The White Lotus it quickly went from being a pandemic wild card for HBO, to becoming one of the calling cards of that platform, as well as one of the most popular, awarded and praised series of recent months. In part, thanks must be given to Mike Whitand; the creator, scriptwriter and director of this production understood where the goals had to go when it came to proposing the satire he had in mind, and he was not wrong. In its second season, which ended just over a week ago and since then can be seen in its entirety on HBO Max, it consolidated a brand, a story and a bet: the one that, even when the immediate feeling may be rejection, in the end having a handful of yankees obscenely rich having problems in different corners of paradise will always end up making us curious and, in the case of this series, completely conquering us.
From the beginning The White Lotus It was assumed as an anthology series and remains so, even though some characters remain and certain narrative lines continue. This means that each season involves a general change of stories, links, characters, issues and, above all, location. In this case, the second season repeats the characters from Jennifer Coolidge —Tanya, a giddy wealthy heiress, a crowd favorite and the character she brought to life Stifler’s mom again in the foreground— and Jon Gries, but the setting is radically transformed: from the ostentatious Hawaiian resort that housed the first installment, here we go to the opulent hotel that the fictional The White Lotus chain maintains in the things of Taormina, a Sicilian city located at the foot of Mount Etna, the gigantic active volcano that dominates the southern tip of the Italian boot.
The White Lotus can be seen on HBO Max
The change of location is in line, according to White himself, of the issues that this second season wanted to raise. If the first sought to extol the dynamics around money, This new installment has passion, seduction and sex as narrative engines. It makes sense, then, that it is among the impressive Sicilian landscapes, among the palazzos and the shadow of the erupting volcano, that the problems around these issues (and hormones) explode.
In this context, the guests —in addition to the aforementioned Tanya and her husband, as well as a personal assistant who will join in and who will be key to this story— will be two couples of friends where jealousy is hidden under layers of artificial cordiality —between the highlighting the marvelous Aubrey Plaza—as well as a father, grandfather, and son seeking to escape a somewhat suffocating family reality in the United States. In its second part, meanwhile, the hotel staff on duty does not have the preponderance that it did in the first, but that place is occupied by two local escorts who, between business and vacations, will have the odd run-in with the aforementioned lodgers, as well as a group of mysterious millionaires based in Sicily who hide some things for the end of the season.
Within the framework of a series that raises the discovery of a corpse in its first minutes, and then reconstructs the path until reaching that known outcome —although, yes, it keeps the identity of the deceased a secret—, this second installment of the series de White seems decidedly darker than the first, although always with that sort of muted and cynical humor that, straddling the decision to be an eminently satirical series, has characterized it. Along those lines, the characters in this season seem meaner, dealing with heavier issues—depression, human trafficking, murder—and suffering a little more than those who vacationed in Hawaii. And all this is perfectly blended with the music of Cristóbal Tapia de Veer, who reformulated the main theme of the series created by himself and turned it into one of the compositions of the year. It never hurt so much to skip the intro than it did in this series.
In his second installment, The White Lotus proved that it was not an isolated phenomenon that it served to occupy the HBO grid while the production of the big series became more complex due to the pandemic, and that White has cloth to cut and the master key to continue exploring the borders of this luxurious chain of miseries, intrigues and black humor. He reaffirmed the idea that in these locations there are many stories to sink his teeth into and that the man behind them knows very well how to do it, as well as choose his actors well -casting successes are irrefutable- and take the Internet temperature to take the conversation about its outcome to social networks. The two existing seasons more than prove it: they were among the best of their respective premiere years.
Looking ahead, the paths of the guests could continue towards Southeast Asia. The creator of the series has said that it would be a good place to go to think, in the White Lotus key, one of the themes that stimulates him the most: spirituality. “I think the third season would perhaps be a funny satirical look at death and Eastern religion and spirituality. It seems to me that this could be a rich tapestry to do another round on White Lotus”, he confessed in a special about the series published on the HBO YouTube account. In this sense, The Maldives is pointed out as a possible focus for the new installment.
Because that, in part, is what vacations have: one comes back from leave and is already thinking about the next one. Even if the rest, sometimes, has the tension and stress of those that, apparently, take place in the overwhelming and luxurious facilities of The White Lotus.