thoughts on the idol

by julius 

In a world dominated by provocative and boundary-pushing television, HBO's latest series, The Idol, for 5 weeks served as a testament to the pursuit of captivating storytelling. Created by Sam Levinson, known for his critically acclaimed work on "Euphoria," and infused with the electrifying presence and sounds of The Weeknd, this show immerses viewers in a hedonistic Hollywood landscape that is both alluring and terrifying. Despite facing widespread criticism, I must confess that I found myself enthralled by this show. It not only kept me on the edge of my seat with its relentless shocks but also lured me with its captivating aesthetics and depiction of Hollywood.

Initially, I expected more of the same from Levinson, along with The Weeknd playing a predictable character aligned with his musical persona and perhaps contributing a few songs from his upcoming album. However, the first episode revealed something unexpected: These guys love soft porn and at its core, The Idol aims to satirize the superstar lifestyle, and despite the potential for a heart-wrenching story, it succeeds in captivating viewers through aesthetics and feelings alone, evoking a multitude of emotions throughout its nearly hour-long episodes.

Now let's delve into the emotions elicited by The Idol. To me, this series is a masterclass in toe-curling, cringe-inducing moments that leave you torn between skipping ahead and watching with morbid fascination. It's akin to being unable to look away from a train wreck, succumbing to the urge to witness just how much crazier it can become. The show skillfully treads the line between satire and horror, engaging viewers in a wicked dance that leads them deeper into a realm of unease. At times, it feels like a full-blown horror movie, enveloping you in a sense of dread. Yet amidst the chaos, there's an eerie familiarity, blurring the boundaries between fiction and reality, as if the show is peering into the lives of past celebrities. While many may scoff at the audacity of The Idol, I found myself constantly yearning to see how the stakes would be raised.

Although the story follows a familiar pattern of a pop star going through a tough time, the show defies expectations, opting for unconventional choices, whether they succeed or not. The exceptional cast enhances this confusion by delivering compelling performances that truly embody their characters. The Idol doesn't take itself too seriously, and neither should we. It's a tantalizing blend of horror, satire, and pure absurdity that keeps viewers on their toes, unsure whether to cringe, cry, or burst into laughter. And that, my urliens, is the magic of this series.

As mentioned earlier, the show's magic is fueled by its stellar ensemble cast. While Lily-Rose Depp steals the show as Jocelyn, her performance resonates with every pop star who has endured a tumultuous journey, be it Britney, Prince, or others. She portrays Jocelyn's inner conflicts and vulnerabilities in a way that kept me rooting for her, even as she navigates the haunting depths of stardom. The Idol showcases a constellation of talent that illuminates the screen. Each actor brings their A-game, adding layers of depth and intrigue to their characters. Even The Weeknd, transitioning from a popstar to an actor, delivers a fantastic portrayal of his sleazy character named "Tedros Tedros."

Even though his acting may be lackluster in some scenes, he accurately captures the essence of an insecure, narcissistic individual in the industry. From the constant display of tough-guy bravado that induces cringes to the rampant homophobia and Jim Jones-like cult leader tendencies, The Weeknd's performance embodies the dark side of Hollywood perfectly. With every passing moment in the show, the audience grows to despise his character while remaining in awe of his successful manipulation of Jocelyn. Together, the cast creates a magnetic pull that keeps viewers glued to the screen, eager to witness the extent of their pursuit of success.

The Idol is not Succession, Euphoria, or any other HBO classic that people may readily compare it to. It offers a unique viewing experience that cannot be easily dismissed. Driven by breathtaking aesthetics, exceptional acting, and a narrative that oscillates between horror and satire, it stands tall as a series that takes viewers on a rollercoaster of emotions. It Navigates a delicate line between too much, and just enough. Despite its controversial nature, The Idol definitely left a mark on my mind.

Should you watch it? Only if you want to. Is the controversy surrounding the show warranted? Maybe. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely.

till next time..

madeintheurl 2023