The White Lotus
|The White Lotus|
|Created by||Mike White|
|Written by||Mike White|
|Directed by||Mike White|
|Music by||Cristobal Tapia de Veer|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||6|
|Running time||54–65 minutes|
|Original release||July 11, 2021 –|
The White Lotus is an American satirical comedy-drama television series created, written, and directed by Mike White that premiered on HBO on July 11, 2021. The series was greenlit in October 2020, filmed in Hawaii in late 2020, and features an ensemble cast including Murray Bartlett, Connie Britton, Jennifer Coolidge, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Lacy, Natasha Rothwell, and Steve Zahn. The first season, consisting of six episodes, concerns the lives of the staff and guests at a tropical resort in Hawaii. Following its critical acclaim and viewership numbers, the show was renewed as an anthology series, which will tell the story of a different group of travelers during their stay at another White Lotus property.
The series details a week in the life of vacationers as they relax and rejuvenate in paradise. With each passing day, a darker complexity emerges in these picture-perfect travelers, the hotel's cheerful employees, and the idyllic locale itself.
Cast and characters
- Murray Bartlett as Armond, the manager of the White Lotus resort who is also a recovering drug addict who has been clean for 5 years
- Connie Britton as Nicole Mossbacher, a CFO of a search engine and Mark's wife
- Jennifer Coolidge as Tanya McQuoid, a troubled woman whose mother recently died
- Alexandra Daddario as Rachel, a journalist and newly wed to Shane
- Fred Hechinger as Quinn Mossbacher, Nicole and Mark's socially awkward son
- Jake Lacy as Shane Patton, a real estate agent and Rachel's husband
- Brittany O'Grady as Paula, Olivia's friend from college
- Natasha Rothwell as Belinda, the resort's spa manager
- Sydney Sweeney as Olivia Mossbacher, Nicole and Mark's sardonic daughter who is a college sophomore
- Steve Zahn as Mark Mossbacher, Nicole's husband who is dealing with a health crisis
- Molly Shannon as Kitty, Shane's mother
- Michael Imperioli as Dominic Di Grasso (season 2)
- Aubrey Plaza as Harper Spiller (season 2)
- F. Murray Abraham as Bert Di Grasso (season 2)
- Adam DiMarco as Albie Di Grasso (season 2)
- Tom Hollander as Quentin (season 2)
- Haley Lu Richardson as Portia (season 2)
- Lukas Gage as Dillon, a staffer at the White Lotus
- Kekoa Scott Kekumano as Kai, a staffer at the White Lotus who forms a connection with Paula
- Alec Merlino as Hutch, a waiter at the White Lotus
- Jon Gries as Greg, a White Lotus guest who connects with Tanya
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|1||"Arrivals"||Mike White||Mike White||July 11, 2021||0.420|
|Shane Patton watches as a coffin is loaded onto an airplane. Seven days earlier: wealthy patrons arrive at the White Lotus resort on Maui. They are greeted by manager Armond and his pregnant employee Lani. Shane and Rachel arrive for their honeymoon. Instead of consummating their marriage, Shane becomes fixated on a booking error, causing Rachel to question their relationship. Tanya McQuoid, who has come to spread her mother's ashes, is desperate for a massage, but the spa is fully booked. Belinda, the spa's manager, instead guides her in a ceremonial chant. Nicole Mossbacher argues with her husband Mark about his potential cancer diagnosis; Mark decides to spend time with their son Quinn. Their daughter Olivia and her friend Paula lounge by the pool and make snide remarks about Rachel, a professional listicle writer. Lani's waters break, but Armond ignores her. Lani begins to give birth as the guests dine. Mark receives a call from his doctor, but is disconnected before he learns his diagnosis. Rachel and Shane agree to put the day's conflict behind them and resume their earlier tryst.|
|2||"New Day"||Mike White||Mike White||July 18, 2021||0.459|
|Mark is elated when his cancer diagnosis comes back negative, but he learns from his uncle that his father actually died of AIDS and lived a double life as a gay man. Shane calls his mother to have their travel agent reprimand Armond over the booking error. Rachel considers taking a new writing assignment, but Shane insists she does not have to work again. Rachel meets Nicole, who advises her to maintain her independence. However, when Nicole learns that Rachel wrote a listicle mentioning her, Nicole criticizes Rachel's reporting, making Rachel question her career further. After more pestering from Shane, Rachel abandons the job. Olivia and Paula enjoy drugs on the beach until they are approached by Tanya and leave, forgetting Paula's bag of drugs. The bag is turned over to Armond, who keeps it and uses the drugs due to his stress despite being a recovering addict. Olivia becomes jealous when she sees Paula flirting with a busboy. Tanya invites Belinda to dinner and offers to fund a possible wellness business, which Belinda considers. When Quinn is kicked out of the hotel room by Olivia, he decides to go to the beach where he watches in awe of a group of whales jumping in the ocean.|
|3||"Mysterious Monkeys"||Mike White||Mike White||July 25, 2021||0.478|
