Note: This article was originally posted on 8/20/20 at 11:15 A.M. CST - Ed.
Season one of Euphoria concluded with one of the strangest bits of spectacle we’ve seen in a while, setting Rue Bennett’s (Zendaya) drug relapse to her version of Labrinth’s R&B haunt “All For Us.” The impromptu musical pivot was unexpected, but spoke to the show’s intent to stand out among today’s dramatic offerings and piqued interest in the continuation of Rue’s coming-of-age journey. (And with all its peculiar turns, it managed to garner a much-deserved Lead Actress Emmy nomination for Zendaya.)
But a merciless pandemic cares not for our curiosity regarding Jules Vaughn’s whereabouts, and as long as it’s still not safe to restore production to its full glory, fans of the aesthetic hit are going to have to wait. Zendaya appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday night and talked about the delay with guest host Ben Platt. “We’re trying to figure out how to eventually be able to create a season two that we’re all really proud... while also still being safe,” Zendaya said after noting that the cast had done season two table reads and costume fittings prior to the shutdown. “So we might end up doing a little bridge episode... an episode that we can do with a limited amount of people in a safer environment that can give people something... and give everyone who loves the show a little something so we have something to live on until we are able to go into season two.”
A number of shows have released virtual episodes to tide audiences over until U.S. production can safely resume, including Apple TV+’s comedy Mythic Quest and CBS’s legal drama All Rise. A show like Euphoria, which follows arguably our most social media-savvy generation, has an opportunity to execute a very creative story via a number of platforms, if they actually decide to go through with it. Who wouldn’t want to watch hours of Tik Toks from Kat Hernandez, or a few Facebook Live feeds from Fezco (who we hope is all right)? Rue’s malaise with online therapy, anyone? There are options.
Zendaya also knows a little bit about filming during a pandemic: She and John David Washington linked with Euphoria creator Sam Levinson to film an entire movie in secret, which was revealed in July. Malcolm & Marie, which is already garnering whispered comparisons to Marriage Story, required a hefty amount of safety precautions like separate quarantines and a ban on leaving the set—measures that work for smaller productions, but would be a challenge for a project with a lot of people—like, for example, a wildly dramatic series set in a bustling high school.
UPDATE, 9/23/20 @ 2:12 P.M. CST— Deadline confirms that a COVID special episode of Euphoria is, in fact, in the works and that the show is currently slated to resume production next year. HBO president Casey Bloys confirmed the forthcoming “bridge episode” on Sunday—the same night that Zendaya won an Emmy for her leading role in the dramatic series.