One of HBO’s first series to premiere on its new “Max” platform is “The Idol“. It was up in the air when the series would premiere and what the content would entail. Despite a complete shift in the tone of the plot, expensive rewrites and shoots.
HBO is calling “The Idol” its most provocative series to date. Given that the series made its name being provocative, that seems to be saying a lot. The story itself took a hard left from its original plot. Original director for the series Amy Seimetz intended “The Idol” to be a feminist satire. A young woman coming into her own power as she delves deeper into the life of a pop idol. Seimetz left the series when it was almost nearly completed.
“Euphoria”‘s Sam Levinson took Seimetz’s place, and nearly reshot/rewrote the entire series. Changing the direction enough that Rolling Stone released a scathing article about the series. To which The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) tweeted a response with the question “did we upset you?.” Adding insult to injury, using a clip from the series in which the rock magazine is slammed for being irrelevant in a modern world.
Would Seimetz’s Version Have Been Better?
One member of the crew described the production as “sexual torture porn.” Another says Levinson’s rewrites completely ruined the series message.
“What I signed up for was a dark satire of fame and the fame model in the 21st century,” the unnamed crew member said. “The things that we subject our talent and stars to, the forces that put people in the spotlight and how that can be manipulated in the post-Trump world…It went from satire to the thing it was satirizing.”
HBO has defended their stance on the series, claiming it’s all justified. “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.” Given David Zaslav‘s changes to HBO with the WB Discovery merger, we can’t help but roll our eyes.
The series will be premiering June 4th, 2023.