self-esteem, examples of abusive relationships, gas lighting and emotional manipulation – it is the figure of Rue that seems like the example of adolescent experiences that mark for the rest of life. Because in this second batch of episodes, Rue takes her addiction to unexpected extremes, taking a path of no return that will undoubtedly mark her life forever.

And all of this is reflected by Zendaya, delving into Rue’s pain over the death of her father but transforming it into her most monstrous facet.. The actress displays her talent with overwhelming dedication, taking her character down a descent into hell that encompasses despair as well as restlessness and selfishness.

Through tactics like breaking the fourth wall, Zendaya connects with the audience using Rue’s most manipulative side, turning his Hollywood star magnet into the season’s most depressing appeal.

And with such a display of talent, Zendaya remembers how little Hollywood has given her room to make her shine. In other words, if we look at her recent presence on billboards, we immediately notice that the industry has turned to her as an artistic beauty in the great showman, What sidekick identifiable in the skin of MJ in Spider-Man and they even gave him a place in one of the great productions of 2020, Dunes. However, in the Marvel saga they have kept her as the protagonist’s loyal friend-girlfriend-companion, providing doses of drama that play within the usual average of this type of character. That is, if we are honest: if this MJ was played by another actress, do you think we would notice her the same or would we notice her for being Zendaya? In my opinion, I lean more towards the latter.

While the trailers and promotions of dunes we were led to believe that he would have a leading role in the long-awaited sci-fi adaptation. But at the moment of truth, more than a few of us put our hands to our heads when we discovered that, in total, it only appears for about 7 minutes in more than two and a half hours of footage..

It is as if the cinema bet more on her attractive figure on the poster of the day, as well as her beauty and friendliness before the camera as a strategy to attract the masses, without offering her roles that take advantage of that talent that she shows in the HBO series. And seeing the great work you do in euphoria, Baring emotions in the crudest way, without narrative sweeteners or dressings that bet on her star figure, she spreads the feeling of being before an actress who could give much more than what the cinema allows her. Seeing his work in the new episodes of euphoria he couldn’t help but imagine his talent caged in a little imaginary box. A very nice and shiny box on the outside of which only Hollywood has the key to bring out what it keeps inside.

The second season of euphoria sentence that we are facing an imperfectly perfect and adult series, so darkly depressing that it even serves as an alert for parents around the world in terms of adolescent mental health and the influence of toxic filial relationships. But it also states that Zendaya has much more talent to offer than being Spider-Man’s cute girlfriend or Spider-Man’s secondary love interest. Dunes. So let’s see if Hollywood gets its act together and allows us to find out more about it one day.

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