Lily Rose Depp in a promotional shot for The Idol, sits on a table, staring at the camera.

It Looks Like We Might Be Spared a Second Season of ‘The Idol’

Content warning: sexual assault

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For those of us who got our hopes up for a new star-studded, sexy, drama-rama show on the HBO-adjacent streaming service MAX, what we ended up getting was a little … confusing. The Idol, which was billed as “the sleaziest love story in all of Hollywood” via the trailer, definitely delivered the sleaze it promised but not so much the story fans have come to expect from the HBO label. And although the show certainly is sexual, it’s not exactly what most viewers would think of as a fun kind of sexy. 

The show was co-created by Abel Tesfaye, who is better known by his stage name, The Weeknd, and by Sam Levinson, creator and main director of Euphoria. Since its June 11 premiere date, The Idol has received enough initial fan and critic blowback for its over-the-top egregious sexual content and lack of follow-up story that, according to Page Six, Tesfaye, who also co-stars along with Lily-Rose Depp, is not planning for a season two.

Other sources say this was always meant to be a limited series of one season. And HBO’s PR team tweeted Thursday that no decision has actually been made regarding the show’s future:

Still, a source reportedly told Page Six that working with Tesfaye on the set of The Idol was “not an ideal experience … and not one I am eager to repeat.” Another referred to him as “egomaniacal.”

We all know HBO doesn’t shy away from sex that is unnecessary to the story in its content, but some fans and critics are saying The Idol takes it to a new level, and didn’t have enough good things going on to back up the egregious sex. An article in Rolling Stone said instead of getting the next Euphoria like they were expecting, The Idol was more like “torture porn,” and that the show had “gone wildly, disgustingly off the rails.” 

13 cast and crew members reportedly dished on what they said was the inappropriate “rape fantasy” that Levinson and Tesfaye were making the show into. The Idol’s initial director, Amy Seimetz, and an additional leading actress, Suzanna Son, actually left the show after production was well underway when Tesfaye reportedly thought the show had too much of a “female perspective.” Then, Levison took over as director, reportedly overhauled the plot to take out that pesky “female perspective,” and ramped up the dark sex. 

One of the sex scenes between Depp’s pop star character and Tesfaye’s cult leader has been called the “worst sex scene in history” by British GQ, to which Tesfaye responded, “No. There’s nothing sexy about it.” So the story isn’t good, the sex scenes aren’t good, the acting is generally being panned … It looks like no one is really holding their breath for a season two.

(featured image: Eddy Chen/HBO)


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Author
Cammy Pedroja
Author and independent journalist since 2015. Frequent contributor of news and commentary on social justice, politics, culture, and lifestyle to publications including The Mary Sue, Newsweek, Business Insider, Slate, Women, USA Today, and Huffington Post. Lover of forests, poetry, books, champagne, and trashy TV.