Reviews are in for the new show The Idol starring The Weeknd and they’re not great.
The HBO-produced series helmed by Euphoria creator Sam Levinson has been embroiled in controversy since it was announced.
The Idol finally premiered on Sunday and the reactions have been pouring in online, most criticizing The Weeknd (who is now going by his real name Abel Tesfaye on social media) for his “awful” acting skills and the show’s toxic misogyny.
The “Blinding Lights” singer plays Tedros, a nightclub owner who manipulates rising pop star Jocelyn (played by Lily-Rose Depp) into his modern-day cult.
“The Idol is simultaneously awful self-parody, a pretentious art project, and grotesquely exploitative of its subject matter,” tweeted one viewer. “Sam Levinson’s dialogue is about as natural as a chicken nugget. The Weekend’s performance is awful.”
The Idol is simultaneously awful self-parody, a pretentious art project, and grotesquely exploitative of its subject matter. Sam Levinson’s dialogue is about as natural as a chicken nugget. The Weekend’s performance is awful. It feels like a show made by CIS men cause it is. pic.twitter.com/7gEid4lxLB
— Lord Edge (@cgd0911) June 5, 2023
“The Weeknd might be the worst actor of all time,” added another.
The Weeknd might be the worst actor of all time i’m crying dawg what is this
— coffee (@thesolarcoffee) June 5, 2023
The weekend acting pic.twitter.com/aJc5028YRF
— ZeroFoxGiven (@Kingpowah) June 5, 2023
Many agreed with this sentiment, reiterating just how “creepy” the Canadian singer’s character is.
“Sam Levinson is trying to be deep but his writing is just fucking weird,” tweeted one viewer. “Also The Weeknd’s character is fucking creepy as fuck and makes me hate the actual Weeknd.”
Just watched #TheIdol and Jesus Christ it’s like a student film with a big budget. Sam Levinson is trying to be deep but his writing is just fucking weird. Also The Weeknd’s character is fucking creepy as fuck and makes me hate the actual Weeknd
— Peter v2.5 (@peterropp) June 5, 2023
For context, the show’s original director Amy Seimetz suddenly exited with roughly 80% of the series finished. Sources told Deadline that The Weeknd was reportedly unhappy with the creative direction of the show and felt that it was leaning too much into a “female perspective.”
One person said this tells you everything you need to know about the Toronto-born performer and Levinson, who replaced Seimetz as director.
The Weeknd said the original script ‘had too much of a female perspective’ which is everything you need to know about him and Levinson.
— sandra. (@themusingnotes) June 5, 2023
There are The Idol and The Weeknd supporters.
Many defended the singer’s creepy character.
“The Weeknd’s character is creepy”. THATS THE POINT BRO.
— Omar 🇵🇸 (@bluesuitabel) June 5, 2023
And others were surprised by his acting chops.
Surprisingly, The Weeknd is a decent actor. https://t.co/tTdL380j8o
— Poppa Mike (@Senoj_EkimBPM) June 5, 2023
What in the 50 shades of grey mixed with Purple Rain is this “The Idol” show about.. nah it’s fire tho. The Weeknd is a good actor it’s believable I like it
— Cash Fargo Jet Life (@TheCashFargo) June 5, 2023
One viewer gave props to the supporting cast (which includes K-pop star Jennie Kim from Blackpink).
If The Idol was not trying so hard to be edgy and provocative it might be good. There’s something here but its so muddled with some juvenile ideas. The supporting cast is carrying here but lets see where it goes in the next episodes. pic.twitter.com/0WaTglCc1v
— Luis (@Lui15251) June 5, 2023
Will you be watching The Idol?