ENTERTAINMENT

There’s no escaping LA with The Weeknd’s new series, The Idol

Alexa, play Blinding Lights by The Weeknd please.
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When you think of The Weeknd you picture dark alleys, fluorescent lights and gruesome costuming to set a scene nearly as haunting as his lyrics.

And, seemingly cut from the same cloth as his album After Hours, HBO’s new series The Idol stars none other than the starboy himself, Abel ‘The Weeknd’ Tesfaye.

The brooding, twisted and ethereal nature of The Weeknd’s lyrics bleeds out into this new series – set in the same universe as Euphoria.

Co-created by the brains of Sam Levinson and Abel, the series is now wrapping up an episode early with only five episodes for its first season.

While fans had high hopes for the series, it didn’t take long before it was making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Here, we break down why there’s so much drama surrounding The Idol, and where you can watch all the episodes now in Australia.

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Abel ‘The Weeknd’ Tesfaye and Lily-Rose Depp both star in The Idol. (Credit: HBO) (Credit: HBO)

When will The Idol be released?

The series premiered on June 5 on BINGE in Australia, with new episodes released every Monday before the final episode on July 3.

Where to watch The Idol in Australia

You can stream The Idol in Australia on both BINGE and Foxtel Now, so sign up now to watch all the episodes.

While you’re there, you can also watch The Idol’s little streaming sister, Euphoria.

Stream The Idol now on BINGE with a 7-day free trial. Subscribe here.

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What is The Idol about?

Expect drugs, drama and debauchery when tuning in for The Idol, as it tells the tale of the “sleaziest love story in all of Hollywood” – the perfect backdrop for just about any of The Weeknd’s songs.

Set in the infamous music scene of Los Angeles, the series follows a self-help guru, who is also the leader of a modern-day cult, as he embarks on a very complicated relationship with a rising pop idol.

In one of the teaser trailers (which you can watch in the video player below) we see racy outfits, struggles with mental health and a warning that foreshadows the dangers to come:

“Los Angeles is where all of the monsters of the world come to gather. Trust no one.”

WATCH BELOW: The Idol | Official Trailer

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Who is cast in The Idol?

Hollywood heavyweights Abel ‘The Weeknd’ Tesfaye and Lily-Rose Depp headline the series as Tedros, the self-help guru, and Jocelyn, the struggling pop star, respectively.

The pair are joined onscreen by Australian singer-songwriter Troye Sivan, as well as Dan Levy, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Eli Roth, and Hari Nef.

The rest of the star-studded ensemble cast includes Jane Adams, Jennie Ruby Jane, Mike Dean, Moses Sumney, Rachel Sennott, Ramsey, Suzanna Son, and Hank Azaria.

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Lily-Rose Depp plays Jocelyn, a struggling pop star. (Credit: HBO) (Credit: HBO)

What are the controversies surrounding The Idol?

In March 2023, Rolling Stone reported on clashes and alleged toxicity on set following the departure of Amy Seimatz and the replacement of Sam Levinson as director, where one source claimed the change in direction had massively impacted the show’s creative direction.

“What I signed up for was a dark satire of fame and the fame model in the 21st century,” they said, adding, “It went from satire to the thing it was satirising.”

In a statement to Vanity Fair, HBO denied the allegations, saying, “The initial approach on the show and production of the early episodes, unfortunately, did not meet HBO standards so we chose to make a change.

“Throughout the process, the creative team has been committed to creating a safe, collaborative, and mutually respectful working environment, and last year, the team made creative changes they felt were in the best interest of both the production and the cast and crew.”

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