Jennie is the true idol as diehard Indonesian Blackpink fans celebrate her HBO debut

Blackpink’s Jennie plays Dyanne in the new HBO series ‘The Idol’. Screengrabs taken from the show
Blackpink’s Jennie plays Dyanne in the new HBO series ‘The Idol’. Screengrabs taken from the show

Blink and you won’t miss all the chatter about HBO’s new TV show The Idol, which brought to the world the acting debut of a literal global idol.

The Weeknd’s horrendous acting aside, The Idol will forever be known as the show that launched Blackpink member Jennie Kim’s acting career. For legions of diehard Blackpink fans (colloquially known as Blinks) in Indonesia, every moment Jennie is on screen as the character Dyanne is an event unto itself.

Perhaps there is no greater illustration of this than a campaign launched by the fanclub Blink Official Indonesia (BOI). With 22 thousand followers on Instagram, the official fanclub rarely rests as it organizes projects and events to support and celebrate the group, from hosting Blackpink-themed karaoke nights to making sure that Jisoo’s Flower sits on top of all Indonesian charts

The words “militant” and “dedicated” immediately come to mind. Now, much of the spotlight is on Jennie.

For #JennieTheIdolProject, BOI is calling on Blinks to take part in a fundraiser to help promote the South Korean superstar. With the aim of raising IDR5 million (US$335) from May 27 to June 8, the fanclub intends to use that money to give away 20 to 40 HBO Go accounts to Blinks in Indonesia.

Should they exceed their target by IDR1 million (US$67), the fanclub says it would book a jumbotron to screen episodes of The Idol in Bandung or Jakarta. But the bigger dream is to place ads promoting Jennie on The Idol on Jakarta’s KRL Commuterline facilities, which BOI said they would do if they exceed their target by IDR3.5 million (US$234).

“The purpose of this fundraiser is to support and promote Jennie’s first series in the acting world. We hope that many among the public would give their attention to Jennie from Blackpink’s debut as a Hollywood actress,” Theo, an admin for BOI, told Coconuts Jakarta today.

But perhaps there could have been a better launching pad for their idol than the mess that is The Idol.

Since its premiere on June 4, the HBO series seems headed towards infamy and will likely go down as one of the celebrated network’s worst-rated offerings. The Idol currently holds a score of 30 on Metacritic and is certified rotten with a score of 27 on Rotten Tomatoes.

Jennie, with her limited screen time in the show thus far, certainly does not deserve any of the blame.

“We are very satisfied. For a K-pop idol who had just made her acting debut, Jennie was very good,” Theo said.

That said, some fans could not stomach witnessing Jennie being sandwiched between two male dancers in one scene – a clip of which has gone viral online.

“I know it’s acting but it was difficult to see her in such a sensual scene like that,” one fan, who asked to remain anonymous, told Coconuts Jakarta.

“I refuse to watch [Jennie in The Idol] even for free. I can’t bear to watch Jennie in this series. Even watching the previews has left me traumatized. I’m sorry, Jen, I’m not a professional fan,” one fan wrote in the comments of a BOI Instagram post.

BOI was more diplomatic in their response.

“It depends on people’s individual opinions – some approve and some disapprove. But aside from all those who are for or against it, Jennie was just playing a role and she was being professional as Dyanne in the series The Idol,” Theo said.

“Our duty as fans is to just support Jennie whatever she does.”

The fanclub is willing to give The Idol the benefit of the doubt while hoping that Jennie will have a more prominent role in the series.

When we checked in with BOI today, they said that they did not meet the fundraiser target, meaning we are unlikely to see ads on the KRL Commuterline or a jumbotron screening. A new Instagram post states that the fanclub will instead be giving away 20 HBO Go accounts, valid for three months each, so that they can watch their idol in five more The Idol episodes.

However badly The Idol is being panned, HBO can be rest assured that most Indonesian Blinks will tune in no matter what.

New episodes of The Idol land in Indonesia every Monday via HBO Go.

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