The Idol only ran on HBO for five episodes. (The show was originally greenlit for a six-episode run, but during an extensive reworking of the series during production, it was trimmed down to five.) Maybe given its reception and subject matter, that's for the better.

The show starred Lily-Rose Depp and Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd. The show’s plot centers around Depp’s character, Jocelyn, a pop star who grows increasingly enmeshed with Tesfaye's character, Tedros. Jocelyn had suffered a nervous breakdown and is trying to put her struggling music career back together. Tedros owns a nightclub and appears to be a powerful man in the industry. Eventually, it becomes clear that he’s also a cult leader and an extremely dangerous presence.

Sam Levinson, creator of the HBO teen drama Euphoria, and Tesfaye worked together to cook this series up, and it definitely has that feel. Unfortunately, critics also point out that it’s almost unnecessarily dark. Some felt it didn’t really do a great job satirizing the industry it’s trying to exploit; that instead it was just as mean-spirited as the world it was trying to depict.


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After a first season filled with controversy — and rumors earlier this summer that the show would not return for a second season, which HBO denied at the time — the series is now officially done. Here was a channel spokesman’s comment on the news:

The Idol was one of HBO’s most provocative original programs, and we’re pleased by the strong audience response. After much thought and consideration, HBO, as well as the creators and producers have decided not to move forward with a second season. We’re grateful to the creators, cast, and crew for their incredible work.

Additionally, it seems that some of the people behind the show had mixed understandings of what was intended from the start. Moses Sumney thought it was a limited series, while Da'Vine Joy Randolph had assumed there would definitely be a second season. The show sits at 19 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

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