This ‘Euphoria’ Sequence Had Major ‘Always Sunny’ Energy07/29/2019
• Euphoria‘s seventh episode depicted Zendaya in a tangent sequence as a hard-boiled detective.
• It also brought an iconic It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia sequence to mind.
• The sequence served as a larger presentation of the highs and lows that go along with a bipolar disorder diagnosis.
Those who’ve watched Euphoria have probably noticed a pattern: the show doesn’t feel married to any given format, artistic pattern, or structure of any sort. Sure, we get a lot of the same visual stylings, and the music generally seems to come from the same package. But from Erotic One Direction Fan Fiction anime sequences, to an instructional seminar on the Art of a Dick Pic, the show is always willing to break off on a tangent at any given moment. The latest episode saw a curious Rue slip into a full-on hard-boiled, chain-smoking detective homage, but it also brought a particularly memorable sequence to mind: one from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Yup. As Rue went into old-timey crime investigation mode to try to figure out why in the world Jules would help Nate get out of trouble, she started smoking a lot of cigarettes, and pacing back and forth. Maybe—let’s be real, probably—this sequence was intended as an allusion to film noir detectives of the ’20s and ’30s (she also referenced Morgan Freeman in Seven and other similar films in the 90s in the episode). But me? I was thinking Charlie Kelly the whole way.
It’s not just Zendaya/Rue’s suspenders and cigarettes in the tangent that brought Philadelphia’s prodigal illiterate janitor to mind—it’s the mannerisms, the intensity, and the wailing. Jump to 1:45 in the video above and look at her frantic energy as she knocks on the bathroom door and describes her memory of the night in question with Jules.
Compare that to…oh, any moment in this absolutely incredible bit of work from Charlie Day:
That is a marvel. We’ve talked a lot about how impressive Zendaya’s work has been in Euphoria, but bringing part-Humphrey Bogart-esque detective, part Charlie Day energy to the role is truly operating on a different plane.
An additional note: the episode also established Rue as questioning whether or not she was suffering from a previously undiagnosed bipolar disorder. Where the episode showed her depression in the form of watching 22 straight episodes of Love Island and not even leaving bed to go to the bathroom, the depiction of her mania as a caffeine-and-cigarette fueled hard-boiled detective was an inspired choice. There’s never an obvious way to depict a mental illness, but once again Euphoria made a bold choice, and this is one that feels like it really worked and paid off.
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