The White Lotus

Last updated

The White Lotus
The White Lotus Title Card.png
Genre
Created by Mike White
Written byMike White
Directed byMike White
Starring
Music by Cristobal Tapia de Veer
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes6
Production
Executive producers
  • Nick Hall
  • David Bernad
  • Mike White
Production locations
Cinematography Ben Kutchins
Editors
  • Heather Persons
  • John M. Valerio
Running time54–65 minutes
Production companies
  • HBO Entertainment
  • Pallogram
  • The District
  • Rip Cord Productions
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original network HBO
Original releaseJuly 11, 2021 (2021-07-11) 
present (present)

The White Lotus is an American comedy-drama anthology television series created by Mike White for HBO. [3] [4] It follows the guests and employees of the fictional White Lotus resort chain, whose stay becomes affected by their various dysfunctions. The first season is set in Hawaii and the second season will be set in Sicily.

Contents

Intended as a six-part limited series, The White Lotus premiered on July 11, 2021, to critical acclaim and high ratings. The first season was the most-awarded series at the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards, winning ten awards, including Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series. [5] The show's success led to HBO renewing it as an anthology series, with a second season scheduled to premiere on October 30, 2022. [6]

Premise

The series details a week in the life of vacationers as they relax and rejuvenate in paradise. With each passing day, a darker complexity emerges in these picture-perfect travelers, the hotel's cheerful employees, and the idyllic locale itself. [7]

Cast and characters

Season 1

Main

  • Murray Bartlett as Armond, [8] the manager of the White Lotus resort and a recovering drug addict who has been "clean" for five years
  • Connie Britton as Nicole Mossbacher, [8] a CFO of a search engine company
  • Jennifer Coolidge as Tanya McQuoid, [8] a troubled woman whose mother recently died who seeks inner peace and discovery
  • Alexandra Daddario as Rachel Patton, [8] a newlywed struggling journalist who does clickbait gigs
  • Fred Hechinger as Quinn Mossbacher, [8] Nicole and Mark's socially awkward, screen-addicted teenage son who takes avid interest in the local Hawaiian sports
  • Jake Lacy as Shane Patton, [8] Rachel's husband, who is a demanding and entitled wealthy real estate agent
  • Brittany O'Grady as Paula, [8] Olivia's (relatively) less privileged but equally caustic mixed-race friend from college who struggles with the wealth of Olivia's family in contrast to the local workers
  • Natasha Rothwell as Belinda Lindsey, [8] the resort's kindly spa manager, who develops a complicated relationship with Tanya
  • Sydney Sweeney as Olivia Mossbacher, [8] Nicole and Mark's sardonic daughter who is a college sophomore
  • Steve Zahn as Mark Mossbacher, [8] Nicole's husband who is dealing with a health crisis
  • Molly Shannon as Kitty Patton, [9] Shane's overbearing mother, who pays for his honeymoon and makes a less than welcome unnanounced visit

Recurring

  • Lukas Gage as Dillon, [9] a staffer at the White Lotus who sleeps with Armond
  • Kekoa Scott Kekumano as Kai, [9] a Native Hawaiian staffer at the White Lotus who forms a connection with Paula
  • Jon Gries as Greg, [9] a White Lotus guest who connects with Tanya
  • Alec Merlino as Hutch, [10] a waiter at the White Lotus

Guest

  • Jolene Purdy as Lani, [9] a trainee at the White Lotus who disguises her pregnancy

Season 2

Main

Recurring

  • Jon Gries as Greg, a guest who is romantically involved with Tanya, reprising his role from Hawaii [16]
  • Leo Woodall as Jack, a guest staying at the White Lotus [12]

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1 6July 11, 2021 (2021-07-11)August 15, 2021 (2021-08-15)
2 7 [17] October 30, 2022 (2022-10-30) [18] December 11, 2022 (2022-12-11) [18]

