Starring: Lily-Rose Depp, The Weeknd, Suzanna Son, Troye Sivan, Moses Sumney, Jane Adams, Jennie Ruby Jane, Eli Roth, Rachel Sennott, Hari Nef, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Ramsey, and Hank Azaria
Creators: Sam Levinson, Abel Tesfaye, and Reza Fahim
I say this with no hyperbole, exaggeration, or doubt in my mind: The Idol is the worst show I’ve ever seen. After its mediocre-at-best pilot, the show turns into a disturbing and sleazy fantasy from co-creator Sam Levinson. Levinson thinks he’s making a smart satire on the industry, but in reality, he’s embodying everything he thinks he's commenting on. Not to mention, the direction is pretentious, and the writing is an embarrassment. Lily-Rose Depp is a rare bright light, but Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye’s performance is distractingly horrendous. Believe everything you’ve heard and avoid this show at all costs.
Where do I begin with this show? Yes, it’s a dumpster fire, but one you can’t look away from. The Idol is a pretentious art project, painting a picture of manipulation and finding inspiration in the darkest places, but it fails miserably in its execution. I’m probably one of the few that actually admired the show for what it was trying to pull off, but in its final moments, it ultimately left a sour taste in my mouth. In the end, my biggest takeaway from the series was that Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye should never act again.
While I admit The Idol isn’t particularly good, I don’t think it is, as one reviewer from The Guardian described it, “one of the worst programs ever made” either. Maybe that comes down to expectation management because I expected an absolute trainwreck; however, what I got was a stylish, sometimes sexy, bore of a show that features both above average performances (Lily-Rose Depp, Jane Adams) and a few less than stellar ones (notably, Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye, lacking the charisma his cult-leader character sorely needs to be believable). Do with this comparison what you will, but The Idol plays like Showgirls for the Euphoria crowd.