When the 2020 Emmy nominations were announced July 28, the biggest surprise was easily Zendaya landing her first career nomination. The 24-year-old performer earned a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series thanks to her work in HBO’s “Euphoria.” The high school drama aired its first season way back in summer 2019, so not many Emmy pundits had “Euphoria” or Zendaya on their radar for the 2020 Emmys. Fortunately, the show proved to be a buzzy word-of-mouth hit with viewers and Zendaya proved revelatory as the recovering drug addict Rue (watch her “open the door” scene from episode three, which she wisely submitted to the Emmys), so much so that she took home the prize over Jennifer Aniston (“The Morning Show”), Laura Linney (“Ozark”), Olivia Colman (“The Crown”), Jodi Comer (last year’s category winner for “Killing Eve”), and Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”). Zendaya is now the youngest winner ever in the Best Drama Actress race. Comer previously held the record as she was 26 when she won in 2019.
Zendaya won the Emmy, which means “Euphoria” is coming out of Emmy season as a multiple winner. The show made a big impression at the Creative Arts Emmys with five nominations: Outstanding Contemporary Costumes, Outstanding Contemporary Makeup (Non-Prosthetic), Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score), Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics, and Outstanding Music Supervision. The series won the prizes for Outstanding Contemporary Makeup and Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics thanks to Labrinth’s “All of Us” from the season finale “And Salt the Earth Behind You.” To put things into perspective, “Euphoria” has now given HBO more Emmy wins than the likes of “The Leftovers” and “The Wire” combined.
Where does “Euphoria” go from here? The show will return for a second season, but it’s anyone’s guess when that will be. The production was just days away from the start of filming Season 2 in March when Hollywood shut down for the coronavirus pandemic. Zendaya teased the “Euphoria” team might put together a bridge episode to holdover fans in the long hiatus between seasons. Zendaya next stars in the Netflix film “Malcolm and Marie,” directed by her “Euphoria” showrunner Sam Levinson.