The Idol season 1 review: Star-studded show is a disappointment

The Idol follows Jocelyn, a pop star who has been struggling since her mother’s death. Jocelyn begins to recover when a mysterious man named Tedros enters her life. All episodes are now streaming on Max.


After losing her mother, Jocelyn, a pop star, had to cancel her last tour because she had a mental breakdown. Although she is now preparing for her next album, she is still not in a good place mentally or emotionally.

One of her backup dancers, Dyanne, who is also her friend, takes Jocelyn to a club one night. The owner of the club, Tedros, dances with Jocelyn and makes her feel good about the music that she is making.

Jocelyn starts liking Tedros, and with time, he becomes an important part of her life. However, Tedros is not the person he seems to be. The question then becomes, will he improve Jocelyn’s life or make things worse?


Lily-Rose Depp never really convinces the audience that she is the pop star that everyone in the show claims she is. There is nothing extraordinary about her performance. Even though she is on the screen more often than not, she fails to stand out.

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Abel Tesfaye, popularly known as The Weeknd, lacks the charisma that would convince the audience of his ability to get so many talented people to follow him blindly. 

Tesfaye tries to look like a threatening figure in a few scenes, but it is hard to take him seriously when those scenes are almost comical. However, he manages to appear predatory and manipulative at times, but that has more to do with the writing than his performance.

The actors who will stand out and make the audience wish to see more of them are Hank Azaria and Da’Vine Joy Randolph, who play Jocelyn’s managers. They are dramatic and amusing, especially Randolph, who never fails to entertain.


The show’s first scene depicts Jocelyn switching between various emotions with ease. This scene hints that nothing is as it seems, and it will become more significant than ever in the end. 

Scenes that involve Jocelyn’s team, her managers and her assistant, are some of the best ones in the show. They provide the much-needed comic relief in this otherwise dark and dreary show. 

It does feel like the show tries to make the audience uncomfortable. It succeeds in doing that with segments involving torture, Jocelyn struggling while people observe her closely, and her relationship with Tedros.


There is no character development whatsoever. The show keeps hinting that Jocelyn’s character will develop and that she will take charge in a grand fashion. However, the plot twist at the end leaves no space for that. In fact, it makes her seem like a static character.

Even without the plot twist, the audience will find themselves thinking if Tedros was ever in charge. Jocelyn is vulnerable and Tedros is manipulative, but she is the one who has all the power. The moment Jocelyn finds out the truth about their meeting, it does not take her long to get rid of Tedros.

This is not the only part that will make the audience question the point of the show. The fact that it also fails to provide any thought-provoking ideas about the idol culture will make it seem like its message was lost if there was one in the first place.

The Idol also lacks emotional depth. It is understandable that the audience never feels Jocelyn and Tedros’ love, but the problem is that one can watch all five episodes of the show without feeling much.

Most importantly, the show is dull. It is full of monotonous sequences, including the scenes that were supposed to be provocative. The audience is led to believe that it will get engaging at some point, but that never happens.


Even with famous stars like The Weeknd, Jennie, and Troye Sivan, The Idol never gets the audience’s interest. It is a show that takes itself too seriously and ends up being simply dull. 

The Idol season 1
The Idol season 1 review: Star-studded show is a disappointment 1

Director: Sam Levinson

Date Created: 2023-07-03 16:15

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: The Idol season 1 finale recap, review & ending explained