What’s happening with HBO’s new series The Idol is incredibly bizarre and yet somehow entirely predictable. But before we dive into episode two and its controversial intimate scene, let’s rewind a bit to before the series even premiered.
The Idol was created by Sam Levinson, who is also the mastermind of HBO’s hit series Euphoria. A few months prior to its June 4 premiere, The Rolling Stone published an in-depth investigation into the series and reported that there were scenes deemed “too sexually violent” to film.
Then, a couple of months after those reports at the series’ official premiere at Cannes Festival, Levinson not only hit back at Rolling Stone‘s report but he also said borderline delusion things such as “sometimes things that might be revolutionary are taken too far.”
That was about as good as things got for The Idol at Cannes, as the subsequent reviews resulted in the series literally becoming the worst-reviewed HBO series of all time, which is a true black mark when you consider how synonymous the brand has become with quality.
At the time of this writing, the series boasts a paltry 26% score on Rotten Tomatoes after just two episodes. This finally brings up to the most recent episode, which features a scene between stars Lily-Rose Depp and The Weeknd that British GQ has claimed is “the worst s** scene in history.”
British GQ isn’t alone, however, as regular television watchers on Twitter seemed to agree.
“I will never see The Weeknd the same after this,” one person tweeted.
“The Weeknd’s mind is rotted from too much p*** consumption bc that scene was disgusting. and notice how again, he didn’t even take his shirt off while Lily was n****,” said another.
One apparent fan of the show tweeted that while they understand Jocelyn’s storyline, The Weeknd’s character and performance are killing the show: “I can see what they were trying to do. Jocelyn’s story is totally captivating and Lily-Rose Depp’s performance is mostly great but when we introduce The Weeknd, he completely ruins it and this scene was absolutely unforgivable lol.”
Despite the controversy and intense reactions from TV watchers, the series may be turning into a hit for HBO as the premiere episode racked up 3.6 million viewers, which is more than both The White Lotus and Euphoria had.
The first two episodes of The Idol are currently streaming on Max, with new episodes premiering on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. EST.