‘The Idol’ Season 1, Episode 2 Recap: A Human Moment

In its second episode, the show offers a deeper glimpse into Jocelyn’s recent trauma and the fallout from it.

By Esther Zuckerman

Season 1, Episode 2: ‘Double Fantasy’

One way Hollywood likes to show a woman in crisis is via her battered feet. It’s a hallmark of ballerina media, like “Black Swan.” Bloodied toes are an example of a performer pushing herself to the brink. She can barely stand but she wants to keep going.

Episode 2 of “The Idol” offers up one of these moments. Jocelyn is in the midst of a chaotic music video shoot for “World Class Sinner.” It’s already gotten a late start because makeup artists had to cover up cuts that were on her thighs. Jocelyn emerges from the trailer skeptical of the concept for the video: The idea is she’s at a strip club, surrounded by shirtless men in suit jackets and ties. It’s “ironic” in a way her fans are not going to understand, she thinks.

But beyond that, she thinks she’s just not getting it right. None of the takes are good enough, and everyone is growing more and more frustrated with her perfectionism. No one, however, is more frustrated than Jocelyn herself. She pushes through and finally does a take she’s pleased with, but the camera was out of focus. She has to go again.

She starts to crumble. She takes off her silver high heels and her feet are mangled. There is blood between her thighs where her cuts started to open up. Her black eye makeup is running because she can’t stop crying. She calls out to her mom, but her mother, who died, is not there.

Her manager, Destiny (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), tries to console her: “You’re having a human moment. We can take a break.” That break costs her a lot. Even though Nikki, the crass and cruel record label exec, promises Jocelyn she can come back the next day, the entire shoot is scrapped.

In its second episode, “The Idol” offers a deeper glimpse into Jocelyn’s recent trauma and the fallout from it. When her mother was sick, Jocelyn insisted she could still do her tour, but just before she was supposed to play Madison Square Garden she had a breakdown which involved, according to Nikki, “babbling” on a roof. Her team spent eight months attempting to get her healthy, and now she’s back in a precarious mental state.

In addition to offering up some back story, “The Idol,” in this hour, reveals itself to be a show split in two. On one side, there’s a narrative focused on Jocelyn and her attempt to emerge from her sorrow. On the other: There’s the whole Tedros situation. If you’re interested in the first and not so interested in the latter, you could turn off this episode just about halfway through.

Tedros just hovers over the action in the first half. After their night together, Jocelyn presents her team with their new remix of “World Class Sinner,” which mostly just features the addition of a lot of sex noises. Nikki rejects it, berating Jocelyn. When Jocelyn finally reaches Tedros to tell him how badly it went, he chides her for playing it because it’s not finished. She asks him to come over, but he says he can’t that night or the next.

He eventually does re-emerge after the video shoot, when she is at her lowest, bringing a group over to her house to party. Among them are Izaak (Moses Sumney), who started a flirtation with Leia on the night Jocelyn and Tedros met, and Chloe (Suzanna Son), a girl who immediately strips down and jumps in the pool.

Leia, before having sex with Izaak, gets him to divulge information about Tedros. Izaak explains that Tedros signed him after hearing him sing at a church, adding “he’s very godly,” when Leia expresses skepticism. Tedros considers himself some sort of music mogul type, and is running Izaak’s career. Tedros also, it turns out, manages Dyanne (Jennie Kim, of Blackpink fame), who catches Nikki’s eye at Jocelyn’s shoot. Dyanne, it appears, was a plant to access Jocelyn and is now on a path to super stardom herself.

The music video sequence may rely on familiar images of a woman pushing herself to the brink — the aforementioned feet — it also allows Lily-Rose Depp to show her range. When she calls out for her mother, it’s heartbreaking, and you feel deeply for Jocelyn. Depp’s work allows you to fill in the blanks: This was a girl whose life was run by a momager figure, who doesn’t know how to exist without that authority. The scenes opposite Tedros seem to force both Jocelyn and Depp into a more one dimensional mode. Attempting to please him, she turns into a living sex doll who hinges on his every word.

In her bedroom, she asks him to put her robe around her head again. He blindfolds her and then barks out commands and desires as she masturbates. There’s a soft-core corniness to everything he says — none of which is particularly sexy and most of which is just gross. So once again we’re forced to believe this man has an almost magical allure that extends beyond Jocelyn. Chloe, who has been snooping around the house, watches this unfold from Jocelyn’s closet, herself mimicking his commands.

Chloe, then, heads to the piano in Jocelyn’s house, and starts belting out a ballad where she croons, “That’s my family, we don’t like each other very much.” Soon Izaak joins in and eventually Jocelyn does too. She has found a new family, but the second part of the lyric seems just as relevant as the first. Families come with baggage and this one has a ton.

Liner notes

Tedros’s full name: Tedros Tedros. OK!

It’s hard to believe that a camera would be out of focus on a high profile music video shoot like this. It reeks of, well, something had to go wrong so might as well be this.

There is a piece of dialogue in the sex scene that is so cringey I want to make note of it, and yet it is unprintable here. If you watched, I think you know the one I’m talking about.

Tedros’s management style involves shocking his clients when they don’t grind sexy enough?

I have to appreciate the unintuitive spelling of both Dyanne and Izaak’s names.

I liked the original version of “World Class Sinner” better. Sorry, Tedros.

Happy to see Suzanna Son, who was fabulous in Sean Baker’s “Red Rocket.”

Site Index

Site Information Navigation

Source: Read Full Article