Sam Levinson: The Unofficial Scapegoat for The Idol Backlash?

Sam Levinson: The Unofficial Scapegoat for The Idol Backlash?
Image credit: Legion-Media

The Idol flopped, but is it really Sam Levinson's fault?

Although the first episode of The Idol has just been released, the show is already being called one of the worst in television history, with both critics and viewers berating it as an exploitative sex-fest with a huge amount of nudity and explicit content.

After seeing the controversial first episode, many were quick to accuse the show's creators of turning an interesting idea into mindless pornography, and it seems that Sam Levinson is receiving even more backlash than The Weeknd, his creative partner on the project.

But is Levinson really to blame, or is the public just using him as a scapegoat?

Let's get one thing out of the way first — nudity in art is nothing to be ashamed of. While the naked human body is still considered taboo in many areas of the arts, there are a thousand great movies and shows that use it as an important narrative device. What's more, the questionable nature of on-screen nudity can be used to the project's advantage, as the power to shock is still one of the most important tools in a director's hands.

Before the release of The Idol, everyone knew that Sam Levinson liked to add nudity and controversial sex scenes to his projects. His previous show, HBO's Euphoria, also shocked viewers with explicit content, but somehow, people seem to have forgotten about it and still accused Levinston of predatory behavior after seeing the first episode of The Idol.

This actually leads us to the second point in defense of Levinson and his artistic vision — only one episode of his new series has been released. Yes, this is perhaps not the most compelling pilot episode to ever hit screens, but does this give people the right to hate the show as a whole?

All in all, the idea of hating a show just because it features nudity is ridiculously puritanic. It's quite possible that Levinson's The Idol will end in such a way that all of its controversial moments will begin to make sense, and the haters will be ashamed of themselves for bashing the show before they have seen it in its entirety.