The New York Times

No Longer All Sweetness and Light

It’s been only 16 months since Zendaya took her final bow on the Disney Channel, but her new HBO series, “Euphoria,” makes one thing clear: The parent-approved portion of her TV career is already ancient history.

In the series, debuting Sunday, Zendaya stars as Rue, a high school junior committed to numbing herself with vodka and whatever drugs she can get her hands on, after a failed stint in rehab. Between bouts of unconsciousness, she narrates a dark, graphically depicted world in which the local dealers have barely hit puberty, fentanyl is rampant and her classmates’ sex is not only casual but frequently documented. “It’s 2019: Nudes are the currency of love,” Rue explains in the first episode.

Based on the Israeli series of the same name and executive produced by Drake, “Euphoria” is a rare foray into teen drama for

This article originally appeared in .

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The New York Times

The New York Times4 min read
Baby Steps to Linking Mind and Machine
SAN FRANCISCO — Elon Musk aspires to make inserting a computer connection into your brain as safe and painless as Lasik eye surgery. On Tuesday evening, Neuralink, a company in which Musk has invested $100 million, was expected to detail the baby ste
The New York Times3 min read
Drug Overdose Deaths Drop in U.S. for First Time Since 1990
After three decades of ever-escalating drug overdose deaths, the tide of fatalities may have finally started to turn. Total drug overdose deaths in America declined by around 5% last year, the first drop since 1990, according to preliminary governmen
The New York Times5 min readTech
Don't Scoff at Influencers. They're Taking Over the World.
As social media expands its cultural dominance, the people who can steer the online conversation will have an upper hand.