The Idol is the worst reviewed show in HBO history 6 months ago

The Idol is the worst reviewed show in HBO history

The Idol had everything going for it... until critics actually got to see it...

The Idol is the new show from Sam Levinson, the creator of HBO hit show Euphoria, which he developed with Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye. It stars Lily-Rose Depp as an emotionally vulnerable pop star who is kicking off development on a new album following some tragic incidents in her life, but she crosses paths with a self-help guru (Tesfaye), who might also be a cult leader.


He begins to control every aspect of her life, while those around her can't do anything to stop her new life direction. The first two episodes of The Idol debuted at the Cannes Film Festival this week... and to say it didn't go well is a bit of an understatement.

HBO has a reputation for delivering some of the greatest shows of all time - The Last Of Us, The Wire, Chernobyl, The White Lotus, Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, VEEP, we could go on and on - but they don't hit it out of the park everytime.

Some of their bigger misses, at least according to Rotten Tomatoes review scores, include The Nevers (49%) and The Time Travellers' Wife (38%), but the reaction to The Idol would make both of those seem like Succession in comparison.


At the time of writing, The Idol has a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 17%, a huge gap placing it dead last on the list of HBO shows. Here are just some of the eviscerations provided by critics who caught the first two episodes at Cannes:

The Playlist - "Lily-Rose is fully committed. She gives everything: body, soul, and heart. And yet, you can’t help but wonder why she must answer for this much while receiving only morsels of a character. She deserves better. Unless The Idol changes drastically in the next few episodes, she will be nothing more than the window dressing of a concept in service of a misguided, gross, unaware, and untenable vanity project. 1 out of 4."

Variety - "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. Showgirls at least was a thinly veiled All About Eve remake, whereas The Idol plays like a sordid male fantasy. 1 out of 5."

The Telegraph - "Sex talk that manages to be a turn-off in two different ways is some screenwriting feat. Even the music is dreadful. 1 out of 5."


Rolling Stone - "While it’s tempting to say that everything you’ve heard about it is true, that may be soft-selling how skin-crawling the experience of actually watching this satire (?) on the seven circles of showbiz hell is. The double-dose the festival screened felt nasty, brutish, much longer than it is, and way, way worse than you’d have anticipated. 1 out of 10."

The Idol will air in Ireland and the UK from Monday, 5 June.

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