THE IDOL (2023) – A provocative and scandalous peep at the pop music industry


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Am I the only person on earth who likes this?! The series was universally condemned and poorly rated by critics and viewers alike. It is times like these that makes me wonder if I saw the same thing as the rest of the world. There are many series which are far worst that this and The Idol just does not deserve the brickbats it is receiving. In my humble opinion, I stand by my judgement that The Idol is a remarkable series for many reasons.

Firstly, its star power! Lead actress Johnny Depp’s daughter Lily-Rose Depp is a revelation in the titular role of a pop singing idol. Not only does she demonstrate a wide range of emotions to her role, she also did all her own singing and dancing. She really embodied her character Jocelyn and portrays her with an edginess and rawness that is seldom seen. Many viewers condemned her for taking on such a seemingly degrading role with all the nudity and sex. I honestly find that strange coming from a society that has been exposed to far worst images and sexualisation on television. Besides, I suspect her Jocelyn is probably a realistic and possibly even a toned-down representation of how some pop divas actually behaves. Lily-Rose is supported by an amazing cast, many of whom get the chance to showcase their singing talents as well. A standout here being Suzanna Son whose voice is really angelic. I remember being impressed by her singing when I saw her in the little-known indie movie Red Rocket. She was great then and even more phenomenal here. Many people condemned The Weeknd for his poor acting talents. They were focusing on condemning his character, the creepy and misogynistic Tedros. To me, he was just acting and all the backlash that he is getting is in fact testament to his acting skills for making himself so hateful. Finally, there is Jennie Kim, a member of the popular K-pop girl group, BLACKPINK. Jeannie may struggle with her command of the language and look a bit awkward in her acting, but she more than makes up for these shortcomings with her sensational dancing.

Jennie from Blackpink with Lili-Rose Depp

Then there is the music. The Idol is about a pop star in the pop music industry. It showcases the talents of one of today’s biggest pop stars, The Weeknd. The soundtrack is filled with original music and songs by The Weeknd which is a real treat in itself. Each of these songs can easily be a hit single in my opinion. The series gives us a peek into how songs can sometimes get develop and are interpreted differently to make them sound totally different.

Finally, I give the series’ director Sam Levinson credit for daring to be different. Sam was the man responsible for another provocative TV series Euphoria which was, unlike The Idol, highly praised. Sam has created a world filled with fascinating characters that are people whom you and me are unlikely to meet or know in our lives. The story is allowed to unfold in its own pace. There are some lengthy dialogue sequences which may put some viewers with short attention spans off, but I found these scenes to actually help strengthen the characterisation. It also allows us to really enjoy the music and songs as many are allowed to be sung without being abruptly cut off. The closing act was a bit unexpected but ultimately a fitting conclusion to a story about crazy demented people in a crazy demented industry.

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