One of the most anticipated shows of the year is HBO’s The Idol created by The Weeknd and Sam Levinson. Although information regarding the show has been rather limited until its Cannes Film Festival premiere, there were already concerns surrounding the limited series. A report from Rolling Stone detailed some of the behind-the-scenes drama with interviews from 13 members of the crew. HBO and The Idol creators faced accusations of fostering a toxic work environment while the show’s content was compared to “torture porn.”
Unfortunately, the debut of The Idol didn’t necessarily push back against these claims but instead, according to critics, reinforced them. Kyle Buchanan of The New York Times compared the show to “a Pornhub-homepage odyssey,” largely due to the number of nude scenes involving Lily Rose Depp. Meanwhile, Gregory Ellwood of ThePlaylist.net called the first episode “eh,” although admitted there were some funny scenes as well as cool stylistic choices. However, he described the second episode as “sexist, pseudo-porn.”
“The Idol” Reportedly Doesn’t Live Up To The Hype
With The Weeknd’s name attached, The Idol became one of those shows that people believed could be great. However, following the Rolling Stone piece, there have been a number of people skeptical on what he has in store. During the red carpet, Sam Levinson and Lily Rose Depp provided a direct response to the allegations. “I just wanna say that it’s always sad and disheartening to hear mean, false things about someone you care about, and it wasn’t my experience shooting the show,” Depp said, per Rolling Stone.
At the same time, Levinson acknowledged that show was intended to be provocative. Still, he was caught off-guard by some of the claims. “When I read the specifics, however, it just felt completely foreign to me. But I know who I am. There’s the work, and there’s the managing of the persona. And that is not interesting to me, because it takes away from the work,” he stated. “They’re free to write whatever they want. My only gripe is that they intentionally omitted anything that didn’t fit their narrative. But there’s been a lot of that lately.”