In 2021, The White Lotus took the world by storm. The tragicomedy received mass praise for its biting social commentary on topics ranging from wealth, privilege and rights, to power dynamics and colonialism.
This year, The White Lotus swept its categories at the Emmy Awards, taking home a total of 10 awards, including Best Limited Series – despite the fact that a second season was announced shortly after the first season wrapped.
Now, The White Lotus is back for a second season, and this time the anthology series leaves the palm trees of Hawaii for the baroque aesthetic of Italy, as we meet a new group of travelers for The White Lotus: Sicily. While the majority of the cast is new, there’s one returning guest to stay at White Lotus: Jennifer Coolidge, reprising her role as Tanya McQuoid, fresh off her Emmy win.
Unlike the show’s first season, with The White Lotus: Sicilycreator Mike White set out to examine gender roles and jealousy, to create what he calls “a bedroom prank with teeth”.
The White Lotus: Sicily premiered on October 31, but does it live up to its predecessor? The reviews weighed in and the resounding answer is: yes, it does.
Whereas vanity lounge‘s Richard Lawson noted that the season doesn’t quite pack the same punch as the first season, he went on to say, “It’s, at the end of the day, a delight to be bathed in the glow and the darkness of White’s vision of the world and its people. He also praised the series’ performances, calling them “more alluring than mystery”.
“Each actor has mastered their role perfectly, from Richardson’s painfully believable portrayal of Portia’s indecision about how to pursue what she wants… to Plaza’s beautiful portrayal of Harper’s mistrust and discomfort. They all seem to revel in White’s flow of writing, the way he delicately plucks strings to change the tenor and vibe of his characters’ social dynamics. They look like they’re having fun, even when pain and anxiety creep to the edges of a scene.
Tara Bennett, for IGN:
“Creator Mike White’s eye and voice for satirizing the wealthy and entitled remains relevant. Season 2 of White Lotus moves its location to Sicily, but the guest registry gathers another fascinating bag of Ugly Americans struggling with mo’ money, mo’ problems. This collection of characters is a little more diverse in the background, making for a more relevant portrayal. And White is masterful at weaving their disparate stories together for a slow rise. of the tension that finally shatters in episode 5. While overall less frenetic than season 1, White knows how to make the lives of the wealthy implode and their collateral damage both gruesome and delicious.
Lucy Mangan, for The Guardian:
“The writing is denser and more layered than ever, the plot is flawless, and viewers’ likes – or dislikes – are never allowed to stay in one place for too long. The characters may be there to relax, but White isn’t one to let his audience relax.
Shirley Li, for Atlantic:
“For the most part, the pivot from observing class and racial politics to sexual politics operates in The White Lotusthe favor. Season 2 is as juicy as Season 1, but it’s not as caustic in its approach. White said he wanted the new episode to have “an operatic feel” that matched (perhaps stereotypically) its Italian surroundings, and the story is certainly much soapier than before. … It’s always The White Lotus, pushing the privileged from a new angle.
Brian Lowry, for CNN:
“Once again, White meticulously applies layers to each of these stories, which begin as parallel lines before gradually beginning to intersect and collide in unexpected and dangerous ways. When a character utters a line such as “Please don’t make me regret this”, around The White Lotusit immediately sounds like a warning that he will eventually.
The White Lotus: Sicily drops on Foxtel Now every Monday at 12pm AEDT. Catch it on Foxtel Now (available on phone, tablet and laptop and more) and if you’re new you can sign up for a 10-day trial where you’ll get access to the full suite of Foxtel shows. Register here to login.
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