When I was a teenager back in the '90s, the biggest teen dramas were shows like Beverly Hills 90210, Dawson's Creek or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
With Donna Martin turning up drunk to prom, Dawson Leery crying as the girl of his dreams literally sailed off into the sunset with his best friend, and Buffy Summers battling supernatural creatures in cemeteries, it truly was a quaint time for teenage escapades on our TV sets.
Of course, that's all a distant memory now and even more so this week as HBO dives into the teen drama genre with its new series, the gritty and extremely graphic Euphoria.
Created by Sam Levinson and produced by Drake, Euphoria sees teenagers dealing with drugs, sex, social media, online porn, body confidence and sexuality in an often brutal, unflinching fashion.
Former Disney star Zendaya plays 17-year-old Rue, a troubled young woman who opens the show telling us she was born three days after 9/11 and has been struggling with her "middle-class childhood in an American suburb" ever since.
After a summer spent in rehab that's done little to curb her crippling drug addiction, Rue is about to embark on a new school year along with a bunch of other students navigating the perils of being a teenager in 2019.
There's Kat (Barbie Ferreira), who's cultivated a rabid following online with her erotic fan-fiction and is desperate to develop the same persona in real life; Nate (Jacob Elordi), a star quarterback with rage issues and unusually in-depth knowledge of child pornography laws; and Cassie (Sydney Sweeney), who's trying to escape from the shadow of some nude selfies.
But it's new student Jules (Hunter Schafer), an ethereal trans girl, who gets the most screen time alongside Rue. The two characters have an immediate connection and hold each other close as Rue navigates her drug addiction and Jules looks for escape in men she meets online.
Both actresses are phenomenal in these central roles. I refuse to believe this is Schafer's screen debut, such is her assuredness as sweet, strong, messed-up Jules, while Zendaya's turn as anti-hero Rue manages to be both beautifully understated and incredibly raw when the depths of her addictions take hold.
Zendaya's role as the show's narrator is also exceptional and provides a few moments of much-needed levity among an avalanche of misery and the sea of nudity which frequently strays into gratuitous territory.
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It's this nudity that's garnered the most column inches ahead of Euphoria's release and not without good reason. The sex scenes are graphic as the teen characters act out what they've seen in porn videos, while there's an actual parade of penises at one point. It often feels like the makers of the show are trying to give the One Million Moms brigade a collective heart attack rather than add to their story in any meaningful way.
But the parents having a conniption over the nudity needn't worry about any glorification of drug use here. For every stylishly shot, beautiful-looking trip Rue takes in Euphoria, there are the equally unglamorous scenes: terrifying run-ins with drug dealers, ugly screaming matches with parents and drug overdoses witnessed by scared little sisters.
Euphoria might be a very bleak exhibition of the troubles teens face today, but it's a strangely compelling one, and is thankfully sprinkled with small moments of defiance. A teen who falls victim to a sex video she didn't consent to, for example, manages to turn the situation to her advantage. And Rue delivers a bold rebuke to anybody tut-tutting over the sending of nude photos.
"I know your generation relied on flowers and your father's permission, but it's 2019 and unless you're Amish, nudes are the currency of love," she says. "Stop shaming us. Shame the dudes who create password-protected online directories of naked underage girls."
Sure, being a teenager has sucked since forever ago (and parental panic over what teenagers get up to has been around for almost as long), but it's undeniable today's teens face social issues that previous generations haven't had to contend with. And while Euphoria is very much an exaggerated portrayal of those troubles, there will be moments in this series that ring true enough to have us all wishing kids could be more like '90s-era Buffy where the sole worry was how best to slay blood-sucking demons.
• Euphoria is available on Neon on Mondays and screens on SoHo2 Fridays at 9.30pm.