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Enough About Where ‘The Idol’ Went Wrong — Here’s Where The Show Got It Right

There’s a trend right now on the internet where punters love to hate on singers.

When the news broke in 2021, that The Weeknd and Euphoria’s Sam Levinson would be creating a drama series for HBO, fans welcomed the idea of a television show born from the self-described “sick & twisted minds” of pop culture greats. 

Although, as The Idol’s release date drew closer, a scathing Rolling Stone exposé and a circulation of on-set rumours shrouded the series in scandal before it had even seen the light of day. 

Naturally, when the first episode aired the internet was quick to comment. And while there is undoubtedly validity to the criticism, the veil of hate cast over the series has overshadowed some of the rare talent debuting on screen.

Here are the actors who smashed their performances on The Idol:

Jennie The Idol
Black Pink’s Jennie playing Dyanne. (Credit: Supplied.)


Expectations were high for Black Pink’s Jennie Kim when the singer announced she would be making her acting debut in The Idol, and fortunately for fans of the celebrated Kpop Star, she did not disappoint. For ‘Blinks’ who were left underwhelmed during the recent ‘Born Pink’ stadium tour, Jennie’s flawless performance as a backup dancer cemented her spot as the best dancer in the biz right now. Jennie’s sparkling stage presence was also reflected in the show’s storyline after her character Dyanne is asked by the record label to take over the hotly-anticipated pop track World Class Sinner from Jocelyn. For those familiar with the hyper-curated nature of the K-Pop industry, it was refreshing to see Jennie step out of the stadium spotlight and lend herself to a new, less-filtered creative space. I can’t wait to see what she does next! – Harriet Sim, Features Writer

Troye The Idol
Troye Sivan playing Xander. (Credit: Supplied.)


There’s a trend right now on the internet where punters love to hate on singers giving acting a red-hot go – see star of The Idol; Abel Tesfaye and who could forget the delicious chaos surrounding Harry Styles in Don’t Worry Darling. Personally, I’m of the option that Abel does just fine, and Harry did a pretty decent job for beginners starring alongside two leading ladies with extraordinary talent. Meanwhile, Australian singer Troye Sivan silences anyone who immediately writes of musicians as actors in his role of Xander on The Idol. Sivan out-acts everyone on the show, even Lily-Rose Deep (by a whisker). His subtly nuanced performance in the first three episodes has had everyone talking for all the right reasons, leading into the penultimate episode, which saw Sivan deliver the most powerful scenes of the series to date. Whether he’s got any further acting jobs lined up is unknown, however his next single Rush is available to preorder now, and he announced on Instagram that his third studio album will follow. – Bree Player, Features Editor 

Hari Nef
Hari Nef as ‘Talia’ a Vanity Fair journalist. (Credit: Supplied.)


There’s a lot out there about where The Idol failed to deliver, but one of the overlooked wins worthy of celebration was in Hari Nef’s character. Playing ‘Talia’ a Vanity Fair journalist, Nef’s character was the perfect example of one of the ways we achieve true, authentic representation on screen, by having a transgender actor simply exist, without turning the ‘otherness’ of queer characters into a central story arch. As a journalist, Nef’s character has the dream assignment of spending several days shadowing an international pop star, interviewing the talent poolside from the star’s opulent mansion, and observing a music video production, a job that sadly only happens in Hollywood (and Vanity Fair). While Monday marks the end of The Idol universe and a sad departure of Nef from our living rooms, fortunately, the rising star is making a fast return to the silver screen later this month in the hotly-anticipated Barbie movie. – Harriet Sim, Features Writer

Lily Rose Depp
Lily-Rose Depp as Jocelyn. (Credit: Supplied.)


It’s clear in the first scene of the first episode that Lily-Rose Depp, famous Chanel clothes horse and nepo-baby, can really act. She transitions through every emotion from elation to tear-streaked devastation flawlessly, establishing herself as a bona fide leading lady from the get-go. Depp manages to deliver in every scene, despite navigating a storyline that doesn’t have a clear direction and often goes nowhere. Her best work can be seen in Episode Two, when she’s filming a music video for World Class Sinner and between struggling to nail the performance and succumbing to the trauma of losing her mother so recently, Depp portrays a heartbreaking look at the reality of what ‘the show must go on’ mentality does to a pop star. Whether there is a second season of The Idol or not, Depp will have plenty of scripts sent her way. – Bree Player, Features Editor 

Da Vine
Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Destiny. (Credit: Supplied.)


If The Idol has a saving grace, her name is ‘Destiny’. Perhaps the only character in the show who is actually looking out for the troubled pop star, Destiny (Jocelyn’s manager played by Da’Vine Joy Randolph) lends the show the real human moments that a world filled with excess and insanity truly craves. Continuously stealing the show as each episode unravels, Da’Vine’s character delivers the lines that everyone is thinking with humor and fearlessness that provide a lightness to a series veiled in unease and discomfort. Destiny is the manager every rising star needs in their life, her sharp observation and humanity make for a true ‘Da’Vine’ intervention, just as the chaos begins to take flight. – Harriet Sim, Features Writer

Where To Watch The Idol In Australia

The final episode of The Idol airs on Monday 3rd July on Binge. Stream The Idol now on BINGE with a 14-day free trial. Subscribe here.

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