Review: The Idol, “Stars Belong to the World” | Season 1, Episode 4
Amid a lot of unpleasantness and emotional confusion, the plot inches forward
One phrase that got thrown around a lot in the early reporting about The Idol was “torture porn.” But even after last week’s mostly off-screen hairbrush punishment, I didn’t really see what the big deal was; the kinky sex scenes were more tedious than really shocking, leaving an absence of any genuine edginess.
“Stars Belong to the World” contains the first scene to make me actually think of that phrase, for obvious reasons: it’s an actual torture scene, with Tedros tying up Xander and buzzing him with a shock collar while everyone else quietly watches. It’s an unpleasant sequence to watch, even if it affords Troye Sivan ample opportunity to prove his acting chops by writhing around and shouting in agony.
There’s a potential version of this story that doesn’t feel tasteless, if Xander were a consistent and developed presence in the series. But he’s just another example of the lack of streamlined and emotionally consistent storytelling here. All we really knew …