“The Idol” Review: A Lackluster and Disappointing Drama


HBO’s new drama series, “The Idol,” premiered amidst much anticipation and speculation. Created by Sam Levinson, known for his work on “Euphoria,” and featuring star Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye, the show promised to explore the dark underbelly of the music industry. However, despite the initial buzz surrounding the series, “The Idol” fails to live up to expectations and instead falls into the trap of being a mundane and uninteresting watch.

“The Idol,” HBO’s latest drama series, had high hopes riding on it as it aimed to uncover the gritty reality behind the music industry. Created by Sam Levinson, who helmed the successful series “Euphoria,” and featuring the star power of Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye, expectations were set for a provocative and engaging show. However, the premiere episode of “The Idol” proves to be lackluster and fails to deliver on its promise, leaving viewers unimpressed and disengaged.

The story revolves around Jocelyn, played by Lily-Rose Depp, a troubled pop star reminiscent of Britney Spears, who seeks to revive her career following a breakdown. Introduced amidst the chaos of her handlers and a leaked private photo scandal, Jocelyn’s character fails to resonate with the audience. Lily-Rose Depp’s performance appears stilted and lacks depth, with her character reduced to one expression for most of the episode, making it difficult for viewers to connect with her.

The series takes a predictable route as Jocelyn encounters Tedros, the enigmatic club owner portrayed by Abel Tesfaye. Their meeting sparks an instant attraction, albeit one that feels superficial and forced due to the lack of chemistry between the actors. Despite her assistant’s reservations, Jocelyn invites Tedros into her world and shares her unreleased music with him. This encounter sets the stage for a clichéd narrative, as Tedros assumes the role of a Svengali, urging Jocelyn to explore her sexuality in order to enhance her artistic expression.

However, the premiere episode fails to offer any compelling or intriguing developments beyond this point. Unlike Levinson’s previous series, “Euphoria,” which fearlessly tackled sexual themes with depth and complexity, “The Idol” struggles to find its footing. The glitzy backdrop and allure of the music industry fail to inject the much-needed edge and distinctiveness into the show’s storyline.

It is worth noting that HBO’s decision to withhold advanced screenings of “The Idol” from critics who did not attend its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival raised eyebrows. This move suggests that the network, similar to Warner Bros. Discovery-owned CNN, sought to avoid negative reviews before the series reached a wider audience. However, such attempts to shield the show from early criticism only emphasize the lackluster nature of “The Idol.”

While it remains to be seen where “The Idol” will go from its underwhelming premiere, the initial episode fails to captivate and leaves little hope for an engaging and riveting storyline. The show’s inability to live up to its potential is evident, and it falls short of delivering the promised excitement and intrigue.

In conclusion, “The Idol” disappoints as a lackluster and uninteresting drama that fails to captivate its audience. Despite the involvement of renowned creators and talented actors, the series falls into the trap of clichés, predictable storylines, and stilted performances. As viewers eagerly anticipate further episodes, it remains to be seen if “The Idol” can redeem itself and offer a more compelling narrative in the episodes to come.