The Weeknd’s controversial, 5-episode show The Idol is over. And with it, viewers of the HBO series got to hear Troye Sivan reimagine “My Sweet Lord,” the beloved, guitar-backed 1970 song by Beatle George Harrison, during the final episode.
Sivan’s sweet vocals hum and echo over a haunting, synthy organ as he sings the Harrison lyrics: “Really want to go with you/Really want to show you Lord/But it won’t take long, my Lord.” The track is very XO-esque, thanks to its production by Mike Dean and the Weeknd himself.
Following the release of the fifth and final episode, The Weeknd released “My Sweet Lord” as part of a trio of songs that were featured in the show’s final episode, including “Dollhouse,” a duet between the Weeknd and Lily-Rose Depp, and “Crocodile Tears” by Suzanna Son.
Other songs featured this season were tracks like “Double Fantasy” by the Weeknd and Future, a Depp-Weeknd duet “World Class Sinner/I’m a Freak,” and False Idols with the Weeknd, Lil Baby, and Son.
The Sivan Idol release arrives days before he’s set to drop his single “Rush” from his upcoming, much-anticipated album. “Enough excuses now. Enough saying ‘soon’ 🙃 this is for YOU and it starts NOWWW,” he wrote on Instagram earlier this month.
The series finale also comes as Rolling Stone looked into a strangely high number of positive Rotten Tomatoes reviews, which did not reflect the same feedback the show received online, and from Rolling Stone. (“The Idol will be a TV footnote, the show that didn’t seem to realize it had become what it sort of tried to satirize. Alas, poor Tedros,” read a review by Chris Vognar of the season finale.)
According to a large sample of Rotten Tomatoes audience reviews for The Idol reviewed by Rolling Stone, the majority of positive reviews came from an influx of first-time reviewers in the first four days of its June 4 premiere. Out of 500 5-star reviews, only nine came from users who had previously rated another show, meaning 98 percent of the rave reviews came from first-time reviewers.
“Shockingly boring,” one The Idol production source told Rolling Stone after catching an episode.
“It was worse than I thought it’d be,” a production member tells Rolling Stone after watching the premiere. “I think the hardest part in watching was remembering how nuanced and natural the original characters — particularly Tedros, whose asexual reverence as a cult leader reawakened Jocelyn’s love of music, giving her a taste of what her voice used to be outside of her sex appeal. And this was all in the first episode. Now it’s like watching a jumbled analog of the show’s own SNL parody.”
Production sources from the show told Rolling Stone back in March that things had gone sideways once the show’s original director, Amy Seimetz, suddenly departed the project in April 2022, and Levinson stepped in.
The Weeknd was a driving force behind that decision, according to reports and sources with knowledge of the situation. “What I was told was at the end of the day, Abel had a vision for it and wanted to see it through,” actress Da’Vine Joy Randolph recently told Variety. “He wanted Sam to be more than just executive [producer]. He wanted him to do it – which lucked out for me, because I got to work with Sam.”
Production sources also claim Levinson scrapped Seimetz’s take, and the show morphed into “torture porn” and a “toxic male’s version of a rape fantasy,” as Rolling Stone reported in March.
From Rolling Stone US