HBO has released a first look at the highly-anticipated new series “The Idol” from Grammy Award-winning musician The Weeknd and “Euphoria” creator Sam Levinson.
The series has been the subject of controversy in recent months, with some accusing The Weeknd of appropriating Arab culture for the show’s plot, which reportedly centers around a pop star from the Middle East who is forced to confront his past and present as he navigates fame and fortune in the music industry.
The new footage offers a glimpse into the show’s lush, neon-lit world, with a focus on the central character, played by newcomer Amir Bageria. The teaser hints at a darker, more dramatic tone than “Euphoria,” with themes of identity, fame, and power at the forefront.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, The Weeknd described the show as a “cautionary tale” about the music industry and the pitfalls of fame, adding that it draws inspiration from his own experiences as a musician.
“I wanted to create something that would show the reality of what it’s like to be in this industry, the good and the bad, the light and the dark,” he said. “There’s a lot of darkness out there, and I think it’s important to confront that.”
Levinson, who also serves as executive producer on the show, echoed these sentiments in a recent interview with Variety, describing “The Idol” as a “spiritual successor” to “Euphoria” that explores similar themes of identity and self-discovery.
“The music industry is a unique space where people can become gods overnight, but there’s a price to pay for that kind of power,” he said. “We wanted to create a story that would delve into those themes and show the human side of fame.”
Despite the controversy surrounding the show’s premise, “The Idol” has generated significant buzz ahead of its release, with fans eagerly anticipating its debut on HBO later this year. With its powerful themes and talented cast and crew, it looks set to be one of the most talked-about new shows of the year, cementing The Weeknd’s status as a force to be reckoned with in the world of entertainment.