“If Euphoria is an accurate high school experience, Misery is an accurate UofT experience.”
By Luis Sanchez, Arts and Culture Staff Writer
TORONTO, ON – Students around the UofT campus are currently mourning the end of Season 2 of Euphoria, HBO Max’s hit series starring Zendaya, Sydney Sweeney, Maude Apatow and Jacob Elordi. The show is an accentuated, stylized drama revolving around the chaotic lives of several high schoolers navigating sex, drugs and social media. Critics of the show called out Euphoria for sexualizing teenagers and glamorizing dysfunctional lifestyles and habits, critiquing Euphoria as “unrealistic” and “excessive”.
It seems that producers have listened to audience feedback and have taken that into consideration when crafting the newest spin-off to Euphoria titled Misery. This show, instead of revolving around teenagers at a high school, is now based on several undergraduate students at UofT. Executive producer Sam Levinson said, “We have put as much research into this show as possible to maintain integrity and accuracy to the typical UofT friend group to see how students truly interact with each other. We really wanted to nail the relationship dynamic and the internal struggle”.
While Euphoria covered mature content such as sex, drugs, and depression, Misery will also cover mature content, but probably only the depression parts, since most UofT students are too busy handing in labs and writing essays to indulge in the pleasures of sex and drugs. Trinity Times was granted an exclusive preview of the first three episodes, and we are excited to note that the accuracy is spot on. Twenty minutes of the second episode are dedicated to an undergraduate first-year named Anna who spent the whole cold open crying about her ECO105 midterm. Other plot threads revolve around characters grappling to come to terms with important life decisions such as “Should I sleep in or go to my TA’s office hours?”, “How do I beg for this particular extension?” and “How do I escape the Gerstein basement?”
The most risqué of plots in Misery was when the lead character Violet and her boyfriend Jake decided to buy a large bubble tea instead of a medium because “we like to spice things up in our relationship”, and then proceeded to do work on opposite ends of the table on their Macbooks because they had essays due the next weekend.
While Euphoria leaves you wondering whether you were missing out in high school, not partying and experimenting, Misery leaves you sullen and reflective about how the University of Toronto is an opposite experience, full of hours sitting alone at a library worrying about your degree and student loans.
While the cinematography in Misery is as inspired as ever in accordance with typical Euphoria standards, there are no raving nightclub scenes, no loud arguments between lovers in the middle of the night. Just the sounds of pencils writing on paper, fingers on keyboards typing away, and the sighs of tiredness filling the air. The glamorization of drugs and sex in Euphoria turns into the glamorization of actually watching your lectures on time, having cute notes, and buying 12-dollar coffees.
Basically, Misery is a hit.
Luis Sanchez is a Staff Writer for the Arts and Culture Section for Trinity Times and a first-year undergraduate student at Trinity College. He has never watched Euphoria and he’s actually really proud to say that.