Rating the Female Characters in Euphoria

Imagine waking up one day to discover you’ve turned into a ladybug. Horrified, you flutter around frantically, slowly realizing you’re trapped in some sort of Kafka-esque nightmare. To make everything worst, you’re not even a large ladybug, the size of a human. You’re the size of an actual ladybug.

Your small size, unfortunately, leaves you defenseless when your parents enter the room to awaken you for school only to discover “human you” missing. They do, however, see “ladybug you” zipping around the room and your last memory is a shoe slamming your tiny body into the wall, crushing you into literal pieces.

You die.

Fortunately, you still have a human spirit so you awaken in the afterlife grateful, albeit confused.

What was the point of turning into a ladybug if I was going to be killed so quickly, you wonder.

Unlike The Metamorphosis of which Gregor Samsa lived long enough to span the length of a novella, your transformation and lifespan leaves you feeling a bit disappointed. You didn’t even live long enough to become some sort of commentary on society! Your transformation gave no birth to a deeper meaning, you’re only left wondering if “ladybug you” had any point at all, or God was simply trolling you.

That’s what watching Euphoria felt like.

Anyway, if something is evoking mass pearl-clutching among conservatives, I will assuredly watch it myself. That said, having seen Euphoria I wouldn’t recommend anyone watch it unless they want to either feel better about their own relatively, drama-free high school days, or they want to feel generally depressed and slightly disgusted at how literal children are being sexualized

Nevertheless, I need something to blog about.

*Spoilers*

All opinions are my own and my opinions are 100% trash. My criteria basically is:

  1. Their removal would affect the plot
  2. They undergo some change/character development, good or bad
  3. We see different sides of their personality
  4. They have a plot of their own that doesn’t revolve entirely around a male character. OR
  5. They are well-developed within the confines of the role they are written to play 
  6. They don’t toss away every traditionally feminine trait in an attempt to be a strong, independent womyn

Maddy Perez

  • gaslight, gatekeep, girlboss
  • literally going to get violent
  • “she will actually kill you”
  • not dating the worst fictional dude on television (Nate) but he’s def like top 75
  • was basically assaulted at 14 by a 40 year old but the show presents it as if she was in control (???)
  • Cassie’s bff LOL
  • former pageant girl
  • basically my spirit animal as I too do not really want to do anything but be showered with gifts for being attractive
  • “did you feel loved by me?”
  • actually crazy

Maddy is quite toxic, highlighted early on by the fact she lies about being a virgin in order to be with trash Nate, lies about being with Tyler, causing him to get clapped so badly he spends a week in the hospital and loses partial vision, and she lies about Nate assaulting her, so now Tyler’s in jail. She was also madly in love with Nate, who actually strangled her (after she flipped his mother off at the carnival in a Molly-induced haze). Her entire plot more or less revolves around their incredibly toxic relationship, breaking up, making each other jealous, fighting, getting back together, and playing Russian roulette.

Still, Maddy is a good friend to those around her and she’s able to discuss Nate’s sexuality without judgement in a way he can’t with anyone else. Her confidence is refreshing, especially among teen girls who are expected to be insecure, quiet, and unaware of how attractive they are. Maddy is pretty, she knows it, and she makes sure everyone else knows it too.

Maddy Rating: 9/10

Kat Hernandez

Euphoria's Kat Is Not the Fat Teenage Girl Trope You've Seen Before | Teen  Vogue
  • cam girl
  • was a virgin at the start of the show, definitely not one now
  • takes a lot of pride in wielding her sexual prowess
  • has a cute hair cut
  • great fashion sense
  • not feeling her healthy relationship with Ethan
  • just love yourself, queenie!
  • put on a boat

Kat is like a literal child doing web cam stuff??? And while I appreciate the body positivity message here, the narrative presents her foray into web camming as somehow empowering like yes queen, contribute to the sexualization of children online! (???) Granted, Euphoria seems to go out of its way not to sexualize her on screen which is shady given how blatant they are in this area with other characters.