|As the guests of the White Lotus wake for the day, Paula remains cagey about her tryst to an increasingly suspicious Olivia, while Quinn's electronics are washed away as he sleeps on the beach. Shane and Rachel have sex, but Rachel worries whether their marriage is predicated on Shane's sexual attraction to her. To console her, Shane plans a romantic dinner, but Armond, fed up with Shane's incessant complaining, recommends for their dinner a sunset boat ride, without revealing that Tanya has chartered it to spread her mother's ashes in the ocean. Tanya believes the honeymooners have joined to support her, and the ensuing discomfort enrages Shane. Mark remains distraught over his discovery about his father, and gets increasingly drunk while proceeding through awkward encounters with his son, Rachel, and other women at the bar, culminating in a tepid speech when he joins his family for dinner and a rebuffed attempt to initiate sex with Nicole. Armond also spirals after relapsing from his five-year sobriety, drinking, taking Paula's prescription medication, flirting with hotel staffer Dillon, and even propositioning Mark when the latter reveals his curiosity about sex between men. As the guests return to bed, Olivia follows Paula and emotionally watches her and the busboy have sex.|
|4||"Recentering"||Mike White||Mike White||August 1, 2021||0.515|
|Quinn wakes on the beach again to see Hawaiians singing and bringing their canoe ashore. He introduces himself later that afternoon. Tanya informs the girls that Armond does have Paula's backpack, and when they confront him, he decides to give it back, drugs and all; however, after Shane angrily demands to speak with Armond's boss, a livid Armond takes the drugs and returns the backpack without them. Tanya and Belinda plan to have dinner together to discuss the wellness center, but the former cancels when she is asked out by Greg, a sport fisherman staying in the room next to hers. Kitty, Shane's mother, arrives at their honeymoon hotel, much to Rachel's chagrin. Mark reveals to Quinn that he cheated on Nicole. However, at dinner, Quinn unwittingly reveals knowledge of Mark's affair in front of Nicole. Armond invites Dillon to his office to take drugs and have sex, for money. When Shane learns that Armond gave him a fake number for his boss, he storms into the manager's office and comes upon Armond sexually servicing Dillon.|
|5||"The Lotus-Eaters"||Mike White||Mike White||August 8, 2021||0.541|
|After getting caught having sex with Dillon by Shane, Armond is forced to move Shane and Rachel into the Pineapple Suite free of charge to avoid repercussions. Rachel begins to worry that she has become a trophy wife after talking with Kitty and second-guesses marrying Shane. Belinda tries to get Tanya to look at her business proposal, but Tanya is more concerned about Greg's interest in her. Tanya admits to Greg that she is an emotional wreck, but Greg is undeterred. Quinn enjoys paddling with a group of locals. Paula convinces Kai to steal a pair of expensive bracelets from Nicole to pay for a lawsuit against the hotel. Nicole rebukes Mark for confessing his affair to Quinn. As the Mossbachers prepare to go scuba diving in the ocean, Nicole breaks down over the pressure of having to provide for her family and receiving no respect for it and goes back to the hotel, with Mark following her. Unbeknownst to them, Kai is in their hotel room trying to steal the bracelets. Mark saves Nicole, but is beaten by Kai, who escapes. The hotel comps their stay and Mark finally gets respect from Nicole and their children, but Olivia is suspicious that Paula is involved with the robbery.|
|6||"Departures"||Mike White||Mike White||August 15, 2021||0.850|
|Rachel tells Shane that she regrets marrying him. Tanya decides to stay with Greg despite his terminal illness and tells Belinda she wants to end her dependency on transactional relationships, leaving her a large sum of cash instead. Dejected, Belinda discards her business plan. Kai gets arrested and the Mossbachers' stolen jewelry is recovered, confirming Olivia's suspicions about Paula. Paula admits her involvement in the robbery, but accuses Olivia of being as privileged as the rest of her family. The two later reconcile when Paula expresses her regret. Quinn tells his parents he wants to stay on the island to join the local paddlers, which they dismiss outright. Shane hears of the robbery while talking to the Mossbachers and calls his travel agent, who informs Armond's superior. This in turn gets Armond fired from the White Lotus. Armond spends his last workday getting heavily intoxicated on Olivia and Paula's remaining drugs. That night, after serving dinner, Armond sneaks into Shane's suite and defecates in his suitcase. However, Shane returns before Armond can leave. Sensing an intruder, Shane arms himself with a pineapple knife and inadvertently stabs Armond, killing him. Armond's body is loaded onto the guests' return flight. Rachel arrives at the airport and decides to stay with Shane. Quinn leaves the airport after the rest of his family boards the plane and joins the Hawaiian paddlers.|
On October 19, 2020, HBO gave The White Lotus a limited series order that consisted of six episodes. The series was created, written and directed by Mike White. White also serves as executive producer alongside David Bernad and Nick Hall. Cristobal Tapia de Veer is the series' composer and Ben Kutchins is the cinematographer for the series. On August 10, 2021, HBO renewed the series for a second season.
