The Idol gets a new trailer from HBO emphasizing it as a comedy to hide that it is the worst-reviewed HBO show ever at Rotten Tomatoes.

The Idol Trailer Gives No Hint as to Why It’s the Worst-Reviewed HBO Show Ever

The Idol has been stirring up controversy ever since leaks about on-set issues came out months ago, but it’s really started ramping up as the sex-laden, abuse-filled series premiered at Cannes and everyone pretty much came out hating it. The series, meant to be a satirical take on the music and entertainment industry, is supposedly a toxic mess with no clear message and little inspiration from its stars Lily-Rose Depp and Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye. Still, watching the new The Idol trailer from HBO, you’d hardly think it was so problematic as it plays as a sexed-up comedy, not a psychological satire.

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Currently sitting at 27% on Rotten Tomatoes, an unheard-of low for the kind of prestige TV that HBO puts out, the series focuses on Jocelyn (Depp), who plays a rags-to-riches pop star who is fighting to stay relevant when Tedros (The Weeknd) comes into her orbit and starts acting as her manager and much more.  Also around Jocelyn are a cadre of yes-people including co-managers Chaim (Hank Azaria) and Destiny (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), her publicist (Dan Levy), and best friend Xander (Troye Sivan). (Jennie Kim from K-pop group Blackpink also makes her acting debut in it.) Things spiral out of control for the young pop star as Jocelyn becomes ensnared in what everyone else wants and loses herself to stardom all while becoming a sexualized fetish for the public.

It’s not exactly an original tale, but it could have played well as a boundary-pushing take on sex and the industry, especially coming from Euphoria creator Sam Levinson. However, it seems to have missed the mark harshly. There’s very little of it in this The Idol trailer, except for seeing Depp in one barely-there outfit after another, but the show is drowning in sex and abuse, the latter of which may have also occurred on set. The end result is reportedly something that’s closer to the softcore porn of Cinemax than a breakthrough HBO six-part series about the industry. Clearly, this official trailer is trying to do some cleanup by not pushing any boundaries at all.

The Idol will premiere on HBO on June 4.


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Matthew Razak
Matthew Razak is a News Writer and film aficionado at Escapist. He has been writing for Escapist for nearly five years and has nearly 20 years of experience reviewing and talking about movies, TV shows, and video games for both print and online outlets. He has a degree in Film from Vassar College and a degree in gaming from growing up in the '80s and '90s. He runs the website Flixist.com and has written for The Washington Post, Destructoid, MTV, and more. He will gladly talk your ear off about horror, Marvel, Stallone, James Bond movies, Doctor Who, Zelda, and Star Trek.