Foreign media criticize “The Idol” for wasting the talent and reputation of top idol BLACKPINK Jennie

“The Idol” failed to meet viewers’ expectations by putting Jennie at the forefront of controversies.

Jennie recently proved her top star value in name and in reality after generating 1.9 million dollars (about 2.5 billion won) in economic effects with her appearance at Cannes. However, she is receiving unprecedented criticism due to her debut drama “The Idol”

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The six-episode HBO’s American drama “The Idol” stas pop singer The Weeknd, Johnny Depp’s daughter Lily Rose Depp, and singer-songwriter Troye Sivan. Above all, it was directed by HBO’s “Euphoria” director Sam Levinson and co-produced by The Weeknd.

“The Idol” has attracted keen interest since its production stage with the casting news of Jennie, who has gained a large fandom around the world through BLACKPINK activities. As “The Idol” was invited to the Non-competition Section of the 76th Cannes International Film Festival to pre-release episodes 1 and 2, Jennie’s Cannes attendance also became the talk of the town. At the Cannes photo call event, the female idol stole the spotlight and even had a solo photo section at the request of foreign reporters. She even ranked No.1 among stars who gained the highest media impact at Cannes this year.

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Jennie, who has always been named with various “the best” modifiers, unfortunately, suffered harsh criticism due to her acting debut project “The Idol”.

Immediately after its Cannes release and the airing of episode 1 on June 1st (local time), foreign media poured negative reviews, such as “dirty men’s fantasy” (Hollywood Reporter), “worst than rumors. A raping-fantasy pornography” (Rolling Stones), etc., fueling criticism to continue.

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Dealing with the dark side of the Hollywood industry, “The Idol” frowned viewers by presenting a story combining all kinds of provocative content, such as revenge pornography, sex scenes, and excessive body exposure. In the first episode, there is even a scene where a record label executive intentionally shows a hospital bracelet to the main character Jocelyn (Lily Rose Depp), who is suffering from panic disorder, and says, “Mental illness is sexy.” The narrative is said to be filled with only provocative elements, failing to convey any meaningful message and only raising controversies.

Accordingly to articles related to “The Idol”, the reviews are full of criticism. Most of the titles are followed by negative expressions, such as “nasty”, “pornography”, etc. American media outlet But Why Who? commented, “The conversations of the characters are unrelated streams of consciousness and just empty. The scenes are not connected to each other”. The British newspaper The Guardian gave 2/5 points and described “The Idol” as “a stupid, boring and sex drama”.

Jennie in “The Idol.”

The British media Daily Mail criticized, “They might have tried to make a sharp satire, but the result was a failure and ended up being exploitative. ‘The Idol’ claims to be a social commentary, but it turns out to stay within the ambiguous boundary of abuse under the guise of art.”

CNN also said, “Despite attempting to give stimulating feelings, its content is completely dull regardless of the controversy. The drama features cliché expressions and exaggerated acting. It is difficult to imagine the remaining show taking an interesting turn. Regardless of what the idol wants to be or become, it certainly isn’t very interesting to watch.”

The drama also records low scores on two leading global rating sites. Its ‘freshness’ score on Rotten Tomatoes is only 27%, and Popcorn score stays at 60%. “The Idol” achieves only 4.9 out of 10 on IMDb.

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Overseas viewers mostly commented with negative reviews, saying “‘The Idol’ humiliates all the people involved in its production. Due to its boring characters, lack of humor and awkward conversations, the drama does not attract viewers. Despite casting talented actors, the drama’s value gets ruined by the content”, “The series lacks direction. Unfortunately, the directing of this drama was so bad”, “The whole story feels like the content on a porn website. I’m so disappointed”, “It’s unforgivable that they created such a lame story, cliché characters, etc.”, etc.

Although the production team is aware of the controversy, they completely ignore it. In an interview with the New York Times on June 3rd, director Sam Levinson confidently said, “It’s exciting running into fire”, adding “When my wife read the articles, she only said, ‘I think it’s gonna be the biggest series this summer’. Someone has to do this kind of work. All you have to do is watch the whole drama.”

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When asked about the controversy, The Weeknd responded, “It was like when I started making music. I know the provocative content may be hard for someone to accept and many people dislike my music. Our drama gives off such a feeling, too. It’s not for anyone to watch, but I’m fine with that. We are not politicians who have to satisfy everyone.”

Actually, the sensation controversy related to “The Idol” has already been predicted. In March, Rolling Stone reported that the quality of the work might have been affected by the issue of director replacement and drama re-filming due to internal conflicts. Accordingly, the production company even said, “Jennie’s character didn’t have much screen time. All she had to do was sit there and look pretty.”


In fact, Jennie had only three lines in episode 1. She played Dyanne, a friend of Jocelyn and a backup dancer. Despite having little screen time, the female idol shocked fans with her 19+ dancing scenes with male dancers. By putting Jennie at the forefront, “The Idol” became even more controversial.

Foreign media complained, “‘The Idol’ failed to use actress Kim Jennie in a serious way. Creating a series that shows the dark side of idols, they ignore the fact that Kim Jennie is one of the most popular female idols in the world.”

Source: Daum

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