“The Idol”, the New Series from the Director of “Euphoria”, a Satire that Doesn’t Bother

HBO Max is betting with "The Idol" to follow up the success of director Sam Levinson's previous production, "Euphoria".

Still from the series 'The Idol'

Photo: HBO Max

LatinAmerican Post | Julián Gómez

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Leer en español: “The Idol”, lo nuevo del director de “Euphoria”, una sátira que no logra incomodar

This Sunday, HBO Max unveiled the first episode of "The Idol", one of the most anticipated series of the year on the platform. It is not for less, The Weeknd will have the leading role and several pop artists will also be part of the cast. Many important 'fandoms' in the world will be waiting for the participation of each of their artists. However, there is also great expectation hanging over Sam Levinson. This is the production that takes place in the two seasons of “Euphoria”, a series that he created and also directs.

“The Idol” presents the story of Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp), who is used as a vehicle to satirically show the hypocrisy of the music industry in sexual and commercial matters. It also shows how this character becomes romantically involved with Tedros (The Weeknd), a modern day cult leader. Everything comes after an emotional collapse that she suffers due to the loss of her mother weeks after releasing her next record.

The Sam Levinson Formula

In addition to what is explored in "Euphoria" with drug abuse, Sam Levinson usually works in depth on the need for psychological therapy in adolescents.

Her second experiment also starred Zendaya opposite John David Washington in "Malcolm & Marie." This film also explores lessons that could well be taught during a couple's therapy session. With minimalism in the use of a single location and two characters, it manages to cover various problems that a couple may have.

With “The Idol”, Sam Levinson seems to move away from the formula of leaning on therapeutic reflections from the psychological. The main plot points to a challenge that is not easy to achieve with the help of The Weeknd in creativity. It is worth mentioning that the director had been close to music superstars like Drake, who is executive producer of "Euphoria."

Failure of “The Idol” in Cannes

The decision to have some episodes of the series released as part of the Cannes Film Festival did not go as expected at all. At least since the criticism, the failure has been resounding. On both Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes, the series has average reviews that don't exceed 25 out of 100 points.

One of the points most attributed to the series is the unnecessary or inappropriate use of the explicit. The main complaint from the critics coincides with the amount of clichés and laziness in the elaboration of the characters. In many cases, the use of the sexual as bait is alleged to appear irreverent and novel. On the other hand, there are those who believe that simply choosing a festival like Cannes for the premiere was a poor choice given the type of productions that premiere there.

Read also: "The Extortion": An Intense Argentine Thriller on HBO Max

Is It as Bad as they Say?

The big problem with the series, beyond the argument that tries to be satirical with the music industry, is in the contrast that exists in the interpretation of the protagonists. Lily-Rose Depp ended up being the biggest hit, while The Weeknd's performance ended up being almost pitiful. In addition, the satire that it tries to show ends up being overshadowed by the almost absurd weight of the sexy.

It can also be rescued that despite having such a light plot, it manages to entertain the viewer at times. Likewise, it generates curiosity to know what this story saturated with excesses traversed transversally by the hypocrisy that they want to reflect about the industry derives from.

Hardly as a production, "The Idol" could come close to the phenomenon that "Euforia" provoked. The distance between the two series with the photography and the soundtrack is wide. If “The Idol” doesn't go unnoticed when it ends, it will be because of the 'fandoms' of the pop artists that appear on the screen.

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