Recently, HBO unveiled the release date and teaser trailer for its upcoming teen drama series Euphoria, which follows “a group of high school students as they navigate love and friendships in a world of drugs, sex, trauma and social media.” The new series — produced by Drake and starring Zendaya — will be HBO’s first scripted drama that grapples with the lives of high schoolers, as the network dips its toes into the coming-of-age, young adult genre. A24 — the production company responsible for indie hits Lady Bird, Moonlight, and Hereditary — will serve as the co-producer for the series.
Drake, who gained recognition for his role in Degrassi: The Next Generation, will be executive-producing a teen drama that is much edgier and grittier than the Degrassi franchise. Euphoria gives off a vibe akin to Skins, a U.K. series that explores controversial storylines and depicts the complicated lives of British youth. Euphoria is actually based on an Israeli show of the same name, which aired between 2013 and 2016. It is unclear how close the American adaptation of Euphoria will be to the original, but Ron Leshem and Daphna Levin — creators of the Israeli drama — are executive producers for the new series. The Israeli series was explicit, exploring themes around sex, violence, drugs, trauma, and identity.
The cast for Euphoria includes actor and singer Zendaya, LGBT activist and model Hunter Schafer, Maude Apatow (Girls), Jacob Elordi (Kissing Booth), Sydney Sweeney (Sharp Objects), Lukas Gage (American Vandal), and Storm Reid (A Wrinkle in Time).
Zendaya will play Rue, a “lying, drug-addicted 17-year-old” who narrates the series. Euphoria will premiere Sunday, June 16 on HBO.