The third episode of The Idol continues to squash its potential. Of course, there are apparently millions of people out there who would disagree with my statement by saying, "Hey, this show never had any potential, to begin with." I cannot go into a lengthy debate because I haven't watched the whole series yet. That's the problem with doing episodic reviews. Your opinions are hugely unstable and can change from one episode to another. The final verdict can only be passed on July 9, which is when the first season of The Idol will conclude. For now, I can say just this: I haven't started hating the show yet. However, I do believe that The Idol has a habit of shooting itself in the foot.
I also believe the third episode could have been really exciting and vigorous. I grinned when Tedros was confronted by Chaim (Hank Azaria) and Destiny at Jocelyn's mansion. Here is a scene that should have exploded with fervor and razor-sharp dialogue. It should have generated thrills and/or tension. I really thought Destiny would crush Tedros with her words. But this encounter merely shines faintly in a few places, like when Tedros is asked about his school and the reason behind his expulsion. Another issue with this moment is that its graph, instead of going up, remains constant. Sam Levinson gets the technical details right (the shots are nicely framed and edited) but fails to charge the frames with any emotion. What you watch looks competent, though there isn't a beating heart here. This renders everything plastic and passionless.
In one of the scenes in this episode, the characters discuss how artists use personal tragedy to come up with masterpieces. Izaak (Moses Sumney) tells Jocelyn that she should say yes to every experience no matter how worse because only then would she be able to churn out a great song. Jocelyn counters the statement by labeling it all hogwash and asks Izaak if he would kiss someone else in front of Leia and whether he has the nerve to kiss her. I wish she had forced Izaak to do both tasks, given how he dismissed the second suggestion after speaking nonsense like "Don't deny yourself the chance to experience something different." That's the complaint many viewers have with The Idol. The show hints at something daring and salacious and then backs away from its suggestion. "All bark and no bite" is what some viewers have called this show.
Many critics have mentioned that they have found accepting Jocelyn's attachment to Tedros difficult. They have criticized this relationship as a product of male fantasy and have noted how The Weeknd's performance, or lack thereof, has only made this bond more implausible. I have no problem accepting this weird relationship because these two characters are not ordinary folks. One is aggressively manipulative, while the other has suffered much trauma. In the end, Jocelyn does end up embracing torture for the sake of creating relatable, blockbuster songs. The audience, on the other hand, notices Tedros in a red outfit sitting in the middle of the dining table and calls him a red flag. "Never trust a dude with a rat tail," says one character. Well, things have gone too far. That dude with a rat tail is a snake who has swallowed Jocelyn whole.
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