After its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, The Idol, HBO’s upcoming TV series garnered a staggering 9% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. According to ComicBook, this single digit “D” level grade is the first and only one digit rated show ever for HBO, and also the lowest rated show for the studio as of now. The 9% rating stems from 11 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, marking a very dismal future for the show’s approval rate in the future once it is released to a broader audience coming this summer.
Other reviews and remarks regarding the series include Collider saying, “How can a show with so much nudity, sex, and eroticism be so bland?” Other sources such as The London Evening Standard commenting how the series is close to that of porn and The Daily Telegraph also remarks how terrible the music is.
The premise of The Idol focuses around a young pop singer, played by Lily-Rose Depp (Voyagers, The King), who wants to take back her sexy pop star title after a nervous breakdown halted her tour. She seeks help through Abel Tesfayte’s, aka the Weeknd, character named Tedros who is a self-help guru but also a cult leader. A big inspiration for the series stemmed from The Weeknd’s pitch that he told creator Sam Levinson, “If I wanted to start a cult, I could.” This statement refers to The Weeknd’s fans who would, like cult members, support and follow whatever The Weeknd does. Sam Levinson, also the creator of HBO’s Euphoria, stated that this interaction between him and The Weekend was, “the germ of the idea for The Idol: what happens when a pop star falls for the wrong guy and no one speaks up.”
The series is set to premiere on HBO June 4th and stream on its streaming service Max. Other cast members include Troye Sivan (Boy Erased), Eli Roth (The Green Inferno), Hank Azaria (The Birdcage), Kpop musican Jennie Ruby Jane from Blackpink, and Dan Levy (Schitt’s Creek).