Most of us will likely not have seen a holiday this side of 2019, and after watching The White Lotus, most of us will now run screaming from the idea of a luxury resort mini-break.
Eight over-privileged characters are boated into a five-star Hawaiian hotel for the trip of a lifetime; but instead of luaus with the locals and flower-garnished cocktails, the series serves up critiques of colonialism, gentrification and white privilege, alongside an expose on working in the service industry. The experience starts with the premise of a week in paradise, and ends (spoiler) with somebody shitting in a suitcase, before they’re murdered with a pineapple carving knife. Wish you were here? Not so much.
It has instantly become the one of the biggest TV hits of our washout summer, and the tragi-comedy has lit up our WhatsApp groups and Twitter feeds. While we still contemplate that barn-storming finale, here’s all the latest on the news of a follow up series:
What happened at the end of series one?
It goes without saying: only read this part if you’ve watched the final episode. We find out that the casket at the beginning of the series belongs to the Basil Fawlty-on-ket hotel manager, Armond, who was stabbed by trust-fund man-baby Shane in the exalted Pineapple suite. Yep, after complaining for a week about not being in the honeymoon suite of The White Lotus, he ends up knifing his hotel nemesis after Armond - while very high - shat all over his polo shirts. It appears that the wealthy Shane manages to buy his way out of any punishment, as we see him shaking hands with the owners of the hotel, and of course, we see him at the airport at the beginning of the series, telling some fellow travellers to leave him “the fuck alone”. He’s literally got away with murder.
Weirdly, Rachel, his wife, who left him after his big baby antics, returns to him – and a miserable life – telling him at the airport that everything’s fine and “I’m happy now...I can be happy”. She’s pushed aside her own (correct!) realisation that her new husband is actually a terrible human being, alongside all her hopes and dreams as a journalist, to stay with him. Good luck with that one, Rach.
The Mossbacher family head back home, with Nicole and Mark in the flush of renewed love. Olivia is still the sour-faced snark-merchant, and her BFF Paula is sick to the stomach with the thought that her lover, Kai, is now festering in an island jail because of her. Yeah, you should feel bad, Paula. Quinn, however, is probably best off without his toxic family, as he escaped the boarding call at the gate, a la Kevin McCallister, and has run away to join his boating brothers in the tropics. Au revoir Quinn, send us a postcard when you get to Tahiti.
Poor spa manager Belinda was dumped as a plaything by Tanya McQuoid, and came to the sad realisation that all that emotional labour was for nothing, and that wealthy Tanya had no intention of setting up a holistic spa business with her. The deranged and self-centred Tanya - who had peeled back herself back to her onion core - was too busy planning a move to Aspen with her new lover, Greg, who looked to be clinging on to his health with the last few threads on his Hawaiian shirt.
We’re reminded that after all this drama, it was simply another week in the lives of an up-market resort. The end of the series sees the new gang of employees (“the interchangeable helpers”, as evidenced by the fact we never see or hear from pregnant Lani after episode one ever again) are ready to wave in another host of guests. If the new horrors of these next guests invited into the hotel don’t kill them, then perhaps the repetition will.
Who was the most hideous character on the show?
That’s a toughie, as even the most heinous of characters wormed their way into our hearts. Entitled whining bro Shane or his “latte, no foam” mummy who crashes his honeymoon? Woke Gen Z-er Paula who misguidedly unleashes chaos on the resort, ruining the life of a local lad in the process? Ball-busting tech queen Nicole or Mark, her annoying hypochondriac husband? What about the self-professed “straight-up alcoholic lunatic” in desperate need of a massage, Tanya? Who are we kidding, Jennifer Coolidge as Tanya “McWad” has already secured icon status, as evidenced by all the memes on our Twitter feeds.
Enough with the analysis, is there going to be a series two?
Yes - thanks to the huge popularity of series one, a new series was quickly commissioned. But as the story was neatly tied up at the end of this series, creator Mike White is set to wipe the slate completely clean for season two and start again: new location, new cast and new twisted exploits of the wealthy elite and the staff who serve them.
The series will likely turn into an anthology-type show, and White explained to IndieWire why there would be no repeat visits from this season’s guests, with one exception: “I don’t think you can credibly have [all the Season 1 guests] on the same vacation again. But maybe it could be a Marvel universe type thing, where some of them would come back.”
Announcing the follow-on series, HBO said: “The next chapter of The White Lotus leaves Hawaii behind and follows a different group of vacationers as they jet to another White Lotus property and settle in temporarily amongst its inhabitants.”
So where’s the next stop on the future all-inclusive trip?
White first suggested a sojourn to the South of France: "It would have to be a different hotel, like, say, ‘The White Lotus: San Tropez’ or something,” he then told Entertainment Weekly that we could be in for The White Lotus: Kyoto, “which would be fun too, because we could get into culture clash ideas and stuff like that.”
Does The White Lotus take Avios? If so, sign us up for the next adventure.
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