HBO’s ‘Euphoria’ Is Actually Based on an Israeli Show

Since its premiere in June 2019, HBO’s Euphoria caught their viewer’s attention. The show explores dark themes, like drug addictions and mental illnesses, while still feeling like a realistic and honest portrayal of life as a teenager. Although HBO premiered their show in 2019, the story of Euphoria started a few years before that. Here’s a little history of the Isreali show behind the HBO hit.

HBO Euphoria
Sam Levinson, Zendaya, and moderator Elaine Welteroth | Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for HBO

HBO’s series, ‘Euphoria’ is based on an Isreali show

Although the show was produced in conjunction with rapper Drake, the contents of the show are actually based an on Isreali show, entitled Euphoria. The Israeli version of Euphoria premiered in 2012 and contained some shared themes as the HBO series.

Of course, at the show’s core, it’s about the struggles of adolescence, from mental illness to drug addiction to violent and abusive relationships. Some notice that the main difference is how explicit, raw, and honest HBO’s Euphoria is.

Euphoria | Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images for FIJI Water

The Isreali show has the same title, ‘Euphoria’

Producers on the show include the rapper Drake, as well as Ron Leshem and Daphna Levin, the creators of the original Israeli show. However, the cast of this version is different from the original. It includes Hunter Schafer, a transgender model, actress, and LGBT rights activist. The Greatest Showman and Spider-Man: Far From Home actress, Zendaya, portays the narrator/protagonist of the show.

“There’s going to be like lots to say about it because it’s so honest in a lot of ways. I mean, it is what it is, but I think at the end of the day, it’s someone’s story. If it’s not your personal story, it’s someone’s story. Specifically like literally some of them are literally Sam [Levinson’s] stories,” said Zendaya in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

“I think another thing is, this show is not meant to be a political statement,” Zendaya continued. “I think that we don’t want it to be that. We just want it to be a reflection in a beautiful way of storytelling that allows people to think and connect and feel, however, they choose to feel about it. But it’s definitely not supposed to be this political statement about the world, you know what I mean? I think we tap on things and discuss things that are tough, but again, it’s storytelling. It allows the audience to see things how they choose to.”

When does the next episode of HBO’s ‘Euphoria’ premiere?

Last week, fans of Euphoria watched the “Bonnie and Clyde” episode, where Nate faced some repercussions from his night at the carnival. Up next, fans will learn more about Christopher McKay and his journey with football. Some fans hope for the best between Rue and Jules, as their relationship and their lives get more and more intertwined.

The Israeli version of Euphoria only enjoyed ten episodes or one full season. Recently, HBO announced their show will return for a second season, starring Zendaya, Hunter Schafer, and most of the original cast.

New episodes of Euphoria premiere Sunday nights on HBO and HBO Go.