The White Lotus is an American comedy drama that aired on HBO on July 11, 2021. Mike White created, written, and directed The White Lotus. There is currently only one season of The White Lotus. The first season consists of six episodes and follows the staff and guests staying at a resort. The show has been renewed for another season, which will follow a different group of people visiting the same resort.
The White Lotus follows the journey of wealthy white vacationers on a trip to a resort in Hawaii. It follows each of these vacationers and their relationships to dig deeper into them. In each new episode, White tried to dig deep to discover what is making each of these people so unhappy in their life. With each episode, we see a new perspective with different tones for each character. Paula, simply can’t see her own advantages in life. For Mark, he’s simply just frustrated with his marriage. Quinn on the other hand has a true connection with a Hawaiian custom.
The White Lotus intended to make us think when watching it. Before watching the show we think of vacations as a relaxing and fun thing to do to relieve the stress of the outside world. This show strives to make us see that there is selfishness in that one statement. The White Lotus challenges you with the statement that you won’t believe what you first did after watching the whole show. Their goal was to turn the simple comment “Have a Nice Vacation” into a good and bad thing.
The White Lotus has overall had mixed reviews. Some people say they didn’t like it at all. Whereas other reviews state that they loved it. Critics state that is has a funny and quirky feel to it, along with some dark sense of humor.
E.1 – “Arrivals“
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.
E.2 – “New Day“
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. Olivia’s suggestion that his sexual orientation is no reflection on his masculinity is poorly received. 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 Kai, a hotel employee. 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.
E.3 – “Mysterious Monkeys“
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 and taking Paula’s prescription medication. He flirts with hotel staffer Dillon, and reveals to Mark that he is gay, even propositioning Mark when he expresses his curiosity about anal sex. As the guests return to bed, Olivia follows Paula and sees her and Kai have sex.
E.4 – “Recentering“
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.
E.5 – “The Lotus-Eaters“
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.
E.6 – “Departures“
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 Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 88% based on 84 critic reviews, with an average rating of 8.40/10. On Metacritic, it has a score of 82 out of 100 based on 38 critics.
Matthew Jacobs of TV Guide rated it 4.5 out of 5. Rolling Stone’s Alan Sepinwall graded it 3.5 out of 5 stars.