THE WHITE LOTUS is gripping once again. Review of second’s season premiere
Just a year after the phenomenal first season of The White Lotus, Mike White (director of Illumination starring Laura Dern) is back with part two. The next installment of the satire on the rich matches the one from a year ago, and after the first episode, the creators have effectively whetted the appetite for more.
The first season of The White Lotus received thirty-three nominations and was awarded ten Emmy Awards, known as the “TV Oscars.” Mike White created a series with multifaceted characters, a great script and an excellent, well-performing cast (on screen we could see, for example, Sydney Sweeney from Euphoria and Alexandra Daddario, as well as Connie Britton, Jennifer Coolidge and Murray Bartlett). The White Lotus was a social satire about capitalism and the rich and privileged Americans who vacation at a luxury resort in Hawaii. The creators of the series pointed out all the flaws and problems of their detached characters – their arrogance, inability to reflect more deeply, lack of awareness of social inequalities, but also their nagging loneliness.
The second season promises to be similar. This time the action takes place in Europe, in a historic hotel in Taormina, Sicily, and the only point of contact with the first season is the character of Tanya McQuoid (played by Jennifer Coolidge, who won an Emmy and a Golden Globe nomination for her acting performance from the previous season). In Italy, Tanya visits a luxury hotel with her assistant Portia (Haley Lu Richardson) to meet her husband there. Tanya neglects the young girl, and upon her arrival orders her to sit in the hotel room for the rest of her week-long stay in order to placate her husband, who is displeased with the arrival of her assistant. At the same time, two young couples also arrive at the hotel. Daphne (Meghann Fahy, known for her role as Sutton in the TV series The Bold Type) and her husband Cameron (Theo James), a sexy and seemingly perfect it couple who have left their children at home and invited Cameron’s college friend and his wife on a trip to Sicily. Ethan (Will Sharpe), who just made a great profit on the sale of his company, and lawyer Harper (Aubrey Plaza) aren’t exactly thrilled about the company of such shallow and superficial acquaintances who, unlike themselves, don’t read, vote or take an interest in the world.
The rooms in the hotel are also occupied by the Di Grasso gentlemen so different from each other – grandfather-erotomaniac Bert (F. Murray Abraham), father Dominic (Michael Imperioli) and son Albie (Adam DiMarco), who went to Sicily to discover the family heritage and visit the family village where great-grandmother Berta lived. Overlooking the luxurious Sicilian hotel is the confident manager Valentina with a rather direct sense of humor (Sabrina Impacciatore), who constantly chases two young girls – Lucia (Simona Tabasco) and Mia (Beatrice Grannò) – eager to earn money with their bodies from wealthy Americans.
Once again, the strongest point of The White Lotus becomes the cast – no first-league names, with more or less well-known TV actors, but cast perfectly. The dialogues are brilliantly written, and resound with the familiar reflections on the modern world from the first season. The male-female relationships come to the fore quite a bit, which benefit from intriguing, non-obvious characters. The first episode of the second season, once again, promises us a dense comedy-drama, complete with criminal intrigue, as in the episode’s prologue Daphne finds a human corpse in the sea at a resort beach. I can only hope that White will surprise us with something new this season, and not just repeat the conclusions known from the first season – that the privileged rich are narcissistic and insensitive to others arrogants. So I’m looking forward to the aces from Mike White’s sleeve and to the next episodes.