How to watch HBO’s ‘The Idol’

Here's what you need to know about HBO's "The Idol."

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Every once in a while, a TV series pops up and takes the Internet by storm—we saw it with “Tiger King,” “White Lotus,” and now, “The Idol.” If you’ve been on Twitter in the past few weeks, you’ve heard of “The Idol,” HBO’s newest show starring Lily-Rose Depp and The Weeknd. Though the series has gotten a lot of press recently, audience reception has been mixed.

In fact, most Twitter coverage of the series has been at its expense—our own Kelly Lawler described the show as “sexist, gratuitous, exploitative… and achingly boring.” Though it was created by Sam Levinson, who helms “Euphoria,” the series has yet to capture the hearts of critics and audiences alike in the same way.

If you’re looking to find out what all the buzz has been about, here’s what you need to know about “The Idol” and how to stream it at home.

Stream’The Idol’on Max

What is ‘The Idol’ about?

“The Idol” takes us to the gutters of Hollywood, showing the darker side of the glitz and glamour we normally see as outsiders. Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye plays Tedros, a club owner and cult leader who starts dating Jocelyn, a new pop star looking for a big break, played by Depp. 

Dubbed “the sleaziest love story in all of Hollywood,” the series depicts the classic Hollywood tale of sex, drugs and partying. The series follows Jocelyn’s rise to fame and Tedros’ hopes of making her the world’s biggest pop star.

Stream’The Idol’on Max

Is ‘The Idol’ any good?

Lily-Rose Depp stars in HBO's "The Idol."

This one is up for debate. Lawler gives it one star out of four, noting that it’s “not cool, nor is it subversive. It is a hopeless try-hard, and worse, it’s painfully dull.” The series holds a 4.7-star (out of 10) rating on iMDB, with reviewers saying it has “no substance,” “it’s truly as bad as people are saying,” and “Lily-Rose Depp deserved better.” The series has been criticized for promoting toxic relationships and gratuity for the shock factor.

Rotten Tomatoes gives the series a 26% Tomatometer with a 58% average audience score.

Despite negative reviews, “The Idol” has held steady viewership, according to Deadline. The first episode had 913,000 viewers on the first night, which climbed to 3.6M viewers in its first week—this is more than both “White Lotus” and “Euphoria” pulled after their series premieres.

How to watch ‘The Idol’

You can stream “The Idol” on HBO’s new streaming platform Max.

‘The Idol’ release date

“The Idol” was released on June 4, 2023. New episodes air every Sunday night on HBO and on Max. The series is comprised of six episodes.

Cast of ‘The Idol’

  • Lily-Rose Depp as Jocelyn
  • Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye as Tedros
  • Suzanna Son as Chloe
  • Troye Sivan as Xander
  • Jane Adams as Nikki Katz
  • Moses Sumney as Izaak
  • Jennie Kim as Dyanne
  • Rachel Sennot as Leia
  • Hari Nef as Talia
  • Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Destiny
  • Hank Azaria as Chaim
  • Dan Levy as Benjamin
  • Eli Roth as Andrew Finkelstein

Will there be a season 2 of ‘The Idol’?

Right now, it’s unclear whether there will be a second season of “The Idol.” News broke this week from several publishers that the series would not return, but HBO refuted this claim on Twitter, stating, “It is being misreported that a decision on a second season of The Idol has been determined. It has not, and we look forward to sharing the next episode with you Sunday night.”

Stream’The Idol’on Max

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