Upon the limited series order announcement, Murray Bartlett, Connie Britton, Jennifer Coolidge, Alexandra Daddario, Fred Hechinger, Jake Lacy, Brittany O'Grady, Natasha Rothwell, Sydney Sweeney, and Steve Zahn were cast to star. On October 30, 2020, Molly Shannon, Jon Gries, Jolene Purdy, Kekoa Kekumano, and Lukas Gage joined the cast in recurring roles. Alec Merlino, who was fellow contestant on Survivor: David vs. Goliath with Mike White, was cast as a waiter. Upon the announcement of second season renewal, it was reported that a predominantly new cast of characters would be focused on at another White Lotus property for the second season, though Mike White had stated there was a possibility for a few cast members from the first season to return as their characters. On October 15, 2021, it was reported that Coolidge is set to return as a guest star for the second season. In January 2022, it was announced that Michael Imperioli, Aubrey Plaza, F. Murray Abraham, Adam DiMarco, Tom Hollander, and Haley Lu Richardson were cast to star in the second season.
Principal photography for the series began in October 2020 in Hawaii under COVID-19 guidelines. On November 21, 2020, it was reported that the series was halfway through filming at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea and was scheduled to film in December at locations around Maui.
The White Lotus has received acclaim from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 88% based on 84 critic reviews, with an average rating of 8.40/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Though its true intentions can get a bit murky, gorgeous vistas, twisty drama, and a pitch perfect cast make The White Lotus a compelling—if uncomfortable—viewing destination." On Metacritic, it has a score of 82 out of 100 based on 38 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
Matthew Jacobs of TV Guide rated it 4.5 out of 5 and wrote that it is "some of the year's best television thus far." Rolling Stone's Alan Sepinwall graded it 3.5 out of 5 stars and called it "frequently uncomfortable, sometimes poetic, occasionally hilarious, and deeply idiosyncratic throughout."
|1||"Arrivals"||July 11, 2021||0.08||0.420||0.04||0.198||0.12||0.618|
|2||"New Day"||July 18, 2021||0.06||0.459||0.06||0.298||0.12||0.757|
|3||"Mysterious Monkeys"||July 25, 2021||0.11||0.478||0.08||0.392||0.19||0.870|
|4||"Recentering"||August 1, 2021||0.14||0.515||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|5||"The Lotus-Eaters"||August 8, 2021||0.11||0.541||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|6||"Departures"||August 15, 2021||0.17||0.850||0.06||0.349||0.23||1.199|
|Critics' Choice Television Awards||Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television||Murray Bartlett||Pending|||
|Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television||Jennifer Coolidge||Pending|
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film||Nominated|||
|Independent Spirit Awards||Best Male Performance in a New Scripted Series||Murray Bartlett||Pending|||
|11th AACTA International Awards||Best Comedy Series||The White Lotus||Pending|
|Best Actor in a Series||Murray Bartlett||Pending|
|Best Actress in a Series||Jennifer Coolidge||Pending|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie||Murray Bartlett||Pending|
|Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie||Jennifer Coolidge||Pending|
|Writers Guild of America Awards||Original Long Form||Mike White||Pending|||
- Lee, Benjamin (July 9, 2021). "The White Lotus review – 2021's best, and most uncomfortable, TV show". The Guardian. Archived from the original on July 26, 2021. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
- Fry, Naomi (July 26, 2021). "The Brilliant, Biting Social Satire of "The White Lotus"". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on July 26, 2021. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
- White, Peter (October 19, 2020). "'Enlightened's Mike White Sets Limited Social Satire 'The White Lotus' At HBO With Connie Britton, Natasha Rothwell & Sydney Sweeney Among Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 19, 2020. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- Gelman, Vlada (May 10, 2021). "TVLine Items: Netflix's Sex/Life First Look, CW Tweaks Schedule and More". TVLine. Archived from the original on May 14, 2021. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- "New HBO Limited Series "The White Lotus" from Mike White Debuts July 11" (Press release). HBO. June 23, 2021. Archived from the original on July 3, 2021. Retrieved July 1, 2021 – via The Futon Critic.
- "New HBO Limited Series THE WHITE LOTUS From Mike White Debuts July 11". WarnerMedia (Press release). May 10, 2021. Archived from the original on May 10, 2021. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- "The White Lotus Cast & Crew". HBO. Archived from the original on July 21, 2021. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
- Andreeva, Nellie (January 5, 2022). "'The White Lotus': Michael Imperioli To Star In Second Installment Of HBO Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
- Ausiello, Michael (January 10, 2022). "The White Lotus: Aubrey Plaza to Star in Season 2 — Find Out Who She's Playing". TVLine. Retrieved January 10, 2022.
- Andreeva, Nellie (January 18, 2022). "'The White Lotus': F. Murray Abraham, Adam DiMarco, Tom Hollander & Haley Lu Richardson To Star In Second Installment Of HBO Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
- Phillips, Patrick (July 6, 2021). "Why Hutch From The White Lotus Looks So Familiar". Looper. Retrieved August 2, 2021.
- Berman, Marc (July 12, 2021). "Sunday Ratings: Game 3 of the NBA Playoffs Leads ABC to Easy Victory". Programming Insider. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
- Berman, Marc (July 19, 2021). "Sunday Ratings: The CW Plunges to What Could Be an Historical Low". Programming Insider. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
- Berman, Marc (July 26, 2021). "Sunday Ratings: Night 2 of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Perks Up on NBC". Programming Insider. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
- "The White Lotus: Season One Ratings". TV Series Finale. August 11, 2021. Archived from the original on August 2, 2021. Retrieved August 11, 2021.
- Berman, Marc (August 16, 2021). "Sunday Ratings: Modest Season-Ending Numbers for 'Love Island' on CBS". Programming Insider. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
- Porter, Rick (October 19, 2020). "HBO Snags Limited Series From 'Enlightened' Creator Mike White". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on November 29, 2020. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- Jacobs, Matthew (June 30, 2021). "The White Lotus Review: Our Summer TV Addiction Has Arrived". TV Guide. Archived from the original on July 1, 2021. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
- Del Rosario, Alexandra (August 10, 2021). "'The White Lotus' Renewed For Season 2 At HBO". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 10, 2021.
- Swift, Andy (October 19, 2020). "Connie Britton Among 10 Cast in HBO's Resort-Set Limited Series White Lotus, From Enlightened Creator". TVLine. Archived from the original on March 3, 2021. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- Petski, Denise (October 30, 2020). "'The White Lotus': Molly Shannon Among Five Cast In HBO's Limited Social Satire". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 30, 2020. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
- Arthur, Kate (August 10, 2021). "'The White Lotus' Renewed by HBO for Second Season With New Cast of Characters". Variety. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
- Ausiello, Michael (October 15, 2021). "The White Lotus: Jennifer Coolidge Set to Return for Season 2 of HBO Satire". TVLine. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
- Otterson, Joe (October 19, 2020). "HBO Sets Tropical Resort Limited Series 'White Lotus,' Production to Begin This Month". Variety. Archived from the original on July 1, 2021. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- Rorke, Robert (July 28, 2021). "How 'The White Lotus' Transformed the Four Seasons Maui Into a Zany TV Show Set". Architectural Digest. Condé Nast. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
The crew took over the hotel ballroom and sewed enough curtains, pillows, and headboard covers to take the resort from understated to vibrant
- Cerizo, Kehaulani (November 21, 2020). "HBO miniseries filming in Wailea". The Maui News. Archived from the original on May 1, 2021. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
- Moore, Paul (July 30, 2021). "Sky will show The White Lotus in August, the murder mystery with great reviews". Irish Mirror. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
- "The White Lotus: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
- "The White Lotus: Season 1". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
- Sepinwall, Alan (June 30, 2021). "'The White Lotus': Class Warfare Comes to Fantasy Island". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on July 1, 2021. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
- Metcalf, Mitch (August 1, 2021). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 8.1.2021". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on August 22, 2021. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
- Metcalf, Mitch (August 1, 2021). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 8.8.2021". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on August 22, 2021. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
- Pedersen, Erik (December 6, 2021). "Critics Choice TV Nominations: 'Succession' Leads Field As HBO Edges Netflix". Deadline. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
- Swift, Andy (January 9, 2022). "Golden Globes 2022: Succession and Hacks Lead TV Winners, Pose's Michaela Jaé Rodriguez Makes History". TVLine. Retrieved January 10, 2022.
- Long, Brent; Tangcay, Jazz (December 14, 2021). "Indie Spirit Awards 2022: Full List of Nominations". Variety. Retrieved December 14, 2021.
- Tartaglione, Nancy (December 17, 2021). "'Belfast' & 'The Power Of The Dog' Lead Australia's AACTA International Awards Nominations – Full List". Deadline. Retrieved December 17, 2021.
- Moreau, Jordan (January 12, 2022). "2022 SAG Awards 2022: The Complete Nominations List". Variety. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
- Schneider, Michael (January 13, 2022). "Writers Guild Unveils 2022 WGA TV Award Nominees: 'Yellowjackets,' 'Hacks,' 'Reservation Dogs,' 'Only Murders in the Building' and More". Variety. Retrieved January 13, 2022.