“Pop Tarts & Rat Tales,” the first episode of HBO’s “The Idol,” is about Lily-Rose Depp’s character Jocelyn’s leaked selfie after someone finished on her face after being intimate. Jocelyn goes to the club to let loose while her team works behind the scenes to get the photo scraped from the internet.
This brings Jocelyn into contact with The Weeknd’s character Tedros, an enigmatic nightclub owner who intends to unleash her full musical potential by completely controlling her. Tedros is a weirdo, and Jocelyn should avoid him but doesn’t.
In some ways, The Weeknd and Lily-Rose Depp’s chemistry felt forced. Because there is no dialogue, Jocelyn and Tedros appear to be cheap knock-offs of Harley Quinn and the Joker. I wished they had delivered their lines more effectively. My favorite dialogue between the two was when they were talking about Prince, and then things continued to go downhill from there.
The series has potential. I wish they had brought in “Gone Girl” writer Gillian Flynn to help with Jocelyn’s development because I have no idea where they want to take this character. Do they want to play with her mental health or make her a savage? In any case, I believe Flynn could have helped Jocelyn bring out the best in both worlds while keeping her entertaining. Because of the show’s poor script, I do not care for the main character.
It’s also odd that they mentioned mental health at the start of the first episode. I thought the first scene, in which Jocelyn is doing a photo shoot and killing all her shots while crying deep down inside, was very telling but was never explored at all. We see her team terrified the entire episode about Jocelyn finding out about the explicit image being leaked, but we see nothing from her mental state when she finds out.
What’s going through her mind right now as her team informs her of what happened?
Also, as a BLACKPINK fan, I believe they used Jennie Kim’s star power to simply attract more viewers to the series. One of my favorite moments in the first episode is when her character Anys shows Jocelyn the routine and then fades away, and I believe this will be the case for the rest of the series. It’s ironic that the show follows a pop star but fails to use one of the biggest pop stars in the world right now.
On a show about women, they are failing to develop any of the female characters. Even the show’s creators see Jocelyn as a meal ticket because we get nothing from her. Jennie’s sole purpose is to bring viewers to the show. Rachel Sennott’s character is the stereotypically annoying best friend, and Da’Vine Joy Randolph should get more screen time. It also appears that they include random sex and nudity scenes to keep the audience from switching to another streaming app.
The only way the series can be entertaining is if Tedros takes on the role of the Joker or Evan Peters in “American Horror Story: Hotel.” To keep this season interesting, The Weeknd will need to deliver an award-winning performance. As of now, I believe the show will attract a large number of viewers simply because of the people in the series, but I believe it was rushed and needed more development because it had the potential to be a great series.
MAX is currently streaming The Idol Episode 1, with new episodes premiering every Sunday.
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