Just like the sweet often called circus peanuts, no certainly one of sound thoughts is craving for extra of The Idol. Critics have panned HBO’s nipple-core fantasy since its premiere at Cannes in Could, and audiences have responded equally, with some questioning how unhealthy this present actually is, how a lot worse it could actually get, and who thought this was a good suggestion. However abruptly, with the fifth and (barring a miraculous renewal) remaining episode on Sunday, folks need yet another episode — if solely to dunk on the present one final time.
Due to some over-zealous stories that known as a fifth-episode finale a shock or abrupt finish, an city legend has been born: that HBO has six episodes of The Idol in its vault and determined, due to how poorly the present has been obtained, to chop bait and cancel it an episode early. Given the dearth of character improvement within the collection, particularly of the eponymous idol Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp), the shoddiness of co-creator Abel Tesfaye’s (a.ok.a. The Weeknd) appearing, and the way the collection’s limp writing squandered the promising premise of the pop stardom machine, the notion that HBO would put The Idol out of its distress isn’t tough to think about.
That simply isn’t the case, nonetheless. That is extra precisely an instance of schadenfreude getting the higher of individuals. The precise story of how The Idol went from six episodes to 5 is lots much less bombastic and never a shock in any respect.
Again in 2021, HBO ordered six episodes of the collection, which was to be directed by She Dies Tomorrow auteur and The Girlfriend Expertise co-creator Amy Seimetz. In April 2022, Seimetz departed the present and it was reported that Euphoria showrunner Sam Levinson can be overseeing an overhaul of the collection’s tone and scope, which would come with directing duties. Then, in March 2023, an in-depth Rolling Stone function reported that Levinson and Tesfaye’s imaginative and prescient for the present had veered into torture porn.
When the present premiered at Cannes in Could — and HBO’s hopes had been nonetheless presumably excessive — it was listed as a five-episode collection, ostensibly signaling that a part of the overhaul can be trimming the present from six to 5 episodes. Tesfaye, in an interview with GQ in June, additionally referred to the present as a “five-hour” expertise. Whereas it could make for a juicy story and affirm some beliefs that The Idol is as unhealthy as (and even worse than) its haters say it’s, the present, since its premiere, was all the time going to finish after 5.
The finale will air on Sunday as deliberate, with no second season in sight.