California; Hayward — “The Idol” is no stranger to criticism. The internet has been talking about the new show in mostly negative fashion. The third installment of the current season proves to be an episode that actually tells a story with its provocative nature.
It looks like Tedros has made himself at home in Jocelyn's estate as he takes over various parts of the pop star's music operation. From managing Jocelyn's fashion sense to her health routine, Tedros is taking full control. This episode was Abel Tesfaye's chance to really make the character shine and he did it in a way that makes me hate Tedros.
Considering this is exactly how Tesfaye planned for Tedros to be received, I'm impressed with the debut actor's ability to make an audience genuinely react. Tedros is the epitome of disgusting, vile, evil, toxic, among other adjectives to describe such a horrifying excuse of a human being. Jocelyn senses a loss of agency throughout the duration Tedros has spent creating an awful environment for Jocelyn and her crew. This is one of the key aspects that I feel a lot of viewers aren't understanding.
As someone who has taken college classes regarding pop culture and feminism, a huge component I remember discussing and learning was agency amongst women in entertainment. Jocelyn is a woman who is navigating her way in an industry that is run by older white men who reinforce misogyny through their demands for artists. Tedros acts as the representation for toxic masculinity in the entertainment industry as well as the society we live in.
By the end of this episode, there was a moment in which Tedros, Jocelyn, and the crew sat down at a dinner table and effectively had a trauma dumping session for Jocelyn. Jocelyn was trying to steer the conversation in a much more reasonable direction but Tedros manipulated her into opening up about past struggles with abuse from her mother. This moment of vulnerability was an opening for Tedros to pull the trigger on full fledged gaslighting and manipulation. Jocelyn felt like the abuse from her late mother was the catalyst to her success and Tedros proposed the idea of quite literally emulating the experiences from Jocelyn's past in order to save her dying career, which Jocelyn agreed upon.
For once in my overall viewing experience of “The Idol,” something was thought provoking. It felt like I was actually able to relate much of the content within the third episode with real life issues. While there was still the obvious Sam Levinson touch on the episode that makes most people hate The Idol, I filtered it out and experienced possibly the best episode of the series thus far.
Episode 3 was an 8/10.
Noumaan Faiz, (he/him) is a journalist and entertainer from Hayward, CA who covers culture and entertainment.
Edited by Nykeya Woods