HBO has ordered another season of Mike White’s “The White Lotus,” a vicious, buzzy satire set at an ornate Hawaiian resort. According to HBO, its second installment will leave Hawaii “and follows a different group of vacationers as they jet to another White Lotus property and settle in temporarily amongst its inhabitants.”
In interviews, White — who wrote and directed every episode of the first season — has said he’d want to do more of the show, anthology-style, set at a different resort somewhere else in the world. And though that means saying goodbye to the cast of Season 1, White told IndieWire that perhaps “some of them would come back” to play the same characters.
In Caroline Framke’s review of “The White Lotus” for Variety, she called the show “a fascinating trick of light that bends its interlocking stories with the kind of impressive dexterity we’ve come to expect from White. By the time you get used to this show’s rhythms, it’s already shifted into something else entirely.”
The limited series’ six-episode first season concludes Sunday night, and according to HBO, “The White Lotus” is “currently ranking #1 among all series on HBO Max,” and “has achieved consistent week over week growth for both premiere and digital audience, leading into the finale episode.”
Season 1 has featured Murray Bartlett as the hotel’s manager who has fallen off the wagon; Connie Britton and Steve Zahn as the rich parents of privileged teens Sydney Sweeney and Fred Hechinger, as well as their conflicted guest, played by Brittany O’Grady; Jennifer Coolidge as a tragic, drunk woman, who dangles a life-changing opportunity before Natasha Rothwell’s Belinda, the manager of the hotel spa; and Alexandra Daddario and Jake Lacy as miserable newlyweds. The show has excelled at showing both the upstairs and the downstairs of the White Lotus resort, and has skewered the entitlements of the wealthy white guests.
And there’s also the question of who is the dead body seen loaded onto a plane in the season premiere, a framing device that will surely surprise a good part of the audience.
White has had better luck with “The White Lotus” than he did with his brilliant-but-canceled HBO series “Enlightened,” which he created with Laura Dern, and ran for two seasons on the network.
In praise for “The White Lotus,” Francesca Orsi, HBO’s executive vice president of programming, said: “Mike has once again delivered a quintessential HBO show, and it’s the talk of the town. We were thrilled to hear where he wanted to go next, after closing this epic chapter in Hawaii, and can’t wait to keep following him wherever he takes us.”
“The White Lotus” is created, written and directed by Mike White; executive produced by White, David Bernad and Nick Hall, and co-executive produced by Mark Kamine.