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HBO has already given us the best TV show of all time (six feet under) and the best documentary of all time (Leaving Neverland) and now it strikes again with one of the best teen dramas of all time (Euphoria),.

Teen dramas have really changed a lot since I watched Dawson’s Creek in high school. This is much edgier, much more diverse, and much darker. Unlike the lilly white wholesome Dawson of my generation, the main character on this show Rue, is like a female Melo (see the comment section), a mixed race bad-ass who has sex with whites, dances to rap, and is not afraid to play hardball. She looks like she may have been cast by the show’s executive producer Drake.

Rue’s white drug dealer is very protective of Rue and thinks of her as his baby sister. So when the tall popular white jock blackmails Rue’s best friend, the drug dealer is having none of it. Even though the jock laughs in the drug dealer’s face and calls him “half-a-retard”, you can tell he’s spooked.

We’re so used to seeing the tall popular jock get his way by beating and blackmailing others, that to see this “half-a-retard” threaten him had me cheering from the couch.

Obviously dialogue on these shows is not meant to be over-analyzed or taken too literally, but what exactly is “half-a-retard”? I interpret it as someone who is roughly half way between average (IQ 100) and “retarded” (IQ below 70) intelligence, or someone who would score below 70 on only half the Wechsler scale (i.e. either the verbal half or the non-verbal half, but not both).

You might say the drug-dealer’s IQ is impaired by drugs and not genetically low, but because those with low genetic ability are more likely to end up on drugs, they serve to exaggerate cognitive inequality, while maintaining the genetic rank order. IQ after all is not an absolute score, but a ranking of where one stands compared to others of his generation and as we become adults, the absolute difference between ranks widens while inter-rank mobility remains limited.

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