HBO Max’s The White Lotus is a tropical getaway turned upside down. The series is a culmination of comedy, satire, and never ending drama, and is brilliantly executed in a short span of only 6 episodes.
By Isabelle Delostrinos
Vacations don’t always go as planned. What is anticipated to be a relaxing, peaceful time away from real-world responsibilities sometimes ends up to be even more stressful than your regular routine. The White Lotus, an HBO Original, is a drama filled, satirical comedy that follows the vacation of a newly wed couple, dysfunctional family, and grieving woman. Their ability to enjoy Hawaii at an exclusive resort fails to eliminate the real problems that they face in their everyday lives. Five star dinners, scuba diving lessons, and ocean views can’t save them from their struggles.
The first episode begins with a heavy attention getter. Beginning at the airport, a troubled Shane Patton, played by Jake Lacy, cusses out a friendly retired couple trying to ease his tension. He makes his way to the window as he watches a dead body be boarded onto the plane he would later be getting on. The next scene cuts to a week earlier, where he and his newly wedded wife are on a boat en route to the White Lotus
resort. Here, the story introduces the Mossbacher family and their separate family dynamic. The youngest son Quinn is sitting alone fiddling with his electronics while the parents are bonding at the railing of the boat, and older daughter Olivia makes fun of the other guests with her friend Paula. As Olivia gives each person on the boat a fake, outrageous background, a single woman named Tanya McQuoid, played by Jennifer Coolidge, looks blankly out into the ocean. As the boat docks and guests are greeted by the hotel manager, Armond, each of their untypical vacations begin.
Contrary to the guest experiences, the hotel staff is just as valued in this show. Strong narratives are created around Armond and the spa manager Belinda. The audience learns the complexities of being a service provider for those in the upper class while dealing with their own problems. Their constant need to put up a front and create an experience for difficult guests makes it more exhausting for them to deal with their lives outside of work. The lives of the staff are woven into the dynamics of the show and serve as a significant factor to the outcome of the show.
The storyline of the show triggers an abundance of emotion from the audience. As the vacations unfold and the experiences differ between each character, story writers and producers of the show were able to portray multiple realities into one show. From family problems, to struggles with grief and addiction, The White Lotus represents actual situations that happen in society today. The show features effortless performances from notable actors such as Sydney Sweeney from Euphoria, Alexandra Daddario from the Percy Jackson cinematic series, and Steve Zahn from Daddy Day Care. The cast’s overall talent and chemistry drives the show’s excellence and makes it what it is. The combination of a thoughtfully written story and a talented cast, The White Lotus is definitely a show worth binge watching.
If you didn’t already know, students are able to stream HBO Max and Peacock for free through their Saint Mary’s login. With just a few simple steps, you’ll be able to stream The White Lotus and other exclusive shows like Friends and The Office just in time for winter break.
Melanie Moyer '22,