How to watch 'The Idol' from anywhere in the world

It's the most controversial TV show of the year—here's how to watch 'The Idol' so you don't miss one scandalous moment

How to watch The Idol. Pictured: Lily-Rose Depp, Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye HBO The Idol Season 1 - Episode 3
(Image credit: Eddy Chen/HBO)

You've heard about the behind-the-scenes drama—now you need to know how to watch The Idol so that you can see how all of that messiness plays out onscreen in the much-talked-about HBO miniseries, starring Lily-Rose Depp and Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye. (What's the controversy surrounding The Idol? We'll fill you in on everything, including that The Weeknd and Rolling Stone beef.) 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Time and date: Sundays at 9pm ET
Channel: HBO
Stream: Max (US)
Watch anywhere: Stream from anywhere with ExpressVPN

How to watch 'The Idol' from anywhere in the world:

How to watch The Idol in the US

The Idol—which centers on an aspiring pop star (Depp) and her complicated relationship with a modern-day cult leader (Tesfaye)—is available to watch on Sunday at 9pm ET on HBO and Max. 

That means, if you want to stream the series at your own leisure, you'll need a Max subscription. Current Max plans include a "With Ads" option for $9.99/month or $99.99/year (a 16% savings), an "Ad-Free" plan for $15.99/month or $149.99/year (over 20% savings), or "Ultimate Ad-Free," which allows you to stream on four devices instead of the regular two, as well as giving you 4K UHD with Dolby Atmos on select titles and100 downloads to watch on the go, all for $19.99/month or $199.99 yearly. 

How to watch The Idol outside the US

If Max is not available where you are located, that doesn't mean you have to miss out on all the pop-star fun. Using a VPN will allow you to change up your IP address and tune into The Idol no matter where you are in the world. 

Our go-to VPN service is ExpressVPN, rated as the best in the world by our colleagues at TechRadar. It's super simple to use—here's how to get started with a VPN:

  1. First off, you need to make sure you have a Max account so you can log in once your VPN is set up.
  2. Download ExpressVPN, using the easy-to-follow instructions.
  3. Once you've installed your VPN, open the app and select your server location as anywhere in the United States
  4. With your ExpressVPN installed and your location set to the United States, head to Max, log in and follow the instructions to stream The Idol.

A post shared by HBO (@hbo)

A photo posted by on

What is 'The Idol' about? 

Co-created by Euphoria's Sam Levinson, Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye and Reza Fahi, the six-part miniseries chronicles the struggles and ambitions of wannabe pop idol, Jocelyn. 

"After a nervous breakdown derailed Jocelyn’s (Lily-Rose Depp) last tour, she’s determined to claim her rightful status as the greatest and sexiest pop star in America," reads the series' official description, per HBO. "Her passions are reignited by Tedros (Abel 'The Weeknd' Tesfaye), a nightclub impresario with a sordid past. Will her romantic awakening take her to glorious new heights or the deepest and darkest depths of her soul?"

"For something that does, of course, explore darker themes and has some pretty heavy emotional moments to it and everything, the vibe on set was quite lighthearted," Depp told Entertainment Weekly about filming the intense series. "We're all really good friends and we all are similar people and really understand each other. We were having a lot of laughs, listening to a lot of music, dancing around, and that kind of energy is what made the heavier moments easier and possible, because whenever you knew that there was a bigger, emotional scene coming up, you felt like you were surrounded by people that you feel comfortable with, people that have your back, and you feel that in the show."

Watch 'The Idol' trailer:

Who is in 'The Idol' cast?

Along with main stars Lily-Rose Depp and Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye, here's the full, expansive performers making up The Idol cast. (Hint: there's a fan-favorite Euphoria actress in the midst!)

  • Suzanna Son
  • Troye Sivan 
  • Jennie Ruby Jane 
  • Moses Sumney 
  • Jane Adams
  • Dan Levy 
  • Eli Roth 
  • Rachel Sennott
  • Hari Nef
  • Da'Vine Joy Randolph 
  • Mike Dean 
  • Ramsey
  • Hank Azaria 
  • Melanie Liburd
  • Tunde Adebimpe
  • Elizabeth Berkley
  • Nico Hiraga
  • Anne Heche
  • Maya Eshet
  • Tyson Ritter
  • Kate Lyn Sheil
  • Liz Caribel Sierra
  • Karl Glusman 
  • Sophie Mudd
  • Charly Summer
  • Mitch Modes 
  • Alexa Demie

Catch The Idol on HBO and Max every Sunday at 9pm Eastern on HBO and Max.

Christina Izzo

Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life. 

More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York

When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.