It has been way too long since we have been blessed with our god-given television right: quality rich people porn.
I’m not talking Roy-family-level exorbitance that forces us to grapple with the widening wealth gap, billionaire tax evasion, media corruption, blah blah blah…No. Simple, stylized, star-studded, casual 1% content. Like Big Little Lies before it went off the deep end.
Enter The White Lotus.
Even the name hits that sweet spot between health spa and mental institution. HBO’s new social satire series focuses on a Hawaii resort and the mini dramas of its peculiar guests. We open with Jake Lacy (no one plays “that white guy” quite like this man, props for knowing your craft, Jake) sitting alone at an airport looking extremely depressed. An older couple asks him where he stayed. He says he was on his honeymoon at the White Lotus. “Oh, isn’t that where someone was killed they ask?” He grudgingly affirms, telling them the body’s being loaded onto their plane. When the couple asks where is wife is, he asks them to leave him the fuck alone.
Cut to one week earlier. We meet our principal vacationers. Jake Lacy has just married Alexandria Daddario. She’s quickly realizing that her whirlwind romance might be too good to be true after he throws one too many generational wealth tantrums about receiving the wrong suite. Jennifer Coolidge does her usual magic as an oddball heiress coming to bury her mother’s ashes. Last, but certainly not least, we have the Mossbacher family. Her lordship Connie Britton plays a mom-boss matriarch somewhat parodying GP (her company’s name is POOF). She’s married to Steve Zahn, but he doesn’t matter that much. Sydney Sweeney does an excellent job as her daughter – sanctimonious in all her Gen-Z glory, forcing her brother to sleep on the beach and reading Nietzche by the pool. The scenes surrounding the hotel staff are less entertaining, but only by comparison to these fantastic units. With each episode the guests get kookier, the tension builds, and someone is going to get whacked. I’m giddy just thinking about it.
What we have here is a classic whodunit with a Hawaii vacation backdrop.
The structure is smart, but digestible. The dialogue is relevant, but natural. And the show comes out…wait for it…once. a. week. Remember the simple times when you would sit down for a good Sunday night program? Nope, neither do I. But it sounds so cute when old people talk about it.
The White Lotus airs Sundays on HBO Max at 6 p.m. PT.