The White Lotus: The Perfect New Show for the Travel-deprived
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The White Lotus: The Perfect New Show for the Travel-deprived

The White Lotus: The Perfect New Show for the Travel-deprived

Entertainment | August 12, 2021
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Scandal, drama, chaos, and love. The recipe for a riveting disaster, HBO debuts a series with all these and more. The name? The White Lotus.

In the tradition of crafting wealthy characters that you love to hate—like the dysfunctional Roy family of Succession; the sinister husband and unassuming wife couple of The Undoing, and the imperfect, flawed detective of Mare of Easttown—now comes a satirical dark comedy from HBO about the great divide of class, social stature, and economic relationships: The White Lotus.

The timing couldn’t have been any better. When we’re all once again locked up in our homes, dreaming about vacations we want to take, and reminiscing about vacations with family, friends, or a significant other, The White Lotus is a perfect escape from the four walls that have seemed to close in on us as we count down the days to our next respite of freedom.

Setting the Stage: A Luxe Hotel in Hawaii

Set in a luxe hotel in Hawaii—one also called The White Lotus—the show centers on the seemingly controlled and put-together General Manager Armond, who is played to perfection by Aussie actor Murray Bartlett. There, he deals with a newly arrived contingent of very needy, privileged American tourists. Yikes!

Each character is highly unlikeable in their own way and will remind you of the tourists you love to hate when you’re on vacation yourself. Some standouts include the annoying, major-PDA-fest young, wealthy, attractive newlywed couple (played by Alexandra Daddario and Jake Lacey), the old married couple with spoiled, rebellious teenage kids (played by Steve Zahn and Connie Britton), and the over-the-hill single, lonely girl (played by Jennifer Coolidge).

An Ensemble of Characters and Guests

It’s the classic archetype of “upstairs, downstairs” people, where Armond is right smack at the center—dealing with every minute guest request as a crisis. From his secretly pregnant native Hawaiian staff giving birth in his office to double-booking oversights that become the bane of his existence throughout the duration of their stay, it is utter chaos!

After watching how Armond navigates and micro-manage The White Lotus, you will understand that it takes a special kind of human being to run a luxury resort.

Add to that, it is revealed that he is a recovering substance addict and a closeted gay man. So you can just imagine how his character reacts when a backpack filled with prescription drugs is brought to him. His stress levels definitely escalated! That becomes a recipe for disaster and yet, truly entertaining to watch. Every move his character makes is funny to watch—like a trainwreck waiting to happen.

Because, of course, Armond is only human. He makes mistakes—both unwittingly and deliberately. As he attempts to outwit his guests and sabotage their vacations, he must appear to be the most accommodating and hospitable personnel of the resort. And that’s staggering comedy right there! He’s very exacting in his ways. But of course, at some point, he loses all control.

As in life, the rich will always have a leg above the working class. And so, Armond is left in a disadvantageous and compromising position. But how he comes back from this is something you need to watch.

The Rich vs. Poor Situation

The show is slow and steady. It opens with a murder-mystery premise, but as the episodes unfold, it becomes a multiple character study. Just like me, you’ll become heavily invested in what’s going to happen next to these characters that you love to hate. You’ll begin to care what happens to them.

And I feel that this is what HBO has mastered—that not all characters should be sympathetic for you to enjoy watching a series.

But we must also remember that one character returns from The White Lotus in a box. After just four episodes, I still cannot say for sure who.

The White Lotus is much more than a comedy. It is a searing depiction and a sobering reminder that the world is still very much divided between the rich and the people who cater to their every whim and capriccio. But more than that, it is a relaxing escape from everything that constricts us. As the world becomes smaller through the constancy of new content, the more it opens our minds to the possibility of the next destination—especially since we haven’t left our homes in God-knows how long.

Believe me, you’ll enjoy this show. There’s murder, there’s sex, there’s scandal, and most of all, there’s love.

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G3 San Diego is a Filipina writer, an entertainment journalist, a key opinion leader, an online talk show host, a third-generation farmer, and a modern-day romantic.
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