The HBO series, The Idol, is clearly not meant for everybody, and Sam Levinson and Reza Fahim must have known that even before they started production. Some are of the opinion that it is as regressive as a show can get, and Levinson is merely trying to justify his brand of toxicity. So, let’s find out if there is any intriguing story beyond all the controversies and if the makers are able to present some unique character arcs and entertain us.
Who Is Jocelyn?
Jocelyn always had a flair for showmanship, and probably that is why she still had a huge fan following, even after the multiple lows she had to encounter in recent times. She was trying to cope with her grief after her mother’s demise and bring her life back on track. She was about to release a new song, and though she was not convinced of the quality of the lyrics, she was trying to deliver whatever her PR and management team were asking her to, as she trusted their insights on market patterns. Jocelyn was getting a photoshoot done at the beginning of The Idol episode 1, and by the looks of it, it felt like she was pretty good at it. She was changing her expressions on the photographer’s cue, but what set her apart was the conviction in her body language as she owned each and every pose. She shed tears when giving a melancholic expression, and somewhere it made us feel like there was a lot of pain and sadness embedded in her, and she didn’t think that she had the liberty to ever bring it to the surface and deal with it.
Jocelyn’s management agents had some crooked sensibilities, and through the photoshoot, they wanted to portray the image of a young, beautiful, and damaged girl. Jocelyn was made to wear a wristband as if she were just discharged from a hospital and taken directly to the photo shoot. Nikki, the head of the record label that managed Jocelyn, was trying to justify that mental illness was, in a way, very attractive. Before we could get to know more about the weird logic she was giving, the intimacy coordinator stopped the shoot and informed Jocelyn’s team that she was exposing more than she was allowed to according to the contract, and she said that if they wanted to carry on, then they would have to first change the clauses of the contract and resume in 48 hours, as per the mandate.
But Chaim, Jocelyn’s manager, took the coordinator aside and locked him up in the bathroom. The reasoning given to him was that it was her house and her body, and she should be free to do whatever she liked. Chiam said that he wasn’t going to waste all the money he had spent and wait for another 48 hours just so that a petty clause could be amended. With the coordinator out of the equation, the shoot resumed, and Jocelyn did whatever she felt like doing. The photoshoot was for the cover of her new single titled “World Class Sinner,” and this song was very important as it was marking her much-awaited return, and the entire team wanted everything to be perfect.
What Was The New Scandal?
Chaim, Nikki, Destiny, Xander, and everybody else present got to know about a picture leaked online in which Jocelyn could be seen in a compromising situation. This sordid development was uncalled for, and the team didn’t actually know how to curtail the consequences or what kind of statement they should be making in the media. They had expected the worst, but to their surprise, a lot of people came out in support of Jocelyn and called her a true feminist. Andrew Finkelstein from Live Nation was already worried about the sale of tickets for Jocelyn’s comeback concert, and whether he would be able to get a full house or not. When he got to know about this leaked picture, he got even more paranoid. Andrew came to Jocelyn’s residence and asked the team how they were planning to go about it.
Andrew was scared that Jocelyn might have another nervous breakdown, which he obviously didn’t want to happen because this time around, he knew that the losses would be colossal, and it would become almost impossible for his company to cope with them. The team finally showed Jocelyn her leaked picture, and surprisingly, she dealt with the entire situation in a very composed manner. Amidst all the hullabaloo that was happening in The Idol Episode 1, Talia Hirsch from Vanity Fair also arrived at Jocelyn’s house. She had come under the pretext of taking an interview for Jocelyn’s new single that was about to release, but in reality, she just wanted to know her reaction to the entire picture leak scandal. Jocelyn once again handled the entire situation with a lot of maturity and made it clear that she wouldn’t let the media and the public make a mockery out of her emotional vulnerabilities.
What Happened Between Tedros And Jocelyn?
Jocelyn’s friend Dyanne took her to a club where she met with the owner, Tedros, who made it pretty evident that he was smitten by her. Tedros was a keen observer, and he saw that there was something broken inside her that, no matter how she tried, she couldn’t fix. He saw that she did not really own up to her flaws, and her insecurity and inhibitions were somewhere, becoming obstacles in her way. Jocelyn also reciprocated Tedros’ feelings, even though her friend and assistant, Leia, told her time and again that she didn’t get a good vibe from Tedros. Jocelyn had felt good after a very long time, and she was not going to let go of that feeling so easily.
The ending of The Idol Episode 1 left us thinking about what kind of man Tedros really was. It made us realize that there was something more to Tedros; he was not the usual club owner but had an agenda behind everything he did. He never shied away from exploring the depths of a person and from enlightening them by making them aware of themselves. He talked like a spiritual guru, but his demeanor and even his actions were in stark contrast to his words. That is what made the entire concoction even more intriguing, and the obscurity behind his intentions couldn’t be guessed till the very end. Tedros told Jocelyn that her song was good but lacked conviction because she didn’t believe in those words. He told her that she had to sing it like she meant everything coming out of her mouth, and then nobody would be able to stop it from becoming a chartbuster. He wanted that flair and aggression that Jocelyn had when they were dancing together in the club. It felt like Jocelyn was finally making peace with herself and the moment almost felt cathartic to her. We believe Tedros’ presence will have an impact on her life and we would have to wait to find out whether it uplifts her or adversely affects her.
Throughout The Idol Episode 1 there were a few traits and inclinations that Jocelyn had which could be termed toxic, and some might even say that she encouraged that kind of behavior from the other party. The defense that is taken by the writers is that she is giving consent for it, and even if it is considered toxic by the majority, it is what she wants, and abstaining her from getting what she wants would mean that she is being coerced to do something that she doesn’t like. So, in layman’s terms, we can say that Sam Levinson gives us the reasoning that a person might be committing a crime but stopping him from doing that will amount to a greater crime so he should be allowed to act according to his will. In the upcoming episodes, we will get to know where the relationship between Jocelyn and Tedros leads and if his presence is able to derive the best from her or, in turn, derails her career and throws her back into the abyss she was trying hard to come out of.