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The White Lotus - HBO & Sky


Petrousgyre
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A new satire from Mike White, he of Enlightened fame. Set in a luxury hotel in Hawaii, It's an examination of white privilege and inequality. It gets off to a slow start but builds to something quite special.

 

 

Season 1 finale airs tomorrow with season 2 already greenlit. It's not available in any UK streaming service just yet (I've got access to a mates US HBO account) but only a matter of time before it's picked up. 

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I’m really enjoying it, looking forward to watching the finale tomorrow.  It’s got an amazing soundtrack which creates quite a weird feeling of anxiety.  Great cast as well, the guy who plays Armond is definitely the standout.

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On 14/08/2021 at 23:46, Silent Runner said:

It's just rich people being annoying in a luxury setting and it doesn't really say anything of substance. Armond is the best character in it.

 

I'm not so sure, it's beautifully observed and it's a damning indictment of how isolated and lacking in empathy the super rich are. From Shanes determination to try and ruin Armond to Tanya's indifference with Belinda,

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leaving dinner with her to chase that guy - "charge all this stuff to my room, you can even have more if you want".

 

It isn't saying a huge amount beyond that but given the age we live in and how rarely inequality is properly examined in mainstream tv shows it feels profound enough to me.

 

 

On 15/08/2021 at 07:37, sammy said:

It’s got an amazing soundtrack which creates quite a weird feeling of anxiety. 

 

I agree, the soundtrack is superb. There's a sense of anxiety in there but I also feel it's mocking the guests - interesting the Cuica is used throughout, the 'cup of laughter' a Brazilian - not Hawaiian instrument. 

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1x6. The last episode, don't click if you've not watched.

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Hmm. Not sure that worked for me - this show wasn't exactly subtle to begin with but this episode pushed it a bit too far; the rich guy kills a staff member and suffers no consequence, all the promises made to Belinda were worthless - but here's an envelope of cash, the only way rich people can operate I guess - and at one point one of the girls was reading a book called 'A beginners guide to colonialism'. 

 

Strange show that I enjoyed for the most part but it never hit the big time. I did read a few articles today about Armond and how his background could explain his actions and an interview with Mike White that was pretty good and explained some things for me. 

 

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Really enjoyed the first episode of this - perfect tonally as a dark satire on wealth & privilege and this type of hospitality.

 

The music is really good, though my dog finds that wobbly spooky instrument very distracting and it woke her up whenever it came on.

 

Also as a US Office obsessive I do feel the need to shout 'its plop' whenever the newlywed husband comes on screen.

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On 16/08/2021 at 23:19, Silent Runner said:

1x6. The last episode, don't click if you've not watched.

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Hmm. Not sure that worked for me - this show wasn't exactly subtle to begin with but this episode pushed it a bit too far; the rich guy kills a staff member and suffers no consequence, all the promises made to Belinda were worthless - but here's an envelope of cash, the only way rich people can operate I guess - and at one point one of the girls was reading a book called 'A beginners guide to colonialism'. 

 

Strange show that I enjoyed for the most part but it never hit the big time. I did read a few articles today about Armond and how his background could explain his actions and an interview with Mike White that was pretty good and explained some things for me. 

 

 

That didn't seem unbelievable at all to me:

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The previous day the other family had been assaulted by a member of staff breaking into their room - in the States Shane's actions would be seen as self-defense all day long. The hotel surely weren't going to press charges after Armond took that glorious dump in his luggage and Armond wasn't, I assume, an American citizen. That's before you get to how easily the super rich get away with murder in the first place, particularly in the US - if you haven't already watch The Jinx.

 

Anyway, I really enjoyed it. Funny, smart, poignant and beautifully observed - didn't outstay its welcome either. My only complaint would be the casting of Steve Zahn who I find insufferable in almost every role he plays. Looking forward to where they go with the next season with, presumably, an almost entirely new cast.

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Watched the third episode and thought it was brilliant, really hitting it's stride and started to weave the characters together into some very very funny scenes. 

 

I love the lack of faff and world building needed when you've got a short 6 ep run like this - every scene counts and moves things along.

 

I'm not a fan of Steve Zahn having watched him gurn thru Treme but even I loved his drunken ramblings on long term relationship sparks in this episode and comparing sex to eating a bowl of live worms on a reality show, you just have to psych yourself up for it, hold your nose and suck it down as fast as you can so you don't gag.

 

 

 

 

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Absolutely loved this from start to finish.

 

I know the last ep wasn't to the liking of all but I thought it was very satisfying to set up so many strands and conclude them so well in such a short run time, I felt quite invested in how things turned out for them all despite the short runtime. 

 

The whole thing was highly stylised (wonder if the lighting/colour was to get round shooting off season in a cloudy looking resort) so I'm not that bothered about the fact the big 'finale' may not have been wrapped up with the accuracy of a police procedural - the point its making is more important. 

 

Renewed for a second season with a new location & new cast apparently - be interesting to see if it can support another run but as a stand alone single location show that was commissioned to fill a schedule hole quickly during COVID times this is a brilliant effort. 

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Well this was a whole lot better than I was expecting from the cast and promos. Which is to say it was 'pretty good'. Nothing stellar or groundbreaking, and the commentary was subtle like a cudgel to the bonce, but it was also entertaining. Disliking people we like to dislike, serious situations somewhat hand-waved away in lieu of sunsets. There were a couple of drug scenes that felt a bit like a middle-aged writer's idea of how kids act, but they hardly ruined anything. Though they do the thing US producers love, which is casting 25 year olds as teen sex objects. (Y'know! Just so it's ok!) I didn't particularly enjoy the deft dismantling of 

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woke culture as performative. Because it seemed to separate being woke from genuine empathy, which is a dickhead distinction. But I would say that, as a goddamn performative SJW Woke Warrior(TM). I imagine those scenes will give the Andrew Neil brigade a hearty ol' chuckle.

 

I watched the whole thing over two evenings, and it was nice, pretty fluff to have on while I disengaged my brain. I enjoyed it the way I enjoyed The Serpent or White Lines - a bit of a surrogate holiday.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...
10 hours ago, barkbat said:

This was absolutely brilliant. Just utterly peerless character writing and acting. I cannot wait for the 2nd series, and because I'm so fucking slow to watch stuff, I won't have to. The next season starts sunday. Yippee.

I'm in the same boat. Binged it this week, absolutely loved it, then was very pleasantly surprised to find that season 2 starts in a couple of days.

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Watched this recently too, didn’t really appreciate the music but enjoyed the rest.
 

I hope the S2 cast can do it justice. 

 

Spoiler

I’m not sure how S2 will hold together without Armand, he was really the standout in S1. 

 

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