The White Lotus is certainly one of the most successful series of recent years.
Despite initially having started a bit quietly; not everyone, in fact, immediately gave her trust and her success is mainly due to the word of mouth of the spectators, this is demonstrated by the constantly growing ratings on the HBO television network .
The show was born as a classic “whodunit” in which we want to reconstruct the dynamics of a murder, concerning a character not yet specified. Its success, however, should not be attributed to this dynamic, which becomes almost superfluous, but to everything that surrounds it. The first season conceived by Mike White tells the story of a group of people on vacation in the splendid White Lotus resort, located on the island of Maui (Hawaii), will be welcomed by the entire staff of the residence headed by Armond ( Murray Bartlett ).
One of the main elements of the series concerns the lives of these characters, all or almost at the limit of the borderline, and how they manage to skillfully intertwine with each other in a natural way. After the conclusion of the first cycle of episodes, HBO promptly decided to renew The White Lotus for a second year, which would have another scenario: Sicily. All the main characters of the first season will not be returning, with the exception of Tanya played by an amazing Jennifer Coolidge . The second season, debuting on November 7 on Sky Atlantic and NOW, will therefore be composed of new protagonists and a different cast than the previous one. Among these it is worth mentioning the presence of Italian actresses such as Sabrina Impacciatore , Beatrice Grannò , Simona Tabasco .
Dark comedy and satire main elements of success
As already mentioned The White Lotus owes its success not to the mystery concerning the dead character, mentioned in the first minutes of the pilot, but to the intertwining of the personal stories of the various protagonists. There are many issues on which Mike White tries to make his viewers reflect, one above all is the one that sees wealthy people exploiting the obviously poorer working class. The series through a criticism, not too veiled, in fact wants to show how much the rich society feels superior to the poorer one.
Although it may seem a little topical issue, the class struggle is unfortunately still very much felt today, especially in some areas of the United States. The show demonstrates this through some characters such as Shane ( Jake Lacy ), who through a position as a rich father’s son decides to spend his honeymoon with only one goal: to find an excuse to get Armond (Murray Bartlett) , director, fired. of the resort, guilty of having reserved a room for him that did not live up to his expectations. Blinded by an inexplicable (and exaggerated) sense of revenge, the man hardly seems to understand how his new wife Rachel ( Alexandra Daddario) is experiencing this situation and her new role in the relationship. All of this is narrated using a strong sense of humor, giving the series an aura closer to dark comedy and not pure drama. Such black humor and satire, with which the various plots are staged, represent two of the hallmarks of The White Lotus .
People we would never want to share a vacation with
However, Shane is not the only vacationer with a precarious mental balance, Tanya ( Jennifer Coolidge ) is for example another extremely peculiar character. Arrived at the resort to scatter the ashes of her mother, the woman is immediately presented as a very lonely and mentally unstable person; she will find her point of reference in Belinda ( Natasha Rothwell ), director of the Spa, between the two immediately establishes a very intense and friendly relationship. Tanya , in her few moments of lucidity, seems to understand Belinda ‘s job dissatisfaction and decides to help her, only to abandon her after meeting a man.
Other great protagonists of the first season are undoubtedly the members of the Mossbacher family . Parents Mark ( Steve Zahn ) and Nicole ( Connie Britton ) have obvious relationship problems, while their daughter Olivia ( Sydney Sweeney) is in the company of her friend Paula ( Natasha Rothwell ), the latter totally removed from the luxurious style of family life. The only one to take advantage of the vacation will be Quinn ( Fred Hechinger ), the couple’s other child, who will have a sensational growth path during the 6 episodes.Mike White will also use this dysfunctional family to talk about classism, but ultimately showing how everything is not as it may initially seem
Soundtrack and photography perfectly suited to storytelling
Beyond the engaging story and capable of arousing controversial reactions in the public, another great element attributable to the success of the first season of The White Lotus is undoubtedly represented by the soundtrack. Entirely composed by Cristobal Tapia De Veer , from the very first frames, it is able to enter the minds of the spectators making the locations of Hawaii, protagonists of the first cycle of episodes, even more characteristic. The music almost seems to recall those of the famous film Jumanji (1995), with drums perfectly suited to the exotic places shown.
Another element capable of making the show original is certainly the photography characterized by very bright colors, especially in the scenes where sunsets are shown. The shots of the waves of the sea seem, moreover, almost attributable to a documentary and not to a simple TV series, this emphasizes even more the care present in the entire show. Finally, a top-notch cast with actors such as Jennifer Coolidge and Murray Bartlett , both winners of an Emmy Award for their roles, are certainly the masters, who immediately seem to take the main scene. Very strong, however, were also the performances of Jake Lacy and Steve Zahn, interpreters of two characters almost at the antipodes but able to create strong reactions in the public.
“Welcome to The White Lotus in Sicily”
The second season of The White Lotus opens with completely new characters and settings, no longer the exotic beaches of Hawaii but the very hot ones of Sicily are the backdrop to the events narrated. The protagonists of this second cycle of episodes are a new group of American vacationers who landed in The White Lotus in Sicily, among these two well-known faces of the first vintage: Tanya and Greg , now happily (or almost) married. Like the previous one, this season also opens with a flash-forward in which the discovery of some corpses is shown, who among the protagonists will not exceed 7 days of vacation?
The White Lotus this year seems to find its key no longer in the struggle between the wealthy and the poor, but in strong women eager to make their way in a world that is still too macho. This is demonstrated by the character of Harper ( Aubrey Plaza ), who will most likely prove to be the real protagonist of the season, immediately shown as a confident and resolute woman. Free and cheeky women are also represented by the three Italian gems Valentina , Lucia and Mia , played by Sabrina Impacciatore , Simona Tabasco , Beatrice Grannò. To reinforce the feminist idea are the famous Sicilian vases “Moor’s heads”, present in every corner of the resort and on which the same narrative lingers in a specific scene of the first episode. The legend concerning these particular vases tells of the passion that broke out, about a thousand years ago, between a young Moor and a girl from Palermo. After declaring each other love, the girl discovered that in reality the young man already had a wife and in anger she decided to kill him, cutting off his head. The latter was used as a vase to contain basil plants. The struggle against patriarchy is also embodied in the Di Grasso family plot where Bert ( F. Murray Abraham), an eighty-year-old grandfather unable to surrender to the passage of time.
“Ciao” is a first episode characterized by an entirely Italian soundtrack, in which artists of the caliber of Raffaella Carrà , Fabrizio De André , Ornella Vanoni stand out . In addition, it was nice to see how Cristobal Tapia De Veer has made a considerable effort to arrange all the music present in the previous season, starting with the theme song. In conclusion, the second season of The White Lotus starts well; Mike White seems not to have distorted the series at all and indeed could reveal many surprises in the next episodes.
The first season of The White Lotus was last year’s revelation, winning 10 Emmy Awards including Best Miniseries . The second season set in Italy, more precisely in Sicily, debuts on Sky Atlantic and Now on November 7, 2022.