Season 1 (2021)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
(millions)
11"Arrivals" Mike White Mike WhiteJuly 11, 2021 (2021-07-11)0.420 [19]
Shane Patton watches as a coffin is loaded onto an airplane. Seven days earlier: wealthy patrons arrive at the White Lotus resort on Maui. They are greeted by manager Armond and his pregnant employee Lani. Shane and Rachel arrive for their honeymoon. Shane becomes fixated on a booking error, causing Rachel to question their relationship. Tanya McQuoid, who has come to spread her mother's ashes, is desperate for a massage, but the spa is fully booked. Belinda, the spa's manager, instead guides her in a ceremonial chant. Nicole Mossbacher argues with her husband Mark about his potential cancer diagnosis; Mark decides to spend time with their son Quinn. Their daughter Olivia and her friend Paula lounge by the pool and make snide remarks about Rachel, a professional listicle writer. Lani's waters break, but Armond ignores her. Lani begins to give birth as the guests dine. Mark receives a call from his doctor, but is disconnected before he learns his diagnosis. Rachel and Shane agree to put the day's conflict behind them and resume their earlier tryst.
22"New Day"Mike WhiteMike WhiteJuly 18, 2021 (2021-07-18)0.459 [20]
Mark is elated when his cancer diagnosis comes back negative, but he learns from his uncle that his father actually died of AIDS and lived a double life as a gay man. Olivia's suggestion that his sexual orientation is no reflection on his masculinity is poorly received. Shane calls his mother to have their travel agent reprimand Armond over the booking error. Rachel considers taking a new writing assignment, but Shane insists she does not have to work again. Rachel meets Nicole, who advises her to maintain her independence. However, when Nicole learns that Rachel wrote a listicle mentioning her, Nicole criticizes Rachel's reporting, making Rachel question her career further. After more pestering from Shane, Rachel abandons the job. Olivia and Paula enjoy drugs on the beach until they are approached by Tanya and leave, forgetting Paula's bag of drugs. The bag is turned over to Armond, who keeps it and uses the drugs due to his stress despite being a recovering addict. Olivia becomes jealous when she sees Paula flirting with Kai, a hotel employee. Tanya invites Belinda to dinner and offers to fund a possible wellness business, which Belinda considers. When Quinn is kicked out of the hotel room by Olivia, he decides to go to the beach where he watches in awe of a group of whales jumping in the ocean.
33"Mysterious Monkeys"Mike WhiteMike WhiteJuly 25, 2021 (2021-07-25)0.478 [21]
As the guests of the White Lotus wake for the day, Paula remains cagey about her tryst to an increasingly suspicious Olivia, while Quinn's electronics are washed away as he sleeps on the beach. Shane and Rachel have sex, but Rachel worries whether their marriage is predicated on Shane's sexual attraction to her. To console her, Shane plans a romantic dinner, but Armond, fed up with Shane's incessant complaining, recommends for their dinner a sunset boat ride, without revealing that Tanya has chartered it to spread her mother's ashes in the ocean. Tanya believes the honeymooners have joined to support her, and the ensuing discomfort enrages Shane. Mark remains distraught over his discovery about his father, and gets increasingly drunk while proceeding through awkward encounters with his son, Rachel, and other women at the bar, culminating in a tepid speech when he joins his family for dinner and a rebuffed attempt to initiate sex with Nicole. Armond also spirals after relapsing from his five-year sobriety, drinking and taking Paula's prescription medication. He flirts with hotel staffer Dillon, and reveals to Mark that he is gay, even propositioning Mark when he expresses his curiosity about anal sex. As the guests return to bed, Olivia follows Paula and sees her and Kai have sex.
