“The White Lotus”: HBO’s new miniseries about a murder in a luxury resort
It has six episodes and premiered on Monday July 12th. The first chapter is now available.
Everything takes place in a luxury Hawaiian resort. This is the only setting for The White Lotus, a new HBO miniseries that premiered in Portugal on Monday, July 12th. It has six episodes – you can now watch the first chapter.
This is a story that is very focused on the social class and the power of money. On the one hand, the guests – wealthy people who spend a week’s vacation in an all-inclusive hotel. They drink cocktails by the pool, soak up the sun and feel empowered to ask anything and everything of the staff – after all, they pay for everything.
On the other hand, of course, is the hotel staff. They’re also people with different personalities and traits, but they’re not supposed to be. The aim is of course to respond to all of the guests’ needs – and to be discreetly present without ever becoming a nuisance. And with this conflict between the two sides – sometimes more direct, sometimes with hidden tension – the narrative unfolds.
We also found out in the first episode that there was a murder at the resort. We don’t know who died, why they died, or how they died – that’s explored in the six episodes, as the plot goes back a few days to contextualize and provide clues as to what happened.
While it’s not the central theme, it’s a mystery that promises to attract viewers. Money separates guests from employees – but it also has a profound effect on the social dynamics among vacationers.
The Mossbacher family consists of Nicole, a high-ranking executive; her husband Mark, who seems powerless and manly over his wife’s success; son Quinn, alienated on his cell phone, where games and pornography abound; and daughter Olivia, a creepy, pill addicted teenager. With Olivia came her friend Paula, who obviously can’t have anything that Olivia doesn’t have.
Other guests are the newlyweds Shane and Rachel – they are spending their honeymoon there, which is paid for by his family. She wonders if she is in a rush to get married and worries about invading a family where she is almost a second rate person. It annoys him very much that the manager Armond gave them a suite that is a little below the premium level they bought.
This conflict becomes one of the core pieces of the story. It’s not just about the room, the special pool or even the money. Shane is the one with power in this dynamic between the two – and he knows it. So he will almost sadistically use all his privileges to provoke the manager and reward what he did not get during his stay.
Another of these relationships to highlight is that between Tanya, who arrives at the resort depressed, determined to mourn her mother and scatter her ashes on the island; and the spa manager Belinda, who has difficulty dealing with the guest.
The focus is mostly on the top, on the rich who vacation at the hotel. But this is a miniseries that is described as class conscious – it knows and highlights each character’s social positions. In between, they talk about very topical issues such as consensus, privileges or ethnicity.
The cast includes Murray Bartlett, Connie Britton, Jennifer Coolidge, Alexandra Daddario, Fred Hechinger, Jake Lacy, Brittany O’Grady, Natasha Rothwell, Sydney Sweeney and Steve Zahn.
The production is written, directed and produced by Mike White, the author of “School of Rock”, “The Life of Brad” or “The Unique and Incomparable Ivan”.
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