Kat initially has a relatively good character arc though. From awkward, virgin big girl, to confident dominatrix who dresses well and can seduce any dude, to realizing she was being mean for no reason and finally getting with Ethan, to again realizing that none of those things fulfill her emotionally either… she goes through quite a bit of change… good and bad.

Kat Rating: 9/10

Maddy’s Mom

  • in a relationship with a man who literally does nothing
    • they don’t even talk with one another
  • insisted on pressing charges against Nate – like yas queen

Maddy’s mother, for better or for worst, has given Maddy the foundation for what she believes love should be like, which is passionate. Whether passionately intimate or violent, doesn’t matter. She represents one of the shows themes, which is how one’s parents can form their child’s worldview simply by existing.

Mrs. Perez’s Rating: McKay n Cassie Taking Goldfish Shots/10

Lexi Howard

jay 🌻 on Twitter | Bob ross, Euphoria, Hairstyles for thin hair
  • the definition of “there”
  • side kick energy
  • Rue’s childhood bff
  • writer extraordinaire
  • FEZCO
  • willing to take a piss for Rue
  • the good girl
  • Cassie’s sister
  • dressed like Bob Ross for a Halloween party
  • The play

Lexi seems comfortable enough in herself not to be swayed by the masses and hook up merely for the sake of it. Then the story flips that and is like actually Lexi is just an observer and she’s shy. Still, she shows how one can exist in a wild culture without sacrificing their own desires and well-being just to fit in.

She sort of has a thing with Fezco at the start of S2 before he claps Nate, and the potential couple is a breathe of fresh air tinged with the slight scent of weed and other drugs. Lexi isn’t much developed as a character compared to the others though, and while we see how the disappearance of their father affected Cassie, we don’t really see that as strongly in regards to Lexy until the play, which was still mostly about her friends.

Lexi Howard Rating: 7/10

Gia

  • Rue’s lil sis
  • found Rue overdosed
  • starting to basically emulate her sister

Gia Rating: 5/10

Nate’s Mom

  • is apparently weak
  • her husband is a pedo man-hoe
  • makes really good chili
  • only time I ever liked Nate was when he was talking with her

She may have been given a name, but I don’t remember it.

Nate’s Mom Rating: Ashtray Hammering Mouse at the End of Season 1/10

Cassie Howard

Euphoria star reveals she cut 'unnecessary' Cassie nude scenes
  • Oklahoma
  • daddy issues
  • she doesn’t cheat on McKay 100% despite wanting to
    • she wanted to tell McKay that she’d messed around with some other dudes, but was talked out of it by her friends
  • dated like the only semi-decent (42%) dude in the show (besides Ethan) aka McKay
  • hates being alone
  • slept with her bffs on/off again boyfriend, Nate
  • has several creepy encounters with older male relatives as a child, which the show just grazes over as if this isn’t disgusting
  • wanted to be a figure skater
  • really loved her father
  • wakes up at 4 am to get dresses, only for Nate to only pay
  • attention when she’s dressed like Maddy lol
  • Is cRaZiEr tHaN MaDdY

Cassie has a sad past, with a father who essentially ghosted her, causing her to have trouble being alone and thus seek out men to fill that desire for companionship. Consequently, Cassie is sexual even to her own detriment, because that’s predictably what all the teen boys around her want her to be. This is highlighted best when McKay is pouring his heart and soul out about running through the 6 with his woes, and she’s groping him. She literally can’t relate to men without making it sexual, which becomes an issue when Nate gives her a ride.

Of all the characters on Euphoria, Cassie is the most unnecessarily sexualized. She is a literal child and the presentation of her sexuality feels exploitative, rather than an acknowledgement that teen girls have a sex drive. Nevertheless, it’s those traits that also make her relatable. Cassie is a sensitive, traditionally feminine gal in the midst of a culture that doesn’t value the things she desires, which is stability, love, and affection, highlighted best when she tells McKay she just wanted to pretend she was going to have the baby and in her stubborn pursuit of Nate.

