Euphoria is back — and fans can't get enough!
On Friday, HBO Max debuted the first of two standalone episodes in the series, set immediately after the season one finale and before the eventual second season. The Rue-centric entry stars Zendaya — fresh off her Emmy win for outstanding lead actress in a drama series for playing the teen struggling with addiction — and Colman Domingo as her sponsor Ali.
The intimate episode instantly drew an emotional response from fans who have eagerly waited for more of the show since the season one finale aired in August 2019. (Season two was delayed due to the pandemic, and the special episodes were shot this year under health safety protocols.)
"Euphoria is FINALLY back in an hour. The only good thing about 2020," one viewer wrote Thursday night, counting down to the release of the new hourlong episode, which is titled "Trouble Don't Last Always."
"emmy winner zendaya making me cry rn," tweeted one fan about the emotional episode, as another praised, "Zendaya & Colman Domingo just blessed us with one of the best hours of television in 2020."
"zendaya showed y’all why she won that emmy!!!" added one fan of the 24-year-old star's performance. Another viewer marveled at the powerful impact of the small-scale episode: "I never thought two people sitting and talking in a diner would have me this emotional."
"This new episode was sooo important, loved every bit of it," wrote another viewer.
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Domingo, 51, thanked fans for their response to the episode, writing on Twitter: "Woke up like it was Christmas Morning. Thank you for so much love for the special episode of @euphoriaHBO. I love the world that Sam creates and I love working in such detail with @Zendaya. We hope to heal souls. Happy Holidays."
Zendaya previously teased the idea of standalone episodes airing prior to a full follow-up season. Back in August, she said on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that producers were exploring how to hold fans over until production can resume.
"We're trying to figure out how to eventually be able to create a season 2 that we're all really proud of and get all the best out of it that we want but also still being very safe," Zendaya told guest host Ben Platt at the time.
"We might end up doing a little bridge episode," she added. "I don't know how to describe it, but an episode that we can do with a limited amount of people in a safer environment that can, I don't know, give people something."
The title and date of the second special episode have not yet been revealed.
Zendaya and creator Sam Levinson, 35, also collaborated on another project during the pandemic lockdown: a secret movie project, co-starring John David Washington. Titled Malcolm & Marie, the movie was shot over the summer and will be available to stream soon on Netflix.
"I am so grateful to this cast and crew, many of whom are my Euphoria family, for coming together during such uncertain times," Levinson said in a press release about the movie. "We felt privileged to be able to make this film together and we did so with a lot of love. We are all thrilled that it has ended up with Netflix which is unparalleled in allowing filmmakers the freedom to tell their stories that reach audiences all over the world.”
Euphoria is now available to stream on HBO Max.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.
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