Earlier this month, Euphoria creator Sam Levinson and Abel Tesfaye, otherwise known as The Weeknd, released their anticipated, co-created HBO series The Idol. The show has been hit with heavy criticism left and right, but the most unexpected side eyes come from those who feel the show is loosely inspired by events in a familiar pop star's life.
Here are the most uncanny resemblances people have pointed out:
1. Up first is the most obvious comparison between the two: both The Idol's lead character, Joss, and Selena Gomez are pop stars who started as kid actors on a hit children's show.
Selena famously held her breakout role as Alex Russo on Disney's Wizards of Waverly Place, and Joss's past acting gig remains unnamed but crucial to her origin story.
2. As Joss grew to fame, she and her mother had a tumultuous relationship that crossed the line into abuse. And while Selena Gomez has certainly never suggested that her mother physically harmed her in any way, their relationship has seen ups and downs.
In the past, Selena's mother vocalized her disapproval of Selena's relationship with singer Justin Bieber, as well as her working relationship with director Woody Allen after she was cast in his movie A Rainy Day in New York.
"No one can make Selena do anything she doesn't want to. I had a long talk with her about not working with [Allen] and it didn't click," Selena's mother wrote in an Instagram post in January 2018. "Her team are amazing people. There is no fall person here. No one controls her. She makes all her own decisions. No matter how hard you try to advise. It falls on deaf ears."
3. In 2016, Selena Gomez canceled the last few months of her Revival world tour, citing struggles with "anxiety, panic attacks, and depression" following her lupus diagnosis. Likewise, viewers learn in the first episode of The Idol that Joss recently canceled her own world tour after her mother's passing, and she plans to make a comeback throughout the series.
4. Selena's own comeback following her cancellation includes the music video for her song "Bad Liar," which controversially included shots of the star rolling around a bed with a hospital bracelet on. In The Idol, Joss poses for a return-to-the-limelight cover story in lingerie and a hospital bracelet.
5. Selena's song "Bad Liar" also received a few side eyes for featuring "moaning sounds," which one blog referred to as "whiny, orgasmic noise," before commenting, "Nothing says try-hard like a randomly placed moan." In The Idol, The Weeknd's character, Tedros, coerces Joss into delivering real moans on a song that was recorded while the two were intimate.
As shown above, some fans have spliced this scene with an Instagram Live that Selena did in the past where she says, "I'm private so much because I'm terrified of what these magazines are going to say about me," and she promises to "be the best version of myself" during the next phase of her life.
Both Selena and Joss also say they're portrayed as "chaotic" or "going crazy" for their choice of using Live to share their message, but double down on their decision to do so.