Cassie Rating: 9.5/10

Jules Vaughn

Euphoria Part Two: Jules premiere date announced at HBO
  • Jewel
  • manic pixie girl
  • pretty great sense of fashion
  • always riding a bike
  • bffs with Rue… sort of?
    • left her at the train station lol
  • was cat fished by Nate… sort of (?) then blackmailed into helping him
  • has a dark and troubled past, having been institutionalized by a crazy mother
  • one of the few characters with a decent father relationship
  • gets into several incredibly dumb situations like I’m not even gonna talk about Cal but like literally who meets some dude they have never even seen pictures of at night, by a lake in the middle of the woods, alone?
  • tries to bone Elijah/the dude who sang to Rue for 40 minutes
  • genuinely cares about Rue, just it probs wasn’t a good idea to flush 8k of drugs down a toilet
  • wasn’t gonna expose Cal

Jules is not a good friend. Like who ghosts someone for a week and can’t even be bothered to text them back lol. Generally, Jules’ characterization presents a problematic idea that peak femininity is achieved in convincing mostly straight men to have sex with you as if a woman’s highest value rests in her ability to get laid, which is lowkey offensive. Also Jules is a literal child. For a show that claims to be liberal, they use a lot of dumb tropes (granted the show does have Anna (?) call her out on this… sort of).

When Nate was giving Rue his Jules is going somewhere speech I was like “homeboy, what?” Because Jules is a butterfly, aimlessly drifting about, who exists to give Rue temporary joy and to be blackmailed. Apart from those things, error 404: character arc not found.

Jules Rating: 7.1/10

Rue Bennett

Anyone Else Obsessed With Rue's Style In 'Euphoria'? | British Vogue
  • great hair
  • “Ruby Bennett”
  • everyone thought she died when she OD’d
  • always dressed comfortably
  • not very sexual but it’s not presented negatively
  • actually almost dies several times (overdose, meeting Bald Tattoo Dude, playing frogger with the cops)
  • platonic relationship with local drug-dealer, Fezco
  • sad past (dad died of cancer, struggled with several disabilities)
  • drugs
  • had 0 intentions of staying clean when she got out of rehab
  • my dude Ali was looking out for Rue, but she shaded him badly
  • carried around a whole suitcase of drugs

Rue is a sort of recovering drug-addict who falls in love with her bffl Jules, who is a partial catalyst for her recovery. Unfortunately, Rue needs a rock – something stable and always there. Jules is a butterfly, nice to look at but aimlessly flitting around. The relationship was doomed because they are fundamentally incompatible with, and also they are children lacking the ability to just communicate their individual needs with each other. Furthermore, Rue has no desire herself to remain clean and only does so temporarily for the sake of Jules, which is an unfair burden to place on anyone.

Of all the characters, Rue is the most selfish, regularly engaging in the most reckless, devil-may-care attitude because she truly dgaf. Those who say Euphoria glorifies drug abuse are tripping as Rue’s story shines a light on the reality of drug addiction, how difficult it is to break away from it, and the impact it has on those around them. All of which are presented negatively. Unfortunately, Rue doesn’t really want to be clean because she’s happiest when she high. And for a brief moment, she was able to feel that high with Jules.

Sadly, with Rue owing resident HBIC drug lord Laurie who also seems to be high-key trying to traffic her, it seems like there’s nowhere to hit but rock bottom, and even then one can still be buried 6 feet under. Only time will tell whether she ends up staying clean in season three, or nah.

Rue Rating: 10/10

There are characters I’ve missed like Rue’s mom, Faye, Fezco’s thug grandmother, Laurie, Vape Girl, Suze, etc. but honestly this is already too long.