Euphoria: 7 Differences From The Israeli Series It Is Based On

Even some of the biggest super-fans of Euphoria have no idea that the show was based on an Israeli series of the same name. The original show ran for only one season almost a decade before the popular remake was released on HBO.

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The show's writers and producers, which include Sam Levinson, Drake, and Zendaya, have yet to reveal how they crossed paths with the Israeli series. Having made so many changes to the show and its characters that served as its foundation, it's easy to see why the U.S. version of Euphoria has made a name for itself that is so detached from its original.

Both the Israeli and the American series critique the parents of the high school students that the show centers around. The American show does so by detailing the character's relationships with their children - like Cal and Nate Jacobs, two of Euphoria's biggest villains - while the Israeli show takes the opposite approach.

Since the original show didn't feature any parents, it was critiqued upon its release for painting Israeli parents in a neglectful and therefore unfavorable light. Interestingly, the HBO version of Euphoria has been criticized for being unrealistic as well - although this critique typically has little to do with parenting.

Both shows center around a character that is using drugs to cope with a tragedy. In the U.S. series, this is Rue (Zendaya), and in the Israeli series, it is Hofit (Roni Dalumi). In the latter, it is revealed that the main character died of an overdose and is narrating from beyond the grave.

Interestingly, the adaptation of Euphoria chose to keep Rue as a narrator. Although Rue's drug use leads her to the brink of death many times within the first two seasons, it is not yet revealed whether or not she, too, is narrating from the other side. While there are Euphoria fan theories on sites like TikTok that Rue is already dead, the show makes too many other changes to the source material to say for sure.

Unlike its US remake, which is both filmed and set in the 2020s, the 2012 Israeli series of the same name is set in the '90s. This was in an effort to illustrate how the instability of Israel at the time had impacted its youth.

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A key component of HBO's Euphoria is that the main character, Rue, was born on 9/11, the day New York's famous twin towers were struck by planes in a coordinated terror attack. This event marked a huge cultural shift in America, just as growing tensions with Palestine shifted Israel's culture in the '90s.

The beloved and quotable character Fezco, played by Angus Cloud, was loosely based on the character Dekel, played by Dolev Mesika. One key difference between the two is that while Fezco is a dealer, Dekel just likes to experiment with psychedelics.

Another major difference between the two is their relationship to the main characters. The link between the two is that they provide the girls, Rue and Hofit, with drugs. However, Fezco is like a brother to Rue while Dekel reveals his sinister intentions when his efforts fail to seduce Hofit.

Fezco's younger brother Ashtray (Javon Walton) is heavily based on the character Tomer (Uriel Geta). In the Israeli series, Tomer is driven to kill Hofit's ex-boyfriend after being bullied by him for years.

Unlike his remake counterpart, Tomer is much more heavily featured in his series and has more interaction with different members of the cast. It's easy to see how both characters are alike, considering Ashtray's violent streak. This contrast might leave fans wishing that Ashtray was given as much screentime as his Israeli counterpart.

Many fans were upset with the way that Kat (Barbie Ferreira) was portrayed in the second season of Euphoria. While Kat goes through a difficult time, it's nothing compared to what the character she was based on, Noy (Amit Erez), went through in the original series.

While Kat's sexual exploits do temporarily land her in hot water with her best friend, Maddy, they don't really have any long-term consequences for the character. In the original series, Noy's similar storyline has devastating and life-changing consequences.

Although it isn't a straightforward cause-effect relationship, Rue's drug use is tied to the death of her father in some of Euphoria's most powerful scenes. The character she was based on, Hofit, begins experimenting with drugs after her date murders someone at a party.

Since her date chooses his target for flirting with Hofit, she feels responsible for his death and tries to dull that pain with drugs. However, her relationship with drugs remains somewhat experimental, while Rue's is consistent with addiction. This side of Rue's character was based more heavily on Sam Levinson's early life (per Variety).

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