HBO TV series, The Idol, has created quite a stir in the entertainment industry because of the collaboration between music sensation Abel Tesfaye (also known as The Weeknd) and renowned writer-director Sam Levinson, who is known for his hit show “Euphoria.”
However, after the initial excitement, The Idol became one of the year’s most criticized and polarizing series.
The Promising Concept
The series “The Idol” had great potential to be innovative. Tesfaye and Levinson intended to explore the music industry’s dark side by creating a dramatic storyline.
The cast boasted an impressive lineup, featuring established actors like Dan Levy, Hank Azaria, and Jane Adams, alongside emerging talents such as Troye Sivan, Jennie Kim from BLACKPINK, and Moses Sumney.
Lily-Rose Depp, daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis, took on the role of the troubled pop star Jocelyn, while Tesfaye himself portrayed the sleazy club owner/producer, Tedros.
What went wrong with The Idol?
Viewers quickly expressed their disappointment with the show. The reviews from the Cannes Film Festival screening were not great, with the show being labeled as chauvinistic, superficial, and try-hard-provocative.
The adverse reactions increased after The Idol’s official premiere on HBO, and the series faced even harsher criticism.
The explicit and degrading portrayal of Jocelyn by Tedros faced significant Backlash, with the series accused of promoting a disturbing fantasy figure of female submission.
Flaws in Execution
Additionally, The Idol failed to captivate its audience because of its lackluster execution. The show’s attempts to provoke the audience often became boring, as the plot was stretched over five episodes.
The series, filled with numerous musical performances and scenic shots of Los Angeles, needed a clear narrative direction.
Although there were occasional moments of brilliance and satire towards the music industry, many plotlines of the industry lacked depth and resonance.
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A Troubled Production
Behind the scenes, The Idol encountered numerous hurdles. Director Amy Seimetz departed the project, leaving Levinson to take over, causing creative direction concerns.
Negative perceptions of the show were fueled by reports of rewrites that turned it into sexual torture porn. Truth be told, the production’s troubled journey ultimately affected the final product and disappointed viewers.
Despite the star power and initial hype, The Idol fell short of expectations, leaving a sour taste. The show’s failures highlight the importance of balancing artistic expression and responsible storytelling.
The Idol Lackluster Finale
Despite building up anticipation through hints of a larger story, The Idol’s finale falls short. Surprisingly, Jocelyn (played by Lily-Rose Depp) is revealed as the mastermind behind the chaos, while our attention had been on Tedros (portrayed by Abel ‘The Weeknd’ Tesfaye). Jocelyn had been pulling the strings all along.
In the end, numerous theories swirled among viewers. Would Tedros commit murder? Could Joss potentially engage in a violent outburst while on tour? The answer – None of the above. The only significant shift occurs for a minor character, Rob, who is falsely accused of rape and digitally replaced in a film—an objectionable cultural commentary. “The Idol” falls short of engaging and attempts to critique feminism and #MeToo, hindering the enjoyment.
The Idol started with great promise, fueled by the collaboration between music icon Abel Tesfaye and talented creator Sam Levinson. However, the series ultimately failed to live up to expectations, facing severe Backlash for its explicit and degrading portrayal of women.
The show’s troubled production and lackluster execution contributed to its demise. This serves as a reminder that even if a project has all the necessary components, it can still fail if not handled properly with consideration for the audience’s feelings.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: The Idol. Featured Photo Credit: Warner Bros/HBO..