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HomeNewsThe White Lotus 1x01 The arrival (Arrivals) with episode review

The White Lotus 1×01 The arrival (Arrivals) with episode review

Synopsis of the episode The White Lotus 1×01: “Arrivals”

A new wave of guests is arriving at the White Lotus. Resort manager Armond (Murray Bartlett) tries to calm the irrational Shane and his easy-going new wife Rachel. Spa director Belinda (Natasha Rothwell) comforts grieving Tanya.

Meanwhile, Nicole suggests that her husband recover from a health scare by spending time with her son Quinn. He is excluded from his sister Olivia and her friend Paula.

Some things can put you off at The White Lotus: Starting with the shallow series premise (rich white people spend their holidays in Hawaii) to the hedonistically exaggerated running time of almost a full hour per episode – a dramedy has to justify that nowadays! – up to the not very charming fact that showrunner Mike White has not produced anything interesting on television since Enlightened in 2013. But then you look at the new six-part from HBO and quickly notice that the first impression is deceptive.

The White Lotus is not an American “Dream ship“With flat escapades, but a razor-sharp satire that continues where the Emmy award-winning sister station Succession began. Namely with the dissection of the white upper class, with the means of the ancient Greek comedy. Mike White creates characters that make these winners of society (or modern gods) look excessively bad. The series suggests that they are the root of all evil in the world, but portrays them not as ingenious pullers, but as helpless trampers. They are not judged, they are pitied.

Right at the beginning of the opening episode, we are told that the supposedly privileged people who vacation at the White Lotus are to be regarded as spoiled and neglected children at the same time. Accompanying them is anything but relaxing for the audience. The HBO dramedy that’s already at Sky can be seen, is above all a disturbing series with contemporary political explosiveness (as well as in ancient tradition), disguised as easy-going summer reading. And in terms of staging, too, it offers much more than just pretty beach backdrops.

What’s the matter?

The series focuses on two camps: First of all, there are the employees of the luxury resort, led by the manic manager Armond (Murray Bartlett), whose greatest fun at work has been saying no to his demanding clientele and who stays sane with the help of subtle mind games. Then there is the wellness manager Belinda (Natasha Rothwell), who works wonders with her massages and is perhaps the only thoroughly amiable character in the entire series. The surfer boy Dillon (Lukas Gage) and the muscular waiter Kai (Kekoa Kekumano) also serve the White Lotus with their good looks.

Stream this series now with Sky Ticket

And then of course there are the guests, which the chief author Mike White arranged according to three stages of life, not by chance: It starts with the young couple Rachel (Alexandra Daddario) and Shane (Jake Lacy), who are just married and want to enjoy their honeymoon. But we quickly notice that these two have rushed to say yes. He is the prime example of a face-brushed millionaire’s offspring who takes any disagreement as a personal affront and quickly instigates a completely disproportionate feud with Armond. She comes from simpler circumstances and therefore still struggles with the peculiarities of the supposedly better society. Above all, it is important to her that as a young journalist she does not lose her independence in marriage. Although she likes to have it easy in life.

So much for the halfway carefree first phase of life; Meanwhile, the Mossbacher family represents the second. The focal point is the mother Nicole (Connie Britton), who earns the bread as a successful business woman, while her husband Mark (Steve Zahn) can worry about whether his testicles have become unhealthy. The daughter Olivia (Sydney Sweeney) is portrayed as a would-be idealist who constantly criticizes her boomer parents, but who does not make the world any better with her only weapon – cynicism. She took her friend Paula (Brittany O’Grady), with whom she has a very complex relationship, with her. And then there is her little brother Quinn (Fred Hechinger), who becomes one with nature while on vacation and is probably the only character to go through a constructive development.

The third section is finally Tanya McQuoid, played by the outshining Jennifer Coolidge – also known as Stifler’s mom. She has long since buried the illusion of passion (unlike Rachel and Shane) and love (unlike Nicole and Mark). Now all she has to do is bury her deceased mother, who she brings to the White Lotus in an urn. She can only cope with this hardest loss thanks to Belinda’s help. At The White Lotus, she is the best place to laugh and cry. Of course, she too – innocent as she may seem – ultimately belongs to the big fish that the poor little fish naturally has to devour …

How is it?

The dramedy The White Lotus never makes a secret of its necessary tragedies, but because so many other interesting things are going on in the HBO miniseries, some things are simply forgotten and then all the more surprised. There is also a very central death in the six-part, which is teased right at the beginning and would normally fill every scene artificially with tension. But this series is exciting enough that there is no need for such a mystery and later you just think: “Right, that was still open.

Stream this series now with Sky Ticket

The series creator Mike White, who wrote and directed all six episodes of The White Lotus himself, has achieved something very special here. Hardly anyone had their new work on the list as one of the most amazing series of the year. His script is intelligent and funny, his direction unexpected and yet stylish. The very fact that he uses so many slow-motion scenes and still doesn’t look silly proves the little miracle we’re dealing with.

It is also very important to mention the music of The White Lotus, which cannot be credited to Mike White, but to the Canadian composer Cristobal Tapia de Veer (The Third Day). Its strange sounds, which can be described as a mixture of drums, animal noises and Hawaiian hackling chants, give the series its special pace or its hectic pace, which makes it so relaxed for a summer series.

For once you are hardly tempted to go too far into the actors’ performances. Which does not mean that they are not doing their job well, but rather that the series is so well prepared that it would have worked the same with another cast. Nevertheless, at least Jennifer Coolidge deserves a special praise, because she stands out the most and we are just happy that the 59-year-old has landed such a fantastic role as Tanya McQuoid.

How very good series are, every viewer will learn their own lessons from history. For me, as I said, The White Lotus is about the insolently rich people, who are responsible for most of the world’s problems, don’t really know what they’re doing themselves. And for me the parallel to Greek sagas comes to mind, when gods like Zeus got involved in selfish children’s games and in the end it was always the mortals who had to pay the price …

Finally, here is the Trailer about the HBO miniseries The White Lotus:

Stream this series now with Sky Ticket

Arjun Sethi
Passionate guitarist, gamer and writer. Lives for the perfect review, and scrapes texts until they are razor-sharp.


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