Sam Levinson is an acclaimed creator, writer, and director known for his compelling works such as tranceAnd Assassination NationAnd Malcolm and Mary, and others. He started directing independent films until he came up with the idea of ​​adapting the series in Israel trance for western audiences. The series received critical acclaim and developed a cult-like fanbase in a short time. However, the creators have been criticized for promoting drug use, teen sex, and nudity. Levinson is back with a brand new series titled idol. There’s already a lot of hype around the series, with many people criticizing the creators for repeating the mistake of showing overly explicit content.

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start, idol It was announced in 2021, but faced significant release delays due to the exit of the original director, changes in creative decisions, and reshoots. Levinson took over as director after Amy Seimetz, the show’s previous director, decided to leave. According to Rolling Stone, Abel Tesfaye and Levinson decided to change their creative vision, scrapping the almost completed series.

idol is a drama miniseries that will premiere on Max (formerly HBO Max) on June 4, 2023. It stars Lily-Rose Depp and Abel Tesfaye, better known by his stage name The Weeknd, in the lead roles. Levinson, Reza Faheem and Tesfaye are the creators of the series. After its debut in Cannes, the series was labeled “Hollywood’s ugliest love story”. Here’s why the six-episode TV series is getting so much attention ahead of its premiere.

Celebrity top stars


Aside from the controversies and backlash, the presence of major celebrities in a show or movie also contributes to its popularity. Along with Depp as Jocelyn and Tesfaye as Tedros, several other well-known actors and singers are also part of the series. It will mark the acting debut of famous K-pop group member Jennie Kim. Fans of Blackpink, also known as Blinks, are eager to see their acting skills on screen. She will play Diane, though more details about her character are currently unknown.

idol It also stars Australian songwriter Troye Sivan as Xander and Bodies, bodies and bodies Actress Rachel Sinnott as Leila. According to recent reports, Alexa Demie who is portraying the role of Maddy Perez in trance, she will make a cameo in the pilot episode as Maddy. Indeed, the crossover was completely unexpected. Her veil also caught Mohebi’s attention tranceAdd to a pre-release post. Also included in the cast are Susannah Soon, Moses Smini, Rachel Sinnott, Mike Dean, Dan Levy, and others.

Related: HBO’s The Idol: Plot, Cast, Release Date, and Everything Else We Know

Idol connection and ecstasy

Alexa Demi is in a trance
Warner Bros. Television Distribution

Just like Marvel and the DCEU, Levinson creates a universe for his popular shows. When it comes to depicting drugs, sex, and violent culture, the series trance And idol Somewhat similar to each other. However, the Tesfaye-led series is said to be “provocative,” as previously stated by Levinson. Recent reports have confirmed that both shows will take place in the same universe, thus Demi’s entry into the show. But what distinguishes idol from trancewhich is also exaggerated, star-studded, and contains obscene content?

Good, idol Not another high school drama. Instead, it exposes the harsh truth that lies beneath the fascinating world of the music business. It will place adult characters in exciting narratives focusing on various themes such as power, wealth, and fame. The series involves the main leads in a love story that is hotter and more twisted than a traditional romance.

Backlash grabs more attention

Idol Lily Rose Depp
the above

Controversies have a way of drawing bad attention to a series or movie. Levinson has always been the subject of controversy regarding excessive nudity in his projects. in the past, trance She also gained a lot of attention for pushing boundaries in terms of vulgarity, abusive relationships, and violence. text idol It underwent revisions after the exit of director Amy Seimtz. Some allegations suggest that Tesfaye wasn’t really in favor of the text as it was told from a woman’s perspective. When Levinson joined the series, he made changes to the script that were bold and obvious to the audience. After showing two episodes at the Cannes Film Festival, the series faced backlash.

Even before the series premiered, discussions about its inclusion of sexually explicit content divided the internet. It received a five-minute standing ovation in Cannes, with unexpectedly positive reactions from the audience. But it failed to impress critics, resulting in it debuting with only a 9% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In an effort to portray female sexuality, many critics thought Depp’s character was degenerate; It sounded like a “dirty male fantasy”. Critics have criticized the series for being sexist, calling it “toxic” and “torture porn”, and accusing it of a “rape fantasy”.

Related: Idol trailer teases weekend’s controversial exploration of fame

Bad take on the music industry

Abel Tesfaye and Lily Rose Depp in Idol
the above

idol Witnesses the tumultuous chemistry between Jocelyn, a rising pop star who enters into a entangled romance with “self-help guru and cult leader” Tedros. Trailers and teasers have already been released, but they don’t offer much and show glimpses of the dark side of the music industry. Previously, rumors were spreading like wildfire about Jocelyn’s character in the series being slightly inspired by Britney Spears’ life due to a small reference in the first episode.

However, Levinson clarified that the series does not chronicle the life of any particular pop star. Instead, it highlights the mental struggles and pressures the famous singer faces when living in the public eye. The filmmakers went too far in depicting brutality, toxic relationships, and sexual exploitation in the name of fantasy in an attempt to showcase the malpractices that take place at work.


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