The makers of HBO’s Euphoria bring the highly anticipated drama series The Idol to the small screen. If you loved the rapturous vibes and illusions of being on cloud nine presented in Euphoria, then you’ll love this new upcoming series premiering on HBO on June 4, 2023.
The major characters and the plot of The Idol are said to mimic real-life pop singer Britney Spears and the pits and peaks of her career and life in the limelight. This series brings together a mixture of rawness with pop sensationalism and fandom culture. Viewing only a glimpse of the show’s teaser, you’ll see physical intimacy, skimpy attire, and of course Britney Spears’ hit “Gimme More.” It’s no surprise since Britney Spears has made recent headlines with the Free Britney movement, which detailed the detrimental aspects of her life.
HBO’s The Idol is centered on a pop star named Jocelyn (played by Lily-Rose Depp) whose world is spiraling upside down. After a mental breakdown negatively impacts her last tour, Jocelyn is set to reclaim her name as America’s best pop sensation. As she ventures on to claim back her name in the game, she meets a nightclub maestro named Tedros (Able Tesfaye, AKA The Weeknd) with a gloomy past. Will Jocelyn regain her status in the industry, or will those she lets into her life allow her to fall back into the depths of her deepest struggles?
Transitioning from music to television
Are viewers ready to see The Weeknd in a new light as he goes from music to drama television? The Weeknd has been making his rounds in music. With hits like “Blinding Lights,” his collaboration with Ariana Grande on “Save Your Tears,” and not to mention, his current After Hours Til Dawn tour, it was only a matter of time until the Canadian singer brought his talent to the small screen. In more ways than one, the music star is now making his rounds to television in HBO’s The Idol.
The Weeknd will be working alongside Euphoria’s Sam Levinson in co-creating and starring in the series. He will be seen in a new light as he showcases his talent in acting and production. Many actors big and small have alternated between music and acting. From stars like Ariana Grande and J-Lo to Lady Gaga, these entertainers have all proved to be multi-talented.
Despite talent running deep in these stars, there are actors who seem to be more gifted in one talent than the other. Often when actors transition between music and television, they are poorly recognized in one talent versus the other. Sometimes notable stars tend to outperform in the talent they are known for rather than excel in both. Fans have yet to see The Weeknd in a large acting role so this is a first for the Blinding Lights singer.
Do fans and critics approve?
There’s no doubt that with two notable stars as main characters in this series, there would already be talk regarding what is yet to come of this show. Lily-Rose Depp is the daughter of Oscar nominee and highly acclaimed actor Johnny Depp.
A Grammy award winner and an emerging actor and daughter of an Oscar-nominated actor — the two stars have so much hype from the fandom to live up to. We’ve seen many musicians make the transition or shift between music and acting but it remains unclear whether The Weeknd can do both. Viewers will have to wait and see whether this musician can channel into a darker, more risque genre.
Euphoria was a huge success resulting in an upcoming third season. The Idol is said to contain the same mysterious vibes as the hit HBO drama. There may be similarities between the two dramas, but the sensitive mature content is a lot to handle for this new series.
The makers of Euphoria did an excellent job incorporating the intimate scenes as being integral to the plot. Without such intimacy being depicted, there wouldn’t have been such a clear portrayal of the type of relationships the characters have with one another. Because physical intimacy is such a sensitive topic to portray on television, it has to be correctly executed as a necessary element for scenes rather than simply filler content to set a tone.
In recent news, some critics of The Idol have expressed concern and view the sensitive nature of the show and adult content as too much to handle. Even the hit show Euphoria had its fair share of negative critics regarding explicit content that the stars of the show have since defended. According to a report done by Rolling Stone, critics argue that The Idol was intended to portray a vulnerable star who is exploited, but instead exploits its own cast members through this portrayal. Although depicting intimate scenes may be central to the plot, critics agree that the intimacy in the plot comes off as borderline pornography.
Like Euphoria, The Idol is not for the faint of heart. The show depicts a darker side of the industry. Through his portrayal of Tedros, viewers will soon be able to see The Weeknd shed his music image to become malevolent.
The Idol premieres June 4, 2023, on HBO at 9:00 ET/PT.
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Beverly is a Technical Writer by profession who enjoys all things celebrity news and pop culture.