“The White Lotus” hasn’t misplaced any of its intoxicating attract, shifting its mixture of rich-people issues and employees struggles to a brand new island (Sicily), with Jennifer Coolidge because the one holdover from the Emmy-winning unique. It’s a formidable train in reloading by writer-director Mike White, who primarily based on this encore ought to have loads of frequent-flyer miles in his future if he chooses.
There is a delicate shift within the steadiness – not simply with the Italian taste – though the sequence once more opens with a second of foreshadowing, with an unidentified physique washing ashore on the idyllic seaside resort, earlier than leaping again to the most recent boat full of recent arrivals.
Particularly, the resort employees performs a much less pivotal position this time, though the harried supervisor (Sabrina Impacciatore) does must cope with the challenges of her demanding clientele. As an alternative of simply resort staff, the native contingent is represented by a prostitute, Lucia (Simona Tabasco, in what looks like a breakout position), who finds the most recent friends to be a needy and thus profitable group; and her less-worldly pal Gia (Beatrice Grannò), an aspiring singer who Lucia is making an attempt to indicate the ropes.
As for these friends, along with Coolidge’s Tanya – who brings alongside and mistreats a brand new assistant (Haley Lu Richardson) – the register features a mismatched couple that consists of two faculty roommates (Theo James, Will Sharpe) and their respective wives (Meghann Fahy, Aubrey Plaza); and three generations of males – father (F. Murray Abraham), son (Michael Imperioli) and grandson (Adam DiMarco) – on a visit to see the previous man’s ancestral residence, toting loads of household baggage together with them.
Tensions regularly come up on varied fronts. Plaza’s Harper chafes about her touring companions’ performative shows of affection and said indifference to what’s occurring on the planet (they don’t hassle to observe information), whereas Imperioli’s Dominic – a high-powered Hollywood government – is estranged from his spouse, putting his son Adam, a shy Stanford graduate, in an uncomfortable place.
As soon as once more, White meticulously applies layers on every of those tales, which start as parallel traces earlier than regularly beginning to intersect and collide in sudden, hazardous methods. When a personality utters a line like, “Please don’t make me regret this,” within the environs of “The White Lotus,” it instantly looks like a warning that he finally will.
If the conditions are darkly comedian, the dialogue additionally stays exceptionally sharp, resembling Abraham’s getting old lion – who insists on flirting with much-younger ladies – musing to the socially aware and steadily embarrassed Adam that as an alternative of respecting the aged, “Now we’re just reminders of an offensive past everybody wants to forget.” That features a household debate concerning the deserves of “The Godfather” because the trio takes a bucket-list tour of the Sicilian areas the place the film was filmed.
5 of this season’s seven episodes had been made out there, so it stays to be seen whether or not the payoff is once more worthy of the buildup, and clearly, there’s not fairly the identical sense of discovery.
For now, although, White has completed some of the daunting feats in Hollywood: Conjuring a follow-up to a rightly admired venture with no clear blueprint how to take action, and barring a whole collapse at checkout time, delivering one other five-star TV expertise.
“The White Lotus” premieres October 30 at 9 p.m. on HBO, which, like CNN, is a unit of Warner Bros. Discovery.