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‘The Idol’ Review: The Weeknd and Lily-Rose Depp Face Controversy Ahead of Show’s Premiere

Here’s everything we know about ‘The Idol’ so far!

The Idol
The Weeknd (Tedros) and Lily-Rose Depp (Jocelyn) star in The Idol. Image: Max/The Idol

Max, formerly known as HBO Max, is a subscription service that’s proficient at keeping an audience entertained. Making it no surprise that the platform is one of the most popular global streaming services. The highly anticipated drama television series ‘The Idol’ will premiere on Max on June 4, 2023.

One of the main characters in this series is the global superstar The Weeknd. The Toronto star isn’t just starring in the series–he also created the soundtrack “The Idol Vol. 1!”

“I’ve been inspired by The Wall and Purple Rain and when Bowie was doing it, but even films like Shaft, the music is literally telling the story of the film. But I want to take it to the next level. I want to challenge myself, and I feel like, as a musician, I’m the best I’ve ever been.”

Abel ‘The Weeknd’ Tesfaye, Interview Magazine (2023)

The Idol Vol.1

In April, The Weeknd revealed two tracks for the series soundtrack–”Jealousy Guy” and “Double Fantasy.” The single Jealosy Guy is a cover, or so to say remake, of John Lennon’s hit song “Jealousy Guy,” released in 1971. The second single, Double Fantasy, was released on April 20, 2023.

Since its release, Double Fantasy has accumulated more than 13 million views and 400 thousand likes on YouTube. In addition, Double Fantasy debuted at No.18 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and secured a top ten spot on the Global Spotify Chart with 4.2 million streams.

“While the verdict is still out on whether The Idol will be a hit, “Double Fantasy” is a magnetic yet slightly underwhelming addition to The Weeknd’s discography. “Double Fantasy” opens with a suggestive saxophone tune which leads into the song’s main production. Like most popular songs released by The Weeknd, the artist sings of being a toxic lover. And yet, it’s acceptable because of how well it works.”

Eryn Murphy, Euphoria Magazine (2023)

The Idol Plot

The Idol
The Weeknd (Tedros) and Lily-Rose Depp (Jocelyn) star in The Idol. Image: Max/The Idol/Lily-Rose Depp/The Weeknd

Co-created by The Weeknd, The Idol is expected to be one of Max’s best television drama series. Additionally, Lily-Rose Depp is set to star in the series. What makes this series highly anticipated is its plot. For instance, The Idol follows a club owner, manager, cult leader and self-help guru who has begun a complicated, perplexing relationship with a rising pop star idol. Drama and romance are two of the most intriguing, popular movie genres, ultimately making this television series worth watching!

Moreover, the plot continues to thicken! On May 23, 2023, it was announced that Euphoria star Alexa Demie would make a cameo appearance in The Idol, starring as her character from Euphoria, Maddy Perez. Although the role Demie plays in the series is kept top secret at the moment. Fans can expect a star-studded performance from Demie, or at least iconic fashionable looks, considering she’s one of the most popular, best-dressed stars on Euphoria!

Alexa Demie constantly has viral scenes, video clips, and photos recycling on numerous social media platforms, such as TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, making her the perfect person to guest star in The Idol. In addition, since Demie’s role is kept a secret, it’s possible that other stars from Euphoria could make a surprise cameo appearance– that will undoubtedly wow viewers!


As we know, at every level, there’s a new devil. It’s quite amazing that The Weeknd has expanded into film and television culture. Unfortunately, the media, such as Rollingstone, are coming out of hiding left and right voicing their opinions about The Idol. Thus, influencing social media users and bloggers to do the same. Is there something happening behind the curtains in Hollywood? Did these critics already watch all of the episodes of The Idol before the public?

One must ask themselves why the media is determined to paint The Idol a particular picture when the series isn’t set to premiere till June. According to Rollingstone, The Idol is the subsequent Euphoria with a splash of “twisted torture porn.” In addition, Rollingstone has received unsatisfactory information from The Idol’s production team, such as claims that the production of the series was infiltrated with numerous reshoots, rewrites, and delays.

“Interviews with 13 members of the show’s cast and crew revealed claims that the show’s on-set working conditions were often chaotic and that the series had taken a dark turn. One source described some potential scenes as “sexual torture porn,” while another said the show went from “a dark satire of fame and the fame model” to “the thing it was satirizing.” One production member stated plainly “It was like any rape fantasy that any toxic man would have in the show and then the woman comes back for more because it makes her music better.”

John Blistein, Rolling Stone (2023)


The Idol premieres 6/4 Image: The Idol, Max

Rolling Stone’s expose regarding The Idol forced The Weeknd to speak out against the backlash that he, fellow co-stars, and the series received online and throughout the media. Instead of ranting on social media for hours as a response like most celebrities, The Weeknd shared a clip of a scene from The Idol.

In the scene, The Weeknd calls Rolling Stone irrelevant–ultimately insinuating that the tabloid expose isn’t worth receiving a reaction from him because, from the Toronto star’s perspective, the magazine company is irrelevant in real life.

Furthermore, despite receiving criticism from tabloids and social media, Max is still premiering The Idol in June. Nothing has changed. Perhaps, all of the controversy and negativity will influence more people to watch the new television series! As the old saying goes, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity!”

“When the multi-talented Abel ‘The Weeknd’ Tesfaye, Reza Fahim and Sam Levinson brought us The Idol, it was clear their subversive, revelatory take on the cult of the music industry was unlike anything HBO had ever done before.”

Francesca Orsi, Entertainment Weekly (2023)
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