The much anticipated HBO show The Idol wrapped up their 5th episode season finale on July 2nd. This “sleazy love story” stirred up controversy when fans found out that original director Amy Seimetz stepped down making room for Euphoria’s Sam Levinson.
The show depicts the duplicitous relationship between distressed pop star Jocelyn (Lily Rose Depp), and shady nightclub owner Tedros (Abel Tesafaye) through a 5 episode series. The controversy first accrued online with many describing the show as a “rape fantasy” and “torture porn”. Intense scenes of violence and abuse washes over the true mental distress of main character Jocelyn. Who turned master manipulator in the last episode.
Now, people online are speculating what would the show stand for if Seimetz was the sole director instead of Levinson, who had received backlash before from hit show Euphoria.
What Could’ve Been? Amy Seimetz’s Version:
On July 6th user @thisisnotahmad released photos from the early stages of the show which gave watchers a sense of what the show could’ve been.
The post stated:
“Amy Seimetz’s version of the idol was going to include scenes that referenced Jocelyn’s past as a child star. One of the biggest flaws in sam levinson’s version was that jocelyn being a pop star never felt real or authentic so it would’ve been nice to see that fleshed out.”
In this version, you can see how Jocelyn was supposed to be portrayed through Seimetz’s direction: A pop star who was exposed to the public eye way too young and the ramifications it has on her adult self. This lens would’ve also quelled concerns about the lack of a backstory in Levinson’s version. Although the audience does get breadcrumbs of Jocelyn’s past through the relationship with her late mother, there’s still no foundation for how Jocelyn became the person she is today.
And the question that made her so desperate to partner with Tedros in the first place.
According to Tesafaye, who had a large hand in kicking Seimetz off the project, there was too much of a “feminist lens” despite Seimetz creating 80% of the show before he gave the reigns to Levinson, according to The Rolling Stones.
Ending In the Midst of Drama
Despite controversy, Tesafaye continues to promote and retweet positive reviews on Twitter.
the finale. grateful to share this moment with you all as the season comes to an end. continue to push the vision no matter how bumpy the journey. Jocelyn Forever 🎭 @HBO @StreamOnMax pic.twitter.com/atQLrba4YO
— Abel Tesfaye (@theweeknd) July 3, 2023
Tesafaye and Levinson ended the show a week early amid backlash, combining two episodes into one for the season finale. According to TV Line “The season ended up being five episodes when it was all said and done after Sam [Levinson] took over and made significant changes. The story only ended up requiring 5.” Another ding on Levinson’s directorial style.
The show was never marketed as a long running series, but HBO has not confirmed or denied a season two. We can only speculate what The Idol could’ve been if a women had a hand in the direction.