44"Recentering"Mike WhiteMike WhiteAugust 1, 2021 (2021-08-01)0.515 [22]
Quinn wakes on the beach again to see Hawaiians singing and bringing their canoe ashore. He introduces himself later that afternoon. Tanya informs the girls that Armond does have Paula's backpack, and when they confront him, he decides to give it back, drugs and all; however, after Shane angrily demands to speak with Armond's boss, a livid Armond takes the drugs and returns the backpack without them. Tanya and Belinda plan to have dinner together to discuss the wellness center, but the former cancels when she is asked out by Greg, a sport fisherman staying in the room next to hers. Kitty, Shane's mother, arrives at their honeymoon hotel, much to Rachel's chagrin. Mark reveals to Quinn that he cheated on Nicole. However, at dinner, Quinn unwittingly reveals knowledge of Mark's affair in front of Nicole. Armond invites Dillon to his office to take drugs and have sex, for money. When Shane learns that Armond gave him a fake number for his boss, he storms into the manager's office and comes upon Armond performing anilingus on Dillon.
55"The Lotus-Eaters"Mike WhiteMike WhiteAugust 8, 2021 (2021-08-08)0.541 [22]
After getting caught having sex with Dillon by Shane, Armond is forced to move Shane and Rachel into the Pineapple Suite free of charge to avoid repercussions. Rachel begins to worry that she has become a trophy wife after talking with Kitty and second-guesses marrying Shane. Belinda tries to get Tanya to look at her business proposal, but Tanya is more concerned about Greg's interest in her. Tanya admits to Greg that she is an emotional wreck, but Greg is undeterred. Quinn enjoys paddling with a group of locals. Paula convinces Kai to steal a pair of expensive bracelets from Nicole to pay for a lawsuit against the hotel. Nicole rebukes Mark for confessing his affair to Quinn. As the Mossbachers prepare to go scuba diving in the ocean, Nicole breaks down over the pressure of having to provide for her family and receiving no respect for it and goes back to the hotel, with Mark following her. Unbeknownst to them, Kai is in their hotel room trying to steal the bracelets. Mark saves Nicole, but is beaten by Kai, who escapes. The hotel comps their stay and Mark finally gets respect from Nicole and their children, but Olivia is suspicious that Paula is involved with the robbery.
66"Departures"Mike WhiteMike WhiteAugust 15, 2021 (2021-08-15)0.850 [23]
Rachel tells Shane that she regrets marrying him. Tanya decides to stay with Greg despite his terminal illness and tells Belinda she wants to end her dependency on transactional relationships, leaving her a large sum of cash instead. Dejected, Belinda discards her business plan. Kai gets arrested and the Mossbachers' stolen jewelry is recovered, confirming Olivia's suspicions about Paula. Paula admits her involvement in the robbery, but accuses Olivia of being as privileged as the rest of her family. The two later reconcile when Paula expresses her regret. Quinn tells his parents he wants to stay on the island to join the local paddlers, which they dismiss outright. Shane hears of the robbery while talking to the Mossbachers and calls his travel agent, who informs Armond's superior. This in turn gets Armond fired from the White Lotus. Armond spends his last workday getting heavily intoxicated on Olivia and Paula's remaining drugs. That night, after serving dinner, Armond sneaks into Shane's suite and defecates in his suitcase. However, Shane returns before Armond can leave. Sensing an intruder, Shane arms himself with a pineapple knife and inadvertently stabs Armond, killing him. Armond's body is loaded onto the guests' return flight. Rachel arrives at the airport and decides to stay with Shane. Quinn leaves the airport after the rest of his family boards the plane and joins the Hawaiian paddlers.

Season 2: The White Lotus: Sicily

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected by [17] Written by [17] Original air date [18] U.S. viewers
(millions)
71"Ciao" [24] Mike White Mike WhiteOctober 30, 2022 (2022-10-30)TBD
82"Italian Dream" [25] Mike WhiteMike WhiteNovember 6, 2022 (2022-11-06)TBD
93"Bull Elephants" [26] Mike WhiteMike WhiteNovember 13, 2022 (2022-11-13)TBD
104"In The Sandbox" [27] Mike WhiteMike WhiteNovember 20, 2022 (2022-11-20)TBD
115"That's Amore" [28] Mike WhiteMike WhiteNovember 27, 2022 (2022-11-27)TBD
126"Abductions" [29] Mike WhiteMike WhiteDecember 4, 2022 (2022-12-04)TBD
137"Byg" [30] Mike WhiteMike WhiteDecember 11, 2022 (2022-12-11)TBD

Production

Development

On October 19, 2020, HBO gave The White Lotus a limited series order that consisted of six episodes. [3] The series was created, written and directed by Mike White. White also serves as executive producer alongside David Bernad and Nick Hall. [31] Cristobal Tapia de Veer is the series' composer and Ben Kutchins is the cinematographer for the series. [32] On August 10, 2021, HBO renewed the series for a second season, [33] which will consist of seven episodes and be titled The White Lotus: Sicily. [34]

Casting

Upon the limited series order announcement, Murray Bartlett, Connie Britton, Jennifer Coolidge, Alexandra Daddario, Fred Hechinger, Jake Lacy, Brittany O'Grady, Natasha Rothwell, Sydney Sweeney, and Steve Zahn were cast to star. [35] On October 30, 2020, Molly Shannon, Jon Gries, Jolene Purdy, Kekoa Kekumano, and Lukas Gage joined the cast in recurring roles. [36] Alec Merlino, who was fellow contestant on Survivor: David vs. Goliath with Mike White, was cast as a waiter. [10]

Upon the announcement of the second season renewal, it was reported that a predominantly new cast of characters would be focused on at another White Lotus property for the second season, though Mike White had stated there was a possibility for a few cast members from the first season to return as their characters. [37] On October 15, 2021, it was reported that Coolidge is set to return as a guest star for the second season. [38] In January 2022, it was announced that Michael Imperioli, Aubrey Plaza, F. Murray Abraham, Adam DiMarco, Tom Hollander, and Haley Lu Richardson were cast to star in the second season. [14] [15] [11] In February 2022, Theo James, Meghann Fahy, and Will Sharpe joined the cast as series regulars while Leo Woodall was cast in a recurring role for the second season. [12] In March 2022, Beatrice Grannó, Sabrina Impacciatore, and Simona Tabasco joined the starring cast for the second season. [13]

Filming

Principal photography for the series began in October 2020 in Hawaii under COVID-19 guidelines. [39] On November 21, 2020, it was reported that the series was halfway through filming at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea and was scheduled to film in December at locations around Maui. [40] [41] On January 20, 2022, it was announced that the second season would film at the Four Seasons San Domenica Palace in Taormina, Sicily, Italy; [42] on February 28, 2022, HBO confirmed that production had begun there. [34]

Release

The series premiered on July 11, 2021, on HBO. [4] In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, the series premiered on Sky Atlantic on August 16, 2021. [43] The second season is set to premiere on October 30, 2022. [6]

Reception

Critical response

The White Lotus has received acclaim from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 89% based on 95 critic reviews, with an average rating of 8.40/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Though its true intentions can get a bit murky, gorgeous vistas, twisty drama, and a pitch perfect cast make The White Lotus a compelling—if uncomfortable—viewing destination." [44] On Metacritic, it has a score of 82 out of 100 based on 39 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". [45]

Matthew Jacobs of TV Guide rated it 4.5 out of 5 and wrote that it is "some of the year's best television thus far." [32] Rolling Stone 's Alan Sepinwall graded it 3.5 out of 5 stars and called it "frequently uncomfortable, sometimes poetic, occasionally hilarious, and deeply idiosyncratic throughout." [46]

Ratings

Viewership and ratings per episode of The White Lotus
No.TitleAir date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1"Arrivals"July 11, 20210.080.420 [19] 0.040.1980.120.618 [19]
2"New Day"July 18, 20210.060.459 [20] 0.060.2980.120.757 [20]
3"Mysterious Monkeys"July 25, 20210.110.478 [21] 0.080.3920.190.870 [21]
4"Recentering"August 1, 20210.140.515 [47]
5"The Lotus-Eaters"August 8, 20210.110.541 [48]
6"Departures"August 15, 20210.170.850 [23] 0.060.3490.231.199 [23]

Accolades

YearAwardCategoryNominee(s)ResultRef.
2022
AACTA International Awards Best Comedy SeriesThe White LotusWon [49]
Best Actor in a Series Murray Bartlett Won
Best Actress in a Series Jennifer Coolidge Nominated
American Cinema Editors Awards Best Edited Limited SeriesHeather Persons (for "Mysterious Monkeys")Nominated [50]
John M. Valerio (for "Departures")Nominated
Art Directors Guild Awards Excellence in Production Design for a Television Movie or Limited SeriesLaura FoxNominated [51]
Cinema Audio Society Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Series – One Hour Walter Anderson, Christian Minkler, Ryan Collins, Jeffrey Roy, and Randy Wilson (for "The Lotus Eaters")Nominated [52]
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television Murray BartlettWon [53]
Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television Jennifer CoolidgeWon
Directors Guild of America Awards Outstanding Directorial Achivement in Comedy Series Mike White (for "Mysterious Monkeys")Nominated [54]
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series The White LotusNominated [55]
Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film Jennifer CoolidgeNominated [56]
Golden Reel Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Limited Series or AnthologyKathryn Madsen, Paul Hammond, Mark Allen, Stefan Fraticelli, and Mikael SandgrenNominated [57]
Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards Best Broadcast Network or Cable Limited or Anthology SeriesThe White LotusWon [58]
Best Supporting Actor in a Broadcast Network or Cable Limited or Anthology SeriesMurray BartlettWon
Steve Zahn Nominated
Best Supporting Actress in a Broadcast Network or Cable Limited or Anthology Series Connie Britton Nominated
Jennifer CoolidgeWon
Alexandra Daddario Nominated
Sydney Sweeney Nominated
Best Directing in a Broadcast Network or Cable Limited or Anthology SeriesMike White (for "Mysterious Monkeys")Won
Best Writing in a Broadcast Network or Cable Limited or Anthology SeriesWon
Independent Spirit Awards Best Male Performance in a New Scripted SeriesMurray BartlettNominated [59]
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Television Movie, Limited-Series, or Dramatic Special Natasha Rothwell Nominated [60]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series Mike White, David Bernad, Nick Hall, and Mark KamineWon [61]
[62]
[63]
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie Murray BartlettWon
Jake Lacy Nominated
Steve ZahnNominated
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie Connie BrittonNominated
Jennifer CoolidgeWon
Alexandra DaddarioNominated
Natasha RothwellNominated
Sydney SweeneyNominated
Outstanding Directing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie Mike WhiteWon
Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie Won
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Casting for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie Meredith Tucker and Katie DoyleWon
Outstanding Contemporary Costumes Alex Bovaird, Brian Sprouse, and Eileen Stroup (for "Arrivals")Nominated
Outstanding Music Composition for a Limited or Anthology Series, Movie or Special Cristobal Tapia de Veer (for "Mysterious Monkeys")Won
Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music Cristobal Tapia de VeerWon
Outstanding Music Supervision Janet Lopez (for "Departures")Nominated
Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary Program (One Hour or More) Laura Fox, Charles Varga, and Jennifer LukehartNominated
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie John M. Valerio (for "Departures")Won
Heather Persons (for "Mysterious Monkeys")Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie Christian Minkler, Ryan Collins, Walter Anderson, and Jeffrey Roy (for "Departures")Won
Producers Guild of America Awards Outstanding Producer of Limited or Anthology Television Series The White LotusNominated [64]
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Murray BartlettNominated [65]
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Jennifer CoolidgeNominated
Set Decorators Society of America Awards Best Achievement in Décor/Design of a One Hour Contemporary SeriesJennifer Lukehart and Laura FoxNominated [66]
Society of Composers & Lyricists Awards Outstanding Original Score for a Television ProductionCristobal Tapia de VeerWon [67]
Television Critics Association Awards Program of the Year The White LotusNominated [68]
Outstanding New Program Nominated
Writers Guild of America Awards Original Long Form Mike WhiteNominated [69]

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References

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