Picturesque images, a death and pointed social criticism make the new HBO series “White Lotus” a successful television entertainment.
A luxury resort on a Hawaiian island. On the one hand the superficial, rich guests, on the other hand the ordinary employees of the resort. In the case of the newlyweds Patton (Jake Lacy) and Rachel (Alexandra Daddario), the contrast between rich and poor is initially clear in a meaningful contrast. While Patton, who comes from a wealthy family, goes on a crusade for a larger hotel room instead of enjoying a vacation with his wife in paradise, his poor wife, who comes from a poor background, cannot understand this attitude. The youth also get their fat away. The son of the couple Nicole (Connie Britton) and Mark (Steve Zahn) would rather play in the dark room on the Nintendo Switch than appreciate paradise, while the arrogant daughter Olivia (Sydney Sweeney) and her friend Paula (Brittany O’Grady) say goodbye to reality with umpteen different substances in order to escape their monotonously privileged life. “White Lotus” makes no secret of what is to be shown to the viewer here. The wealthy and privileged hotel visitors can neither enjoy the luxury of the resort nor the breathtaking scenery of Hawaii and all prefer to create pseudo-problems than to be grateful for their comfortable life and to appreciate it. The trick of not portraying any of these guests as real villains, but merely revealing them in their hypocrisy, also works extremely well.
The entire cast, as well as the camera work, are convincing and on both sides of the spectrum everyone takes on their role. Jennifer Coolidge in particular, who most viewers will probably remember as Stiftler’s mom, plays a big role as a rich, somewhat annoying alcoholic. The fact that the viewer does not establish any relationship with the guests should be exactly the intention, because these are merely superficial shells which, with their sometimes repulsive, superficial personalities, are supposed to relentlessly reveal certain clichés. For a six-part mini-series, the pacing is extremely leisurely, especially at the beginning, and despite a running length of almost 60 minutes, it takes at least two episodes to generate interest beyond the beautiful landscape and superficial characters. The trick of revealing the death, which doesn’t even play a role in the first two episodes, directly in the opening scene is anything but new, but luckily it tempts you to stick with it after the first episode.
The exposure of the privileged upper class in “White Lotus” is like an accident between two super sports cars in which one simply cannot look the other way. The series manages to keep a certain balance and does not slide into the ridiculous. Those who are not put off by the slow narrative pace and the caricatural ensemble should be well entertained.
“White Lotus” will start on August 23 in German synchronization every Monday at 8:15 pm on Sky Atlantic HD and can be accessed on demand.