Yesterday (May 22), HBO’s upcoming series The Idol premiered at Cannes. Attendees got to view the first two of the upcoming six episodes of the Sam Levinson and The Weeknd-helmed series, which is set to premiere next month.
While anticipation is high for the series — which is said to tell the story of a pop star named Jocelyn (Lily Rose Depp) who falls in love with a cult leader named Tedros (Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye) — the show appears to have been panned by critics. We’ll spare some of the more graphic details, but we’ve included portions of some of the reviews below.
Rolling Stone, who published an exposé about the show’s allegedly harsh production conditions, said that The Idol was even more scandalous than they imagined.
“The double-dose the festival screened felt nasty, brutish, much longer than it is, and way, way worse than you’d have anticipated,” read the review.
Variety described The Idol as a “sordid male fantasy” and said the show’s script “seems calculated to fool audiences into thinking they’re observing how Hollywood operates, when so much of it amounts to tawdry clichés lifted from Sidney Sheldon novels and softcore porn.”
The Hollywood Reporter called The Idol “an HBO series that’s more regressive than transgressive.”
Season 1 of "The Idol" debuts with a score of 20% on Rotten Tomatoes. pic.twitter.com/MvUHMtVDf3
— Pop Tingz (@ThePopTingz) May 23, 2023
Following the Cannes screening, the series has debuted with a 20 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Idol premieres on 6/4 on HBO and will be available to stream on Max.