The popularity of “The White Lotus” continues. Season 2 of the HBO original, which was among five shows (“Dahmer,” “The Crown,” “Pam & Tommy” and “Only Murders in the Building”) that scored four nominations at the 80th annual Golden Globes, became a two-time winner on Tuesday night.
Jennifer Coolidge, who reprised her role as Tanya McQuoid from Season 1, took home the gold for actress in a limited series, beating fellow nominees Claire Danes (“Fleishman Is in Trouble”); Daisy Edgar-Jones (“Under the Banner of Heaven”); Niecy Nash-Betts (“Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story”) and her “White Lotus” co-star, Aubrey Plaza. “The White Lotus” also won for best limited series, anthology or TV movie.
“Thank you, Hollywood Foreign Press. It really means a lot,” Coolidge began, taking the stage for her acceptance speech before joking about her statuette. “I can put this down, right? I don’t work out, you know? What I mean is I can’t hold it that long.”
Coolidge immediately went on to thank creators that gave her acting opportunities over the past few decades, including Ryan Murphy, Michael Patrick King and Reese Witherspoon. But she reserved most of her time to shower praise on Mike White, giving an impassioned, intermittently profanity-punctuated speech that moved the “White Lotus” showrunner to tears.
“I had such big dreams and expectations as a younger person, but what happened is they get sort of fizzled by life. I thought I was going to be queen of Monaco even though someone else did it,” Coolidge said laughing. “And then you get older and think, ‘Oh, what the fuck is going to happen? And, Mike White, you have given me hope. You’ve given me a new beginning… You changed my life in a million different ways.”
“If you don’t know Mike White, this is what you should know: He is worried about the world, he’s worried about people, he’s worried about friends of his that aren’t doing well. He’s worried about animals! He really is one of the greatest people,” Coolidge continued. “You make people want to live longer — and I didn’t! Mike, I love you to death.”
The second season of the dark comedy was a huge hit for HBO, with the finale earning 4.1 million U.S. viewers on the night it aired, a 46% increase from the penultimate episode.
Unfortunately, Coolidge’s Tanya didn’t survive her second vacation, dying at the end of the finale. After convincing herself that a group of men had been planning to kill her so that her husband could take all of her money, she shot and killed them all on a yacht. Moments later, she fell overboard, hit her head and died.
“I was thinking, it’d be so fun to bring Tanya back because she’s such a great character, but maybe that’s the journey for her, a journey to death. Not that I really wanted to kill Tanya because I love her as a character and obviously love Jennifer, but I just felt like, we’re going to Italy, she’s such a diva — a larger than life female archetype — it felt like we could devise our own operatic conclusion to Tanya’s life and her story,” White said following the finale. “It just made me laugh to think she would like take out this cabal of killers and, after she successfully does that, she just dies this derpy death, and it just felt like that’s just so Tanya.”