Euphoria Season 2 Emmy Predications – Crafting Analysis

Season 2 of TV’s boldest visual and audio series argues that voter respect should grow beyond music, costumes and makeup.

IndieWire Craftsmanship at its best

HBO’s gritty teen drama Euphoria had an immediate impact on Season 1 and became a cultural phenomenon as it was the streamer’s second most-watched show after Game of Thrones. It has pulverized viewers with Gen Z trauma over sex, drugs, violence and social media. As IndieWire’s Jim Hemphill noted, the “conceptual and technical fearlessness” of showrunner Sam Levinson and his craft teams inspired the “passion, fear, and rage” of his teens (led by Emmy-winning actress Zendaya as the drug-addicted and unreliable narrator Rue).

Yet “Euphoria” underperformed at the Creative Arts Emmys, winning just two out of five season one nominations in 2020. These were for contemporary (non-prosthetic) makeup and an original song (“All For Us” by Labrinth). (The show’s other 2020 nominations: Contemporary Costume, Original Score, and Music Supervision.) Then, in 2021, “Euphoria” was snubbed for its two special episodes, after being nominated for its kinetic and colorful cinematography and again for Contemporary Costume and was form.

Will the fact that “Euphoria” didn’t win any of the craft awards it was nominated for last year hurt its chances in those categories this season? Not necessarily. What’s special about “Euphoria” is that it’s a triumph of style over substance. But Season 2 saw a dramatic change in direction – exploring the characters’ inner psyches through more introspection and a new visual aesthetic. That could affect voter perception and improve their chances of more wins and nominations.

What crafting categories does Euphoria compete in?

According to HBO, “Euphoria” is being nominated for the following Creative Arts Emmys:

  • Outstanding Single Camera Photo Editing for a Drama Series (“The Theater and Its Double”)
  • Outstanding Cinematography for a Single Camera Series (One Hour)
  • Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series
  • Outstanding Contemporary Costumes (“Try to Get to Heaven Before They Close the Door”)
  • Outstanding choreography for scripting
  • Outstanding Contemporary Hairstyling (“The Theater and Its Double”)
  • Outstanding Contemporary Makeup (Non-Prosthetic) (“The Theater and Its Double”)
  • Outstanding Musical Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score) (“Out of Touch”)
  • Outstanding Music Supervision (“Trying to Go to Heaven Before They Close the Door”)
  • Outstanding Original Music & Lyrics (“I’m Tired” and “Elliot’s Song”)
  • Outstanding Production Design for a Contemporary Narrative Program (One Hour or Longer) (“The Theater and Its Double”)
  • Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour) (“Standing Still Like a Hummingbird”)
  • Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour) (“Standing Still Like a Hummingbird”)
  • Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Limited Series, Anthology, or Movie
  • Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Single Episode (“All My Life My Heart Has Desires for Something I Cannot Name”)
  • Outstanding Stunt Performance (“You Who Cannot See, Think of Those Who Can”, “Stand Still Like the Hummingbird” and “All My Life My Heart Has Longed For Something I Cannot Name”)
"euphoria"

“Euphoria”

HBO

Cinematography: The move from digital to film

The surest bet for success is cinematography. That’s because Levinson and cinematographer Marcel Rév switched from digital wide format to 35mm in season 2 and revived Kodak’s Ektachrome film stock. The result was a shift from mirroring the visual language of its teenage protagonists in Season 1 to nostalgic memory of evoking old photographs in Season 2. This look was conveyed through Ektachrome’s creamy green and amber glows and the blown out contrast of a thin negative. The eye-catching eight-minute flashback at the beginning set the tone with the Ektachrome. It is the backstory of drug dealer Fez (Mason Shea Joyce), who was introduced to the violent drug trade as a child by his grandmother (Marie O’Neill). However, the kinetic, crane-heavy choreography continued to add to the explosive interplay between the characters and “the liminal spaces, the underworlds between rationality and irrationality…”.

The rest of the field: Here’s what “Euphoria” is up against: previous nominees “Bridgerton” (Netflix), “Ozark” (Netflix), “Stranger Things” (Netflix), and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon Prime Video), along with such Newcomers like “Pachinko” (Apple TV+), “Severance” (Apple TV+), “Squid Game” (Netflix) and “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” (HBO). In particular, Adam McKay’s dramatization of the Showtime era with Magic Johnson (Quincy Isaiah) is a direct competitor with its own cinematic aesthetic of memory. Cinematographers Todd Banhazl and Mihai Malaimare Jr. ambitiously experimented with different stocks and formats to create archival footage that functions as a “collective memory” pop culture mixtape.

euphoria

“Euphoria’

Eddie Chen / HBO

Costume Design: Embracing the Dream World

The costume design of Heidi Bivens, who received two nominations for Season 1, was also influenced by Ektachrome’s “shifting of the color arcs”. Influenced by runway fashion and social media, Bivens took the opportunity to make bolder choices. Like Rév’s work, this should catch the eye of Emmy voters. “I was thrilled to cross the line between the reality of the world we had created and the dream world that exists in the characters’ minds and memories,” she said. New arrivals included Faye’s (Chloe Cherry) anime-inspired halter and Uptempo Nike sneakers inspired by “Cowboy Bebop” as well as Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) and Maddy (Alexa Demie) in matching outfits. Plus the eclectic theatrics featured in episode seven of The Theater and its Double, with Lexi’s (Maude Apatow) provocative high school play Our Life about her classmates.

The rest of the field: But Biven will face considerable competition from newcomers like Emily in Paris (Netflix’s CDG winner this year) and Squid Game (Netflix), as well as previous winner Russian Doll (Netflix) and the nominated Hacks (HBO Max), “Black-ish” (ABC) and “This Is Us” (NBC).

"euphoria" Dancers in the school play

“Euphoria”

Eddie Chen / HBO

Music supervision: The fine line between reality and hyperreality

Season 2 offered another creative and eclectic playlist (100+ songs) that conveyed the mood and story arcs of the key characters. Music supervisors Jen Malone and Adam Leber worked again on showrunner Levinson’s favorite tracks in the script while uncovering their own surprises (like Ericdoa’s unreleased electro-rap song “Sad4whattt”). However, given the more reflective tone, the line between reality and hyper-reality blurred even more. This reached a climax with Lexi’s “Our Life,” highlighted by the homoerotic showstopper “Holding Out for a Hero” (directed by Bonnie Tyler), in which Ethan (Austin Abrams) poses as the fictional Nate (Jacob Elordi) in a hallucinatory pumping iron Scene.

The rest of the field: But three-time winner “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Prime Video), heading into the ’60s with a renewed burst of creativity, will be joined by “Bridgerton”, “Stranger Things”, “Russian Doll”, “, “Yellowjackets ‘ (Showtime) and ‘Atlanta’ (FX).

Play Euphoria Season 2 Episode 8

“Euphoria”

Eddie Chen / HBO

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product design

One of the goals will be to continue the Emmy momentum across a variety of nominated categories, including Original Songs (this season’s entry: “Elliot’s Song” by Dominic Fike and Zendaya) and Doniella Davy’s groundbreaking makeup work. Another is to break down into other categories, including production design, sound mixing (sound editing is usually reserved for more action-oriented shows), and editing. Production designer Jason Baldwin Stewart directed Lexi’s play Our Life, making it feel like an authentic, albeit expensive, high school production. There were two challenges: distinguishing the look of the play from the rest of the episode and bouncing back and forth between meta-moments on stage and rattling reactions from classmates in the audience. This was accomplished through the creation of an auditorium with a turntable onstage that allowed set changes with Levinson’s desire to create in-camera transitions with dreamlike motion. Stewart told IndieWire, “We do a lot of aerial footage on ‘Euphoria,’ and we see more ceilings and floors than most shows — footage that’s hard to get in a static location. It took some thought to build this auditorium to maximize space and support as many long lens and crane shots as possible.”

The rest of the field: However, the contemporary production design competition will come from “Succession” (HBO), “Squid Game”, “Ozark”, “Russian Doll” and “Emily in Paris”.

sound

With further deep immersion in the musical playlist (the series is like a mini-musical at times), particularly with the inclusion of the “Our Life” track, it stands to reason that sound mixing should play a role for its dramatic impact.

The rest of the field: However, competition comes from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (a previous winner), Stranger Things, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (Paramount+), Foundation (Apple TV+), Severance (Apple TV+). ), “The Man Who Fell to Earth” (Showtime) and “Outer Range” (Prime Video).

euphoria

euphoria

HBO

editing

In terms of editing, Levinson and Rév’s change in visual approach had an impact, resulting in a “more restrained but poetic editing pattern” for executive editor Julio C. Perez IV. He enjoyed the impressionistic tone and ambiguity, but wasn’t afraid of the show’s bombast. This was particularly useful for conveying the doppelganger theme between various characters, particularly Nate, whose sexual insecurity was underscored in the number “Holding Out for a Hero” in Lexi’s play. “By breaking down dualities like good and evil, we’re reaching out a little bit and trying to really understand what it means to be toxic versus non-toxic and how someone can be very complicated,” Perez told IndieWire.

The rest of the field: Prospects for an edit nomination – dominated by prestige dramas Success, Severance, Stranger Things, Ozark, Better Call Saul (AMC) – will depend on whether voters take Euphoria more seriously and being nominated for Best Drama Series.

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https://www.indiewire.com/2022/06/euphoria-season-2-emmy-predications-craft-analysis-1234728680/ Euphoria Season 2 Emmy Predications – Crafting Analysis

Lindsay Lowe

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