Thursday, June 20, 2024

TV: The Central Plot Point for “The Idol” Premiere Episode is Too Disgusting To Talk About Here or With Your Friends, Celebrates Vulgarity (And Not the Good Kind)


Someone call Olivia Benson to arrest these people!

Sunday night comes the premiere episode of HBO’s “The Idol.” Pop star The Weeknd stars with Lily Rose Depp, daughter of Johnny Depp.

A bunch of good actors play supporting roles including Jane Adams, Eli Roth, Hank Azaria, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Troye Sivan, Hari Nef, and Dan Levy. They are all supremely unlikeable, actually detestable characters. There’s no one to root for.

Depp is naked most of the time. So that’s one thing. “Idol” is an R rated show, leaning toward NC-17.

The Weeknd shouldn’t quit his day job.

The singer’s first big hit was called “I Can’t Feel My Face.” That could be the title of this episode. The major plot point is that Depp’s Jocelyn has taken a selfie of her face splattered with (I’m sorry to write this) male splurge. They call it something else. It’s discussed endlessly and the selfie, which is shown, goes viral. I dare you to discuss this, with their wording, to your friends or family.

The show is disgusting. Unlike director Sam Levinson’s “Euphoria.” there is no heart here. It’s just a dark piece of coal at its center. It seems like the whole point is to suggest the music business is just vulgar and coarse. Mental health is treated like a punchline. Not only that, Roth engages with Adams in “banter” that is nothing but antisemitic. You will cringe from their conversations. Azaria sports an accent he would have been better off leaving at home, His presence is in stark contrast to his brilliant guest spot on “Mrs. Maisel” this season.

Don’t blame me if you watch this thing only to turn it off. HBO cannot do rock and roll shows. The cursed “Vinyl” was like “Succession” compared to his garbage.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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