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Euphoria and Yellowstone are quite alike: They both poke at the generational angst of their viewers

  • GQ

    "If you were trying to describe America’s generational divide by way of TV shows, you could hardly do worse than picking these two. Especially if the line you drew between them was 'the age of 40,'" says John Wilmes of Sam Levinson's HBO teen drama and Taylor Sheridan's neo-Western Paramount Networks series -- both of which are massive cable hits. "Yet," says Wilmes, "there are more similarities between the shows than it might seem. Both shows flatter the aesthetic preferences of their demographics. Both have a soft relationship with narrative coherence (and in Euphoria's case, objective reality). And both shows gesture, with equally hyper-watchable sensation, at the generational anxieties of their audiences: Yellowstone is about the difficulties of preserving the past, while Euphoria is about maintaining your humanity through unprecedented opportunities for stimulation and vanity. But let's be more blunt: Euphoria is Yellowstone for Zoomers, and Yellowstone is Euphoria for Boomers. Perhaps most importantly, both also boast creative visions formed by unusually individualistic television men. As prestige TV has absorbed more airspace in the broader entertainment economy, writers’ rooms and production teams have grown, not shrunk. This makes sense: a diversity of viewpoint is increasingly important in the television landscape, and huge budgets are typically executed through tight systems of checks and balances, in any industry. But these two showrunners, Sam Levinson (Euphoria) and Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone), buck the trend."

    TOPICS: Euphoria, HBO, Paramount Network, Yellowstone, Sam Levinson, Taylor